In some situations, heart defects can be identified before a baby is born. When this happens, the fetal cardiologists from the Fetal Heart Disease Program develop a treatment plan that harnesses the expertise of doctors across various specialties. Everyone works together toward one goal: meeting your baby’s health needs before and after birth.
The Fetal Heart Disease Program is part of the Pediatric Congenital Heart Program at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone. Our team performs more than 2,200 fetal echocardiograms per year to diagnose heart defects. After a fetal cardiologist determines that there is a heart defect, the expectant mother is referred to other healthcare providers in maternal–fetal medicine as needed, including obstetricians, perinatologists, genetics specialists, neonatologists, and cardiac surgeons.
The fetal heart team assesses the medical and surgical needs of a mother and her baby before birth to prepare an individualized care plan for when the baby is born. High-risk cases are discussed at monthly multidisciplinary meetings that include fetal cardiologists, maternal–fetal medicine physicians, and neonatologists.
When a heart defect is identified that requires immediate treatment after birth, parents often choose to deliver their baby at NYU Langone’s Tisch Hospital. This gives them access to care from the entire fetal heart team. The team is often present at the birth, allowing for early recognition and treatment of any changes in the baby’s condition, with the goal of ultimately ensuring better outcomes during and after birth.
To schedule an appointment for a fetal echocardiogram, please call 212-263-5940.