Why Choose the Fetal Heart Program
When you come to the Fetal Heart Program at Children's Hospital, you and your baby will have access to:
- A multidisciplinary team of experts: As part of CHOP's Cardiac Center, the Fetal Heart Program team also works closely with experts from the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment to provide seamless, well-coordinated care for you and your baby. Our multidisciplinary team — all of whom are focused on and specially trained to care for fetuses with CHD and their mothers — includes pediatric cardiologists, pediatric cardiac surgeons, pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists, nurses and a social worker who work hand-in-hand with CHOP's maternal-fetal medicine specialists, genetic counselors, and other specialists.
- The most advanced imaging: We use the most state-of-the-art technology in all of our exams, so you can be confident that you and your baby are getting the best care available anywhere. Our team performs an average of more than 3,700 fetal echo studies each year and has an unmatched level of experience. We are also one of very few cardiac programs to offer early fetal cardiovascular imaging (EFCI), which allows us to diagnose heart problems as early as 12 weeks’ gestation.
- Immediate answers: After your comprehensive evaluation is completed, you will meet with our team — including a nurse coordinator and a social worker — the very same day. We will explain the diagnosis and answer all of your questions. We will also outline treatment options to help you make the best decisions for your baby and your family.
- The best treatment at the best time: For many congenital heart conditions, surgery or medical treatment is planned for after the baby’s birth. Other conditions can be treated effectively before birth. Early diagnosis helps us determine the best treatment option for your baby's condition. At the Fetal Heart Program, you will have access to the most advanced fetal treatment options, including catheter-based interventions. In a very few select cases, we also offer prenatal heart surgery.
- The most experience: For complex cardiac conditions, more experience is associated with better outcomes. Ours is the largest and most experienced comprehensive fetal heart program in the world. Pediatric heart surgeons at the Cardiac Center perform more than 850 cardiothoracic surgeries per year and our outcomes are among the best. And because we are part of CHOP’s renowned Cardiac Center, your baby will receive a full continuum of care — from before birth through adulthood.
- A very special delivery unit: Children’s Hospital is home to the Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit (SDU), the first birth facility in the world exclusively for mothers carrying babies prenatally diagnosed with conditions such as congenital heart disease. Depending on your baby’s diagnosis, our team may recommend that you deliver in the SDU, so that your baby receives the highest level of care from the moment of birth. Our entire team is focused not only on providing superb medical care for you and your baby, but on helping you experience the joy of your child’s birth despite difficult circumstances.