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UK congenital heart team treats patients across the lifespan

February 7, 2019 / in Children, Heart health / by UK HealthCare

The UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute and Kentucky Children’s Hospital work together to provide advanced congenital heart care close to home for patients in Kentucky and across the region.

This collaboration combines the strength of UK HealthCare’s advanced pediatric and adult congenital heart care to treat newborns to adolescents and adults with congenital heart disease.

Who we are

People with congenital heart defects face unique challenges. Their heart problems can be very different from cardiac conditions that begin during adulthood, and they deserve care from a medical team specially trained to provide personalized, disease-specific care and treatment for patients with congenital heart defects.

At UK HealthCare, our congenital heart team is made up of cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, anesthesiologists, imagers, echocardiographers and electrophysiologists all trained to treat patients with congenital heart disease. Our program is an integrated collaboration at every level, from case conferencing and surgical planning, to clinical care and research. By maintaining a singular focus on caring for congenital heart patients, our patients are assured a level of specialty care unequaled in the state and region.

Why we're here

Many congenital patients have heart conditions that are typically diagnosed in older patients. However, unlike their older counterparts, these patients are often candidates for new procedures and devices that can provide them a quality of life far beyond their expectations. Our board-certified, fellowship-trained congenital heart specialists are uniquely qualified to discuss the range of treatment options available for these patients.

What we treat

Our congenital specialists are experienced in treating a variety of congenital heart defects including the following:

  • Aortic, mitral, pulmonary or tricuspid valve stenosis or regurgitation.
  • Atrial septal defect (ASD), patent foramen ovale (PFO), ventricular septal defect (VSD) or PDA.
  • Bicuspid aortic valve.
  • Coarctation of the aorta.
  • Transposition of the great arteries (Mustard/Senning or arterial switch operations).
  • Congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries (ccTGA or L-TGA).
  • Ebstein anomaly.
  • Fontan (“single ventricle”) patients.
  • Subaortic stenosis.
  • Tetralogy of Fallot.
  • Truncus arteriosus.

We also treat any adult who had cardiac surgery as a child.

Small incisions lead to big differences

Treatments that once called for open-heart surgery with large incisions and long recovery times can now be done with catheters through small incisions during an outpatient or short-term hospital visit. This means patients tend to have less pain and recover much more quickly. At UK, we offer the following catheter-based procedures:

  • Diagnostic/interventional catheterization for complex congenital heart disease.
  • PFO, ASD, VSD and PDA closures.
  • Stenting of coarctation of the aorta.
  • Balloon dilation of cardiac valves.
  • Transcatheter replacement of the pulmonary valve (and other cardiac valves).
  • Percutaneous management of vascular malformations.

Remote services

Additionally, we partner with more than 35 facilities across Kentucky and beyond to provide onsite clinics, tele-echo and tele-ECG services, which give patients access to expert care in their local communities.


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