Congenital heart defects are the most common form of all birth defects, occurring in approximately 1 of every 100 births. The range of congenital heart defects varies from clinically benign or insignificant to the most complex and severe, which require medical, surgical or transcatheter-based treatments during the first weeks of life.

The Complex Neonatal Heart Program at the Children’s Heart Institute, a collaboration of McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston, UT Physicians and Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, has a track record of outstanding results in providing patient-specific care to neonates born with the most complex heart defects. The skill and successes of affiliated physicians have positioned the children’s hospital among the top 25 in the nation in cardiology and heart surgery, according to U.S. News & World Report.

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A Highly Organized, Disciplined Approach

Affiliated team members use a highly organized, disciplined approach that allows them to provide quick and accurate fetal and postnatal diagnosis, perinatal medical management, surgical or catheter-based treatment and peri-procedural critical care management. They consistently push to develop more refined surgical approaches to repair or palliate heart defects for their neonatal patients with complex heart conditions, delivering optimal outcomes that have gained the hospital national recognitions.

Better Outcomes Through Weekly Performance Rounds

Through weekly performance rounds that focus on quality and safety evaluation of complex neonatal heart cases, the Children’s Heart Institute team identifies opportunities to elevate its performance. The affiliated team assesses more than mortality and morbidity, analyzing length of time on ventilators, antibiotic profiles and exposure, ICU and hospital length of stay, surgical site infections and other types of infection. Paying close attention to these metrics shows the team where they can improve their performance.

A Deep Investment in Caring for Neonates with Complex Heart Conditions

The Complex Neonatal Heart Program’s comprehensive programmatic approach distinguishes it from programs at other institutions. Affiliated clinicians on the team are deeply invested in caring for neonates with complex heart conditions. They thrive in a spirit of collaboration across all specialties and services – surgery, fetal heart, maternal-fetal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, anesthesia, critical care, nursing, perfusion and respiratory therapy. Their dedication to neonates with complex heart defects is what makes the program special.

A Top Society of Thoracic Surgeons Ranking

The Children’s Heart Institute is among the elite top 6% of congenital heart programs in the United States and Canada for patient care and outcomes, according to the Fall 2019 Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) Congenital Heart Surgery Database Report of 118 STS-participating programs, the most recent data available. Thanks to close collaboration between the Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and a dedicated pediatric Children’s Heart Institute Intensive Care Unit, critical neonatal heart patients have access to the highest level of specialized care. Using state-of-the-art surgical techniques and advanced medical therapies, physicians affiliated with the Complex Neonatal Heart Program offer patients with the most complex neonatal cardiac conditions the greatest opportunity for a normal life.

Diagnosis and Advanced Imaging

Congenital heart defects may be diagnosed during pregnancy with a fetal echocardiogram, a specialized ultrasound of the fetal heart. The Complex Neonatal Heart Program works closely with affiliated physicians in the Fetal Cardiology Program at The Fetal Center at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, who confirm a diagnosis and prepare a delivery plan for both mom and baby. The multidisciplinary team of fetal and pediatric heart specialists will also develop the baby’s immediate treatment plan following delivery.

If the heart defect is not diagnosed in utero and suspicion of a heart defect develops after the baby is born, a pediatrician will refer the patient to a neonatologist or a pediatric heart specialist to determine the diagnosis. At the Children’s Heart Institute, advanced diagnostic imaging includes echocardiography, cardiac MRI, CT scanning and other technology. Imaging scans are important in determining the appropriate plan of care.

Conditions Treated

Why Choose the Children’s Heart Institute?

At Children’s Heart Institute at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, patients with congenital or acquired heart disorders receive hands-on specialized care 24/7 from a team of affiliated physicians and specialty-trained nurses who aim to deliver the best possible outcomes.

Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital was named one of the top 25 best children's hospitals nationally in Cardiology & Heart Surgery by U.S. News & World Report. In addition, Children’s Heart Institute is among the elite top 6% of congenital heart surgery programs in the Unites States and Canada for patient care and outcomes, according to the Fall 2019 Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) Congenital Heart Surgery Database Report of 118 STS participating programs.

In collaboration with various subspecialties, the affiliated team provides comprehensive care for newborns, children and adolescents, with the ability to transition into adult congenital cardiac care. Team members have the experience and skills necessary to offer innovative treatment methods and specialized services, including, but not limited to:

  • Biventricular repairs and biventricular conversions
  • Congenital heart optimization
  • Full repairs for complex congenital heart defects in newborns
  • Hybrid catheterization and surgical procedures
  • Minimally invasive transcatheter pulmonary valve (TPV) therapy
  • Minimally invasive repairs
  • Treatment for adult congenital heart disease
  • Valve repairs and preservation

With the Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and a dedicated Children’s Heart Institute Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, critical heart patients have access to quality, specialized care. By utilizing state-of-the-art techniques, the team at Children’s Heart Institute strives to offer patients with the most complex problems the greatest opportunity for a normal life.

Patient Stories

  • Isabella’s Story: A Complex Neonatal Heart Patient and Her Mother’s Whole World

    February 25, 2022

    Sweet Isabella was held by her mother Jessica for just a few moments before being whisked away for her first heart surgery at just 14 hours old. Born with pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum, half of Isabella’s heart was severely underdeveloped causing major issues with blood f...

    Read More

Contact Us

If you have any questions, use the online tool below to help us connect with you. To refer a patient or schedule an appointment, please contact our clinic using the information below.

  • Pediatric Cardiology Clinic
    The University of Texas Health Science Center Professional Building
    6410 Fannin, Suite 370
    Houston, TX 77030
    Phone: (713) 486-6755 (Appointment Line)
     
  • Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery Clinic
    The University of Texas Health Science Center Professional Building
    6410 Fannin, Suite 370
    Houston, TX 77030
    Phone: (713) 500-5746
    CMHH-Heart@memorialhermann.org

To contact Children’s Heart Institute at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, please fill out the form below.

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The Children’s Heart Institute is a collaboration between the affiliated physicians at McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth Houston) and Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. Typically, patients are seen on an outpatient basis at a UT Physicians clinic with all inpatient procedures performed at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.