Fetal Cardiology Program

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Nearly 1 in 100 children has some type of congenital (present at birth) heart defect. The Fetal Cardiology Program at Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, provides diagnoses of congenital heart defects before birth. Finding a congenital heart defect before birth can improve a baby’s health and help the family prepare and plan for the baby’s care.

Fetal Echocardiograms Find Heart Defects

The Fetal Cardiology Program uses a fetal echocardiogram to diagnose a congenital heart defect before a baby is born. An echocardiogram can show:

This noninvasive test uses ultrasound waves and is safe for both mother and baby. Our pediatric cardiologists can perform a fetal echocardiogram during the second or third trimester of pregnancy.

Norton Children’s offers fetal echocardiograms at six locations in Louisville, Central and Western Kentucky. At all Louisville locations, our fetal echocardiogram sonographers are on-site to perform the test. At our four other Kentucky locations outside of Louisville, the echocardiogram images are transmitted to Louisville immediately, where they are reviewed by one of our board-certified pediatric cardiologists.

Integrated Care From Conception Through Delivery, Childhood and Beyond

Working closely with referring obstetrical care providers, our physicians provide ongoing care throughout pregnancy and follow-up care for the baby after delivery, including:

  • Collaboration with maternal-fetal medicine specialists who provide high-risk pregnancy care
  • Full range of prenatal testing, diagnosis and counseling
  • Coordination of follow-up monitoring and care throughout the pregnancy
  • Ongoing communication and coordination with referring physicians
  • Preparation for baby’s birth
  • Guidance and transitioning of care after delivery

The Right Kind of Collaborative Care for Your Child

The fetal cardiology team works closely with other physicians and programs within Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine. Our team performs all diagnostic testing, surgeries and follow-up care at our locations.

Providers from Norton Children’s Heart Institute are skilled in treating congenital heart conditions in children. You can draw strength, comfort and confidence from our highly trained specialists, including:

  • Pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons
  • Pediatric transplant surgeons
  • Pediatric cardiologists
    • Fetal cardiologists
    • Adult congenital heart disease cardiologists
    • Heart failure/heart transplant cardiologists
    • Pediatric cardiac catheterization cardiologists
    • Pediatric electrophysiologists
  • Pediatric critical care physicians
  • Pediatric cardiovascular anesthesiologists
  • Cardiac critical care nurses
  • Cardiac nurse practitioners
  • Critical care pharmacists
  • Child life specialists
  • Diagnostic imaging specialists
  • Dietitians
  • Family support team members
  • Genetic counselors
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers

Why Choose Norton Children’s Heart Institute

  • Norton Children’s Hospital has been a pioneer in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, performing Kentucky’s first pediatric heart transplant in 1986 and becoming the second site in the United States to perform an infant heart transplant.
  • The American Board of Thoracic Surgery has certified our cardiothoracic surgeons in congenital heart surgery.
  • The Adult Congenital Heart Association has accredited Norton Children’s Heart Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program as the only comprehensive care center in Kentucky and Indiana treating adults born with a heart defect.
  • More than 5,000 children a year visit Norton Children’s Heart Institute for advanced heart care.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute has offices across Kentucky and Southern Indiana to bring quality pediatric heart care closer to home.
  • The Jennifer Lawrence Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) at Norton Children’s Hospital is the largest dedicated CICU in Kentucky, equipped with 17 private rooms and the newest technology available for heart care.
The Adult Congenital Heart Association has recognized Norton Children's Heart Institute for its expertise treating adult congenital heart disease.

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