Fetal Cardiac Surgery & Fetal Heart Conditions
Our Fetal Heart Program is the only program in Ohio and the first in the state to offer fetal cardiac interventions. The Congenital Heart Collaborative team that combines experts from University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in collaboration with maternal fetal medicine experts at UH McDonald Women’s Hospital, specializes in the detection and treatment of heart defects in infants still in the womb.
One of only a few such programs in the country, our Fetal Heart Program brings together experts in maternal fetal medicine, pediatric and interventional cardiology, pediatric cardiac and obstetrical anesthesia, pediatric cardiac surgery, neonatology and others. Together, we ensure seamless care for mothers and their babies with fetal heart defects – before, during and after delivery.
Early Fetal Cardiac Intervention Leads to Fewer Complications
In some cases, our expert team may recommend treating your baby’s heart defect prior to their birth. This therapy, referred to as a fetal cardiac intervention, may lessen the severity or slow the progression of a heart condition leading to fewer issues at birth and directly resulting in better outcomes for your child. Our dedicated UH fetal heart intervention team can treat conditions such as:
- Severe aortic stenosis
- Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) with intact or highly restrictive atrial septum
- Pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum
Fetal heart surgery procedures include:
- Fetal atrial septostomy: A temporary solution to enlarge a naturally occurring hole in the atria, this procedure is done to allow the fetus’ heart and lungs time to develop in a more natural way until the circulatory issue can be surgically corrected.
- Fetal atrial septal stent: If balloon dilation is not sufficient, a stent may be used to expand the hole or communication between the top two chambers of the heart (atrium.)
- Fetal aortic balloon valvuloplasty: Is the procedure performed to expand or open a narrowed aortic valve. A balloon is placed through a long, thin tube and is positioned across this narrowed valve. The balloon is then inflated which in turn dilates or opens the valve.
- Fetal pulmonary balloon valvuloplasty: Is the procedure performed to expand or open a very narrowed pulmonary valve. A balloon is placed through a long, thin tube and is positioned across this valve. The balloon is then inflated which in turn dilates or opens the valve.
An Expert Fetal Cardiac Intervention Team for Your Child, for Life
Our integrated Fetal Cardiac Intervention Program includes the maternal fetal medicine experts at UH Macdonald Women’s Hospital and neonatologists in UH Rainbow’s nationally recognized neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) – ranked No. 7 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. All of this specialized care is located under one roof at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital for seamless and convenient care. Most importantly, this close proximity of services allows for mothers, fathers and babies to stay together, ensuring vital bonding can take place.
Our expert team of fetal heart specialists cares for your baby from before birth and throughout their life, with one of our pediatric cardiologists directing every step of their care. We work together to make individualized care plans designed to provide superior outcomes, even in the most complex cases.
Our team includes:
- Pediatric cardiologists
- Pediatric interventional cardiologists
- Obstetrical sonographers
- Maternal fetal medicine specialists
- Genetic counselors
- Cardiothoracic intensive care team
- Psychological services
- Genetics and genetic counselors
- Nurse practitioners
- OB anesthesiologists
- Pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists
- Fetal care patient navigators
- Social workers