About the Fetal Heart Center
The Fetal Heart Center at University Children’s Health, in partnership with UT Health San Antonio, has a caring team of experts ready to help you and your baby.
Our congenital heart team includes highly trained and caring staff to provide coordinated care of mothers and babies with congenital heart disease. This includes:
- Pediatric board-certified cardiologists
- Congenital heart surgeons
- Neonatal intensive care physicians
- Maternal fetal medicine physicians
- Neonatal pediatric transport team
- Pediatric cardiovascular anesthesiology
- Dedicated pediatric cardiac critical care unit (PCCU)
- Nurse educators
- Fetal echocardiography sonographers
- Genetic counselors
Why Choose Us
- Fetal cardiologists highly trained to detect heart disease in unborn babies
- Access to the entire Congenital Heart Center team
- Dedicated sonographers specializing in performing fetal heart ultrasounds
- High-risk pregnancy management from our Fetal Heart Center
- Ongoing patient education and coordination from our dedicated Fetal Heart Center nurse coordinator
Our Mission & Goals
Our unique program strives to provide care that results in the best surgical and neurodevelopmental outcomes for our patients. As part of our commitment to the community, we are the only program in San Antonio that publicly shares our surgical outcomes.
It is our top priority to increase prenatal detection of congenital heart disease in Texas. Our program has led to improved prenatal diagnosis of heart defects in Bexar County and in Texas.
We have been awarded a government grant (Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies) as we strive to help communities and improve health care access disparities throughout South Texas.
What to Expect
Heart defects are the most common birth defect worldwide. Nearly 1 in 110 babies are born with a heart condition.
A fetal echocardiogram is a detailed, noninvasive ultrasound performed on the baby’s heart before birth to detect heart abnormalities. This is typically performed between 19-24 weeks' gestation.
If your doctor recommends a fetal echocardiogram, our fetal coordinator will help schedule a visit for you to see our team. A highly trained sonographer will take pictures of your baby’s heart.
At the time of the fetal echocardiogram, the fetal cardiologist will evaluate the pictures and discuss the results with you.
Our fetal cardiologist will discuss the imaging findings, offer treatment options if needed and answer questions you may have.
If heart disease is present, they will discuss the diagnosis with you, go over potential interventions or treatments that may be needed pre- or postnatally, and work with the maternal-fetal medicine specialist and/or your obstetrician to facilitate the best delivery plan for your baby.
Planning Care for Your Pregnancy, Delivery and Beyond
Our fetal coordinator will answer any additional questions and plan for the next steps to care for you and your baby. Our coordinator will be a resource to you and your family throughout your pregnancy.
Our staff takes pride in working with you to prepare you for your scheduled appointments, giving you a detailed map, descriptions of parking at our facility and all of the support you need. We offer compassionate care and help you feel at ease knowing you are getting the best treatment options for you and your baby.