Children’s heart problems are very different from the heart problems that adults experience. At Providence, we have a highly skilled team of pediatric heart specialists who care for kids with heart conditions as if they were their own children.
Our cardiologists, electrophysiologists, heart surgeons and other pediatric heart specialists have expertise working with kids from infants through adolescents. Together, their knowledge and experience help ensure your child receives the best possible heart care. From diagnosis through treatment and beyond, we’re at your family’s side.
We offer advanced technology, including fetal echocardiograms. These tests allow us to identify heart defects even before your baby is born. We can then closely monitor your child’s heart development and be prepared to correct problems when necessary.
As for treatment, we’ve pioneered many heart procedures, including minimally invasive and robotic surgeries. These surgeries use tiny incisions, cause less pain and result in faster recovery than open operations. Whether your child will benefit most from a traditional procedure or innovative techniques or therapies, we get you the help you need.
Our team uses sophisticated tools and techniques to diagnose and evaluate your child’s heart problem. One of these techniques is cardiac catheterization, which uses thin tubes called catheters that we thread through an artery to the chambers and vessels of your child’s heart. As they pass through the heart, they measure pressure and provide information about your child’s heart health.
Other diagnostic tools we use include:
- Cardiac imaging
- Fetal echocardiography
- Holter monitoring
- Stress testing
Two of the most common types of heart problems we see in children are congenital heart defects and arrhythmias.
Congenital heart defects are problems with the structures of the heart — the heart’s walls, valves and nearby arteries and veins — that are present at birth and affect normal blood flow.
We usually don’t know what causes these defects. However, it’s believed that viruses, hereditary infections and environmental factors may play a part.
Arrhythmias are abnormal heart rhythms. When your child’s heart isn’t beating correctly, blood may not get pumped out to the body like it should.
Not all heart problems in children require treatment. We will monitor those that don’t require immediate intervention and begin treatment if it becomes necessary.
If your child needs treatment, it may include medication, a catheterization procedure or surgery. We partner with you and your child’s primary care doctor to make sure your child receives the most appropriate care.
Arrhythmia treatments may include:
- Implantable cardioverter defibrillators – monitor heart rhythms and produce an electrical shock to correct arrhythmias when necessary
- Pacemakers – regulate heart rate and rhythm with a device implanted in the chest
- Radiofrequency ablation or cryoablation – uses radio waves or extreme cold to impact the area of the heart causing abnormal signals
In much the same way that we can use cardiac catheterization to diagnose heart problems, we can use it to treat certain conditions. Diagnostic cardiac catheterization procedures we offer include:
- Atrial septal defect closure
- Catheter ablation
- Coil embolization of vessels
- Mitral valvuloplasty
- Patent foramen ovale closure
- PDA closure
- Stenting of coarctation of the aorta/vessels
We offer several types of pediatric heart surgery to treat heart defects children may have.