Fetal Heart Program

Our commitment to keeping you safe

We have never taken for granted the sacred trust you place in us to care for your child, and today we are more grateful than ever for that privilege. To learn about all the ways we are working to keep you, your family and our team members safe, visit our COVID-19 updates page.

Fetal Heart Program

We use state-of-the-art fetal ultrasound technology to expertly diagnose heart problems while a baby is in the womb.

Advanced diagnostic care for unborn babies with heart problems

At Children’s Health℠, the Fetal Heart Program specializes in diagnosing heart problems in babies before they are born. Once we understand your baby’s heart condition, we coordinate care with your doctors in the community. By the time you welcome your baby into the world, you will be well prepared to care for your baby and handle what comes next.

Our dedicated fetal cardiologists work closely with maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialists and an experienced care team to identify and diagnose congenital heart conditions with a high degree of accuracy. We routinely perform fetal echocardiograms to assess your baby’s heart structure and function. These tests help us determine the complexity of your baby’s heart condition. Our goal is to give you the answers you need and develop a care plan tailored to you and your baby before, during and after birth.

The Heart Center is a comprehensive pediatric cardiology program. We have world-renowned experts in congenital heart diseases and offer the latest, most effective treatments and surgeries.

Dallas - Medical District Drive 

214-456-6454
Fax: 214-456-2714
Suite B3325

Specialty Center 1 Plano

469-303-4300
Fax: 469-303-4310
Suite P4600

Arlington, Dallas - Merit Drive, Ennis, Flower Mound, Longview, Lufkin, Mount Pleasant, Specialty Center 2 Plano, Rockwall, Tyler

(Pediatric Heart Specialists locations)

972-331-9700
Fax: 972-331-9833

Request an Appointment with codes: Cardiology (Heart Center)

Refer a Patient with Fetal Heart

Conditions We Treat

  • Aorto-Left Ventricular Fistula
  • Bicuspid Aortic Valve-Associated Aortopathy
  • Cardiac Tumors
  • Conduits, valved or nonvalved
  • Congenital Contractual Arachnodactyly (Beals-Hecht Syndrome)
  • Cyanotic Congenital Heart (all forms)
  • Double-Outlet Ventricle
  • Duchenne and Becker Dystrophinopathy
  • Ebstein's Anomaly
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
  • Eisenmenger Syndrome
  • Endocarditis
  • Familial Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm
  • Infundibular Right Ventricular Outflow Obstruction of Significance
  • Interrupted Aortic Arch
  • Loeys-Dietz Syndrome
  • Myocarditis
  • MASS Phenotype
  • Mitral Atresia
  • Pericarditis
  • Pulmonary Vascular Obstructive Diseases
  • Single Ventricle (also called double inlet or outlet, common or primitive
  • Sinus of Valsalva Fistula/Aneurysm
  • Sinus Venosus Atrial Septal Defect
  • Subvalvular or Supravalvular Aortic Stenosis (except HOCM)
  • Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm and Patent Ductus Arteriosus

WATCHthe video

doctor listens to baby's heart with parents

a mom dad and baby

doctor looks at the sonogram screen

Compassionate Care for Parents and Babies


We understand that discovering your baby has a heart condition can be frightening and overwhelming. Our pediatric experts are here to help you understand your baby’s diagnosis, and together, create a plan to ensure the best possible outcome. Our team is highly trained in fetal heart imaging and can treat the most complex cases. 

 

Customized, safe birthing plans to empower parents

Having a baby is a wonderful, exciting time. Although a complex congenital heart condition may add a layer of stress, our team is committed to developing a customized birthing plan that can help you and your baby have a safe and happy experience. Together, we’ll help you prepare for every step of your delivery – from finding the safest and most convenient hospital to touring the cardiac neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and cardiac intensive care unit (CICU) so you know exactly what to expect once your baby arrives.

When they met with us and explained, in layman’s terms, what was happening with our baby's heart, it really put us at ease.
Christopher, patient parent

Deep expertise in fetal echocardiograms

We use ultrasound to perform a fetal echocardiogram obtaining images of the baby’s heart through the mother’s abdomen. There’s no risk to mom or baby. Our pediatric cardiologists and ultrasound sonographers perform hundreds of fetal echocardiograms every year. This large volume gives us the expertise to detect even the rarest heart problem in an unborn baby.

Our fetal echocardiography laboratory is accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC). This nationally recognized accrediting organization is committed to rigorous peer review in order to advance the quality of diagnostic imaging.   

We offer fetal echocardiograms for:

  • Families with a history of congenital heart disease
  • Pregnant women with health conditions like Type 1 diabetes, lupus or advanced maternal age, which increase the risk of an infant having congenital heart disease
  • Families expecting a child with Down syndrome, other chromosomal abnormalities or hereditary disorders that increase the risk of heart problems
  • Women referred by OB-GYNs or maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialists due to unusual prenatal test findings
  • Women exposed to certain medications or substances during pregnancy

Personalized care for your child

Your family meets with a team of specialists who work together to help your child. This team may include imaging experts, heart surgeons, nurses, social workers and other experts. They coordinate prenatal and postnatal cardiac evaluation, counseling and care to ensure your child receives the necessary care at precisely the right time. Our goal is to give your infant the best opportunity to survive and thrive.

During your first visit with us, you will meet with a pediatric cardiologist and nurse coordinator who will:

  • Explain the fetal echocardiogram findings and discuss them with you
  • Answer your questions and make sure you understand the diagnosis
  • Provide an overview of the proposed treatment and answer any questions you have
  • Schedule a follow-up visit with the Children’s Health experts who can best treat your baby’s heart problem

You will continue to see your OB-GYN and MFM doctor for maternal care. Depending on your baby’s condition, you may return to Children’s Health for ongoing prenatal echocardiograms. Providing your family with education and support are some of our top priorities.

Support for families

Many families feel nervous about caring for an infant with a heart condition at home. That’s understandable, and our team is here to help prepare you to become an expert in your child’s care.  

In the rare event where your baby has a single ventricle heart defect, we created the Safe at Home Program to help parents care for their babies as they recover and get stronger between surgeries. This program reduces the risk of complications, and your baby spends more time at home with you and less time at the hospital.

We offer a support group, Mended Little Hearts, that brings together families of infants with congenital heart disease. We also host a camp for children ages 8 to 16 years old who have had heart surgery.      

A focus on research and preventing congenital heart disease

As an academic medical center, our doctors are dedicated to advancing the field of perinatal cardiology and finding new ways to prevent and treat congenital heart disease. We help train tomorrow’s fetal heart and maternal-fetal medicine specialists. We also conduct clinical trials and research that benefit young patients everywhere. We continually strive to improve the quality of our counseling and outcomes through our participation in multi-institutional research and quality improvement projects.

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