The Cardiac Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia provides comprehensive care to patients from before birth to adulthood, offering a range of specialized programs and services designed to meet the unique needs of patients with congenital or acquired heart disease. Our staff includes three cardiothoracic surgeons, more than 50 pediatric cardiologists, more than 250 specially trained pediatric cardiac nurses, and two Nurse Navigators – experienced cardiac intensive care nurses who are exclusively dedicated to helping referring physicians connect with the Cardiac Center. CHOP’s Cardiac Center is one of the largest and most comprehensive centers for pediatric cardiac care in the world, with more than 1,200 inpatient admissions annually and outcomes among the best.
Our surgeons perform more than 850 cardiac and thoracic operations each year for a variety of conditions, including hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), a complex heart defect in which the left side of the heart is underdeveloped. Most children with HLHS require a series of three reconstructive surgeries: the Norwood procedure (typically performed within days of birth), the Glenn procedure (typically performed between 4 and 6 months of age) and the Fontan procedure (typically performed between 2 and 4 years of age). Our surgeons perform dozens of these surgeries each year, and CHOP is one of the few hospitals in the United States with an anesthesia team dedicated exclusively to caring for pediatric patients with heart conditions. (View volumes and outcomes for HLHS surgeries at CHOP.)
After surgery, patients recover in our state-of-the-art Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and Cardiac Care Unit under the care of our experienced team of pediatric cardiac intensivists, cardiologists, cardiac nurses, respiratory therapists, psychosocial staff and others who are trained in meeting the unique needs of cardiac patients and their families. Clinicians from CHOP’s many other top-ranked subspecialties are also available for consultation if needed.
CHOP’s commitment to caring for children with HLHS continues well after surgery. The Infant Single Ventricle Monitoring Program provides close monitoring during the critical period between the first and second surgeries, and the Single Ventricle Survivorship Program provides coordinated, multidisciplinary care for children with HLHS as they grow up. Children with HLHS may also enroll in the Hospital’s NeuroCardiac Care Program, which offers evaluation and clinical care and conducts research into the causes of neurodevelopmental delays in children with complex congenital heart defects.
Our Fetal Heart Program specializes in the detection, evaluation and management of heart defects prior to a baby’s birth. The Fetal Heart team performs more than 3,300 fetal echocardiography studies annually, making this one of the largest fetal heart programs in the United States.
Fetal Heart Program patients benefit from CHOP’s multidisciplinary approach to treatment, which brings together teams from different programs – including the Hospital’s world-renowned Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment – with the goal of optimizing outcomes for the fetus and the family. This focus on multidisciplinary collaboration allows CHOP to offer state-of-the-art care for all prenatal conditions and advanced treatments for fetal heart defects, including fetal heart interventions if necessary. The team’s collaborative approach helps make the transition to postnatal care at the Cardiac Center as seamless as possible.
CHOP is also home to the Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit, the first birth facility in the world dedicated exclusively to pregnant women carrying babies with known birth defects. The SDU has eight spacious, private labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum rooms where mothers can remain throughout their hospital stay, and the staff includes obstetricians, maternal-fetal medicine specialists, anesthesiologists, OB nurses, psychosocial staff and others. The SDU is located just steps away from the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, so mothers and babies are never far apart during their stay at CHOP. More than 1,150 babies, including many with congenital heart disease, have been born in the SDU since it opened in 2008.
At The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Cardiac Center, care for patients with congenital heart disease continues long after they turn 18. The Philadelphia Adult Congenital Heart Center, a joint program of Penn Medicine and CHOP, is designed to serve the unique healthcare needs of adults with congenital heart disease, who require ongoing subspecialty care and lifelong surveillance to ensure continued survival and quality of life.
One of fewer than a hundred such programs in the United States, the Philadelphia Adult Congenital Heart Center has a multidisciplinary team that includes an array of specialists from both institutions who are experienced in the care of adults with CHD. The team includes cardiovascular surgeons, cardiac anesthesiologists, and cardiac specialists in catheterization, electrophysiology, noninvasive imaging, and heart failure/transplantation, as well as in genetics and reproductive services, all working together to provide comprehensive inpatient and outpatient care.
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