Congenital Heart Clinic
Congenital heart defects are abnormalities of the structure of the heart that are present at birth. Also known as congenital heart disease, these heart abnormalities vary in severity, but they can affect many aspects of children’s lives, including growth and development, academic and social skills, and ability to play sports. After treatment, many children require follow-up care until they transition to adult congenital heart disease care.
Established in 2011, the Kentucky Children’s Hospital Congenital Heart Clinic provides multidisciplinary care for all types of congenital heart defects. Our clinic gives patients and their families a single place to turn to for comprehensive, advanced diagnostic and treatment services, as well as ongoing support. The Congenital Heart Clinic is part of our Joint Pediatric Heart Care Program with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. That gives our patients access to some of the country’s foremost experts and sophisticated treatments, including heart transplantation.
Our team of specialists includes:
- Fetal imaging specialists
- Pediatric cardiologists
- Pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons
- Pediatric electrophysiologists
- Pediatric interventional cardiologists
Other members of the team include physician assistants, advanced practice registered nurses, social workers and a registered dietitian. Our specialists meet routinely in conferences to determine the best form of treatment for each patient and review surgical results. Some of these conferences occur in conjunction with specialists at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
Conditions We Treat
Some children with a congenital heart defect do not have symptoms. Others may experience rapid breathing, tiredness, a fast heartbeat or blue-tinged skin. The Congenital Heart Clinic treats the full range of congenital heart defects from fetal life through young adulthood, including:
- Aortic stenosis
- Atrial septal defect
- Bicuspid aortic valve
- Coarctation of the aorta
- Ebstein anomaly
- Patient ductus arteriosus
- Patent foramen ovale
- Pulmonary atresia
- Tetralogy of Fallot
- Transposition of the great arteries
- Tricuspid atresia
- Truncus arteriosus
- Ventricular septal defect
Congenital Heart Clinic Services
The Congenital Heart Clinic provides a wide range of services to diagnosis and treat congenital heart defects and help patients thrive, including:
- A variety of diagnostic tests. These include transthoracic echocardiography (ECG), fetal ECG, heart rhythm monitoring (Holter and event monitors), and metabolic and ECG stress testing.
- Education and support. Nurses work with families to educate them about specific congenital heart defects. That includes preparing patients to transition to adult congenital heart disease care in early adolescence. A registered dietitian meets with all patients who are scheduled for surgery to help optimize their nutrition. Social workers connect families with helpful resources and ensure they have what they need to access care, such as lodging and transportation.
- Care coordination. Our team coordinates with other specialists and clinics on a case-by-case basis, including genetics, nephrology, pulmonology, rheumatology, and the BMI and Hyperlipidemia clinics. We also partner with an adult congenital heart disease specialist at the Gill Heart & Vascular Institute to ensure patients have a seamless transition to adult care at the appropriate time.
Why Choose UK HealthCare for Pediatric Congenital Heart Disease Services?
Our collaboration with Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center gives our patients access to a wider range of advanced services and allows our specialists to consult colleagues at one of the country’s top children’s hospitals. Our high-quality care has earned us numerous awards for patient satisfaction and a ranking from U.S. News & World Report as one of the country’s Best Children’s Hospitals for Cardiology & Heart Surgery. Our main clinic location is at UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital, which is the No. 1 hospital in Kentucky and the Bluegrass Region, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Support for young patients
UK HealthCare offers support and educational meetings for children and teens with congenital heart conditions. As teens transition into adulthood, they benefit most from being treated by a cardiologist who specializes in caring for adults born with heart disease. Our meetings are designed to help teens learn about managing their care across a lifetime. Groups are available for ages 10-12; 13-15 and 16-18. At these meetings, teens can:
- Learn to play an active role in their heart care as they move closer to adulthood.
- Learn real-life education on what is safe versus unsafe.
- Learn to plan for the future.
- Meet same-age peers with congenital heart defects
In-person and Zoom meeting options are available. To learn more, please call 859-323-6754, option 2, to speak with a nurse.