Fetal Cardiac Program
Working Together to Ensure the Best Possible Outcome for Your Unborn Baby With Heart Disease
Fetal Cardiac Program
Here at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, we pride ourselves on our world-class physicians and our nationally-recognized team of researchers and departments of pediatric medicine. A child not yet born is just as important to us. We work tirelessly to find innovative and aggressive treatment plans for every child who comes through our doors. Our Fetal Cardiology team will help you determine the condition of your child’s heart and what steps will be necessary to ensure that your baby has the best chances for survival and quality of life.
Nationwide Children's Hospital is ranked by U.S. News & World Report for Cardiology and Heart Surgery.
Fetal Cardiac Program
Our physicians and specialists are experts in the care of complex prenatal conditions. Our teams work collaboratively to provide you and your baby with state-of-the-art compassionate care.
Our goal is that you and your baby receive the best medical treatment available, even before birth. Our fetal cardiac program provides access to our nationally recognized team of experts spanning multiple specialties and programs including:
- Bloodless conservation heart surgery (even for newborns)
- Fetal Cardiac Intervention – we are one of the few programs in the country offering fetal cardiac intervention, specializing in detection and treatment of fetal cardiac defects in infants still in the womb. Our program provides the highest level of expertise and the most innovative treatment options currently available.
- Neonatal feeding expertise
- Post-natal neurodevelopment support program
- Dedicated Cardiac Intensive Care Unit – specializing in critically ill newborns with cardiac needs. Our CTICU is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by a specially trained team who provide the highest level of care to the most high-risk patients
- Psychosocial support
Fetal Cardiac Diagnostic Testing
During pregnancy, there are many prenatal tests that can tell the doctor if your baby has a heart (cardiac) problem.
At your first visit, you will undergo a fetal echocardiogram and meet with a cardiologist about the results. A fetal echocardiogram utilizes state-of-the-art ultrasound technology to diagnose, monitor, and manage heart differences. The goal of fetal echocardiograms is to identify heart problems as early as possible, increasing the potential for a long life for each child. Common reasons for referral for fetal echocardiography to screen for heart defects include screening in high-risk pregnancies, a family history of congenital heart defects and when an abnormality is suspected by your primary OB team.
Some patients may need additional testing such:
- Prenatal ultrasounds: Complex heart defects are usually found during a pregnancy (prenatal) ultrasound, which would show an abnormally-shaped heart. Your doctor will schedule a fetal echocardiogram to get more information.
- Fetal MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): This type of imaging gives more detailed pictures of your baby’s organs, and may be helpful for complicated heart, lung or other concerns.
Once our cardiologists determine a fetal heart defect, we will work closely with you, your primary and high-risk OB team to monitor the health of you and your baby. You will also be given in-depth educational materials to read about your baby’s condition and the steps to take next. As a team, we will determine what other specialties should be included in your care and work comprehensively with them to help you deliver a baby with the best possible care.
Fetal Cardiac Team
Our expert team cares for your baby even before birth, and will continue to provide care throughout their life. We have an entire team dedicated to diagnosing and caring for babies with congenital heart disease. This team works together to make individualized care plans with the goal of providing superior outcomes, even in the most complex cases.
In many cases, patients will see a full range of specialties during the course of their care. As part of the Fetal Center team, those specialties may include maternal fetal medicine, genetics, neonatologists, cardiothoracic intensive care and cardiothoracic surgery.
Fetal Nurse Coordinators
- Rebecca (Becky) Corbitt
- Elizabeth (Beth) Swartz
Fetal Clinic Social Work
- Ryan Nicoll
Conditions We Treat
Our expert team is highly trained in treating the most complex congenital heart defects, focused on ensuring your baby has the best possible long-term outcome.
We provide full diagnosis, evaluation and treatment options for a wide range of congenital heart defects, including:
- Aortic Stenosis
- Arythmia/SVT/Long QT Syndrome
- Atrioventricular Septal Defect
- Coarctation of the Aorta
- Double Inlet Left Ventricular
- Double Outlet Right Ventricular
- Ebstein’s Anomaly
- Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
- Interrupted Aortic Arch
- Pulmonary Atresia with Intact Ventricular Septum
- Pulmonary Stenosis
- Single Ventricle Heart Defects
- Tetralogy of Fallot
- Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Connection
- Transposition of the Great Arteries
- Tricuspid Atresia
- Truncus Arteriousus
- Ventricular Septal Defect
Contact us directly if you don’t see the condition you are looking for. We welcome the opportunity to talk through your unique medical needs and questions.
Fetal Cardiac Intervention
In some cases, our expert team can treat your baby’s heart defect before birth. Fetal cardiac intervention is a complex procedure that may help lessen the severity or slow the progression of a heart condition. This may lead to fewer complications at birth and better short- and long-term outcomes for your child.
As one of the few programs in the country, our fetal cardiac intervention program brings together both clinical experience and cutting-edge research. This provides our patients with access to state-of-the-art treatment options right here in central Ohio.
Our dedicated fetal cardiac intervention team can treat conditions such as:
- Aortic stenosis with evolving hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS)
- Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) with intact or highly restrictive atrial septum
- Pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum
Global Patient Services
Recognized among the top 10 best children’s hospitals in the United States, Nationwide Children’s Hospital is a leader and a global destination for pediatric health care.
Ronald McDonald House
Located across the street from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, families can find a place to call home while their children are being treated at the hospital.
Resources for Patient Families
Your Guide to Congenital Heart Defects
Your baby has been prenatally diagnosed with a heart condition and will require services at Nationwide Children’s. Our goal is to provide you with the information and care you need to prepare for the birth of your baby.
Your Guide to Single Ventricle Heart Defects
Your baby has been prenatally diagnosed with a single ventricle heart condition and will require services at Nationwide Children’s. Our expert team of fetal medicine specialists is here to guide and support you each step of the way.
The Congenital Heart Collaborative Performs Ohios First Fetal Cardiac Intervention
A mother and her 29-week-old unborn child are doing well after a team of physicians performed a successful in utero procedure at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital (UH Rainbow) last week.