Cardiac Prenatal Program
The Fetal Cardiology Program at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital is designed to address the needs of families whose babies are suspected of having heart disease by prenatal ultrasound or are diagnosed with congenital heart disease by fetal echocardiography. Prenatal and perinatal diagnosis by fetal echocardiography facilitates the coordination of infant and family needs at the time of delivery and beyond.
The Fetal Cardiology Program provides high-quality fetal echocardiograms to families. Additionally, the program offers support to families by providing written literature, consultations with other health care providers and social workers, tours of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) and the opportunity to meet key members of the cardiac team. Our goal is to improve the care of infants with congenital heart disease through perinatal diagnosis, prenatal planning, post-natal care and follow-up after birth and throughout the child’s life.
By emphasizing patient and family-centered care, the team at Nicklaus Children’s works daily to improve the quality of life for every child born with congenital heart disease. We encourage our families to be part of their child’s care each day by participating in collaborative family-centered rounds. This unique collaborative team approach ensures that all children receive the highest quality care while empowering families to take part in their child’s recovery. We encourage and assist with the comprehensive coordination of care between specialties such as pediatric cardiology, perinatology, neonatology, and cardiovascular surgery.
If your doctor is concerned your baby may have a heart defect, our world renowned team can help.
What is a fetal echocardiogram?
Typically administered by a sonographer, a fetal echo is an ultrasound of your baby’s heart.
What does a fetal echocardiogram do?
A fetal echo checks your baby’s heart structure, rhythm, and function as well as the growth and development of your baby.
What causes a congenital heart defect?
- Genetic and environmental factors
- Health conditions, such as diabetes
- Family history of congenital heart disease
What if my baby has a heart defect?
We understand that facing a diagnosis of your baby’s heart condition can be very frightening. The Heart Program at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, has the expertise to support you and your baby throughout this journey. If a heart defect is detected, your pediatric cardiologist will explain your treatment options. Your future visits may include meeting with other specialists on our team which may include:
- Pediatric cardiac surgeon—a doctor who specializes in repairing a heart condition
- Pediatric intensivist—a doctor who works in the critical care unit (i.e. ICU) specializing in caring for children who have a serious injury or illness.
- Pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist— a doctor who is dedicated to providing anesthesia for children undergoing cardiac procedures
- Cardiovascular nurse practitioners—a nurse who coordinates the services specific to the needs of each family
- Child life specialist—trained healthcare professionals who anticipate the needs and concerns of children in a medical environment
Recognition and Outcomes Tell the Story
The Heart Program provides care for more children with congenital heart disorders than any other hospital in Florida and has been ranked among the nation’s best for pediatric cardiology and heart surgery by U.S.News & World Report.
What’s more, The Heart Program has cardiovascular surgery outcomes that are among the very best in the nation, according to a U.S.News & World Report assessment conducted as part of the most recent ranking.
Nicklaus Children's Heart Program is a qualified participant in Aetna’s Institutes of Excellence™ network.
A Distinguished History of Saving Little Hearts
During the 1960s, Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, became the first facility in Florida to perform pediatric open-heart surgery. Over the years, the hospital has continued to build on this tradition of leadership and excellence in pediatric cardiology.
In 1995, Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, recruited top cardiac physicians and surgeons in pediatric cardiology to oversee new services that included Florida’s first dedicated Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, a state-of-the-art Interventional Cardiac Catheterization Program, and, later, a Clinical Research Program and Electrophysiology Program.