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The Pediatric and Congenital Cardiology Program provides comprehensive, state-of-the-art diagnosis, treatment and long-term follow-up care for infants, children and adolescents with all types of acquired and congenital cardiac conditions.
Our team has particular expertise in several areas, including percutaneous transcatheter (minimally invasive) procedures, pediatric heart surgery, echocardiography, fetal echocardiography, lipid disorders, and preventative cardiology.
The Pediatric and Congenital Cardiology program includes:
The Fetal Cardiology program provides advanced fetal heart care to expectant mothers who have a concern for congenital heart disease affecting their pregnancy.
Expectant mothers are referred to our providers for reasons including: pregnancies with suspected chromosome abnormalities, exposure to agents/medications associated with birth defects, family history of congenital heart defects or presence of birth defects seen on an obstetrical ultrasound.
Our Fetal Cardiology program works closely with expectant families and their midwives, obstetricians, maternal-fetal medicine specialists, neonatologists, pediatricians and neonatal intensive care units and nurseries throughout Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire. Our fetal cardiology clinics are available to expectant families in five locations including Boston and community locations in Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire. Our program also offers video virtual visits as your delivery date approaches.
The Pediatric Cardiac Catheterization program provides interventional cardiac catheterization solutions to evaluate and treat congenital heart disease. This is done using minimally invasive techniques such as catheter-based device closure of certain defects such as holes in the heart or treatment of narrowed blood vessels by the use of balloon dilation and/or stenting. Our cardiac catheterization families are cared for by pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists and pediatric cardiac intensive care unit physicians with a dedicated group of pediatric cardiac nurses and child life specialists.
Our Pediatric Cardiac Surgical program is led by high-volume pediatric heart surgeons who have decades of experience performing open heart cardiac procedures and minimally invasive pediatric heart procedures in infants and at all stages of childhood and young adulthood. Throughout these hospitalizations we support children and families via direct, frequent and friendly communication. Parents are invited to stay with their child during their hospitalization and participate in rounds with the teams caring for their child. Our pediatric heart surgery patients are cared for by pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists and pediatric cardiac intensive care physicians with a dedicated group of pediatric cardiac nurses and child life specialists. Being part of a full-service pediatric hospital with dozens of pediatric subspecialties allows us to appropriately care for other medical problems that a child may have.
Our Raising Healthy Hearts program is a dynamic multidisciplinary preventative cardiology program that cares for children with hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and obesity. This team is comprised of pediatric cardiologists and nurse practitioners, pediatric obesity experts, a pediatric gastroenterologist, a pediatric behavioral health specialist, a registered dietician, and a pediatric health coach. During these visits our patients have access to all team members who coordinate their evaluation and develop a care strategy that is tailored to the specific needs of each patient and family. Our team also seeks opportunities for health improvement that exist and are readily accessible to a family within their own community. We also use electronic media such as virtual visits and text messaging to check in and follow progress with our families.
The Advanced Pediatric/Congenital Cardiac Imaging program offers advanced non-invasive heart imaging for our patients with or suspected of having congenital heart disease. This includes transthoracic, transesophageal, and three-dimensional echocardiography. We also offer cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and low radiation dose Computer Tomography (“CAT”) scans for our patients. These advanced imaging techniques allow us to follow our patients without the need for invasive testing and to identify potential problems early on. All members of this team have advanced pediatric congenital cardiac imaging training and expertise.
Our Cardiogenetics Aortopathy program takes advantage of the cardiogenetics expertise within our division and our collaboration with the Genetics program at MassGeneral Hospital for Children. Our service evaluates patients with or suspected of having a genetic syndrome (e.g. Marfan syndrome and Noonan syndrome) that is associated with existing heart disease or conditions that put them at risk for developing heart conditions. The program provides genetic counseling and evaluation of patients and their families and can diagnose heart disease and place it in the context of genetic problems. Because our pediatric program has close links with the Genetics program, we are able to offer complete solutions to families of children affected by genetic syndromes who may also be in need of evaluation.
The Pediatric Cardiac Telehealth/Virtual Visit program offers video-based virtual visits over the internet for certain conditions. This program allows our patients to have easy access to their providers within our program to discuss signs or symptoms, current and future treatment plans, and test results. Virtual visits occur over a secure internet connection to a patient's desktop computer, laptop or tablet (such as an iPad®). The service allows our patients to meet with their physicians in the comfort of their own home or setting that is most appropriate for them.
As a separate but fully integrated part of Massachusetts General Hospital—a pioneer and leader in the treatment and research of cardiac disease—Pediatric Cardiology at MassGeneral Hospital for Children offers patients and their families the best of both worlds, including:
The cornerstone of Pediatric Cardiology is our close-knit multidisciplinary team of doctors and other pediatric care providers, who work collaboratively to provide personalized care for each patient.
Our team includes not only highly experienced board-certified pediatric cardiologists, all of whom are on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, but also cardiac anesthesiologists, nurses, intensivists, social workers, child life specialists, medical interpreters, chaplains, dietitians and others. All of these dedicated professionals specialize in the care of pediatric patients.
A physician member of this team communicates regularly and works collaboratively with the referring physician and patient’s family to ensure that each child’s care is well coordinated, whether the patient is an inpatient, outpatient or back at home. We understand the important role of referring physicians in the patient’s and family’s life, and we return patients to their care as quickly as possible.
While every member of the patient’s care team is vitally important, we are especially proud of our pediatric nurses, whose dedication and expertise helped make Mass General a Magnet Hospital—the state’s first—which is the highest honor for nursing excellence.
The General Pediatric Cardiology program offers outpatient pediatric cardiology services for children with or suspected of having congenital heart disease, as well as other cardiac problems. We frequently see patients for conditions such as congenital heart disease, arrhythmias, murmurs, suspected Kawasaki Disease, fainting, breathing difficulty, chest discomfort symptoms, exercise-related complaints, abnormal tests suggesting heart disease, a family history concerning for heart disease, and more. Outpatient services are provided in the family friendly Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care and many other convenient locations in Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire.
The Inpatient Pediatric Cardiology service provides care to children in the pediatric emergency department, pediatric wards, pediatric intensive care unit, well baby nursery, and neonatal intensive care unit. We care for infant and pediatric patients with congenital heart disease, cardiac arrhythmias, heart failure, myocarditis, Kawasaki's disease, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy as well as other conditions. This service provides advanced inpatient services including advanced cardiac imaging, pediatric cardiac critical care including cardiac management of infants and pediatric patients on extra corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). The service is staffed by cardiologists who are board certified in pediatrics, pediatric cardiology, and pediatric critical care and includes a pediatric cardiac nurse practitioner. We work closely with families and other pediatric specialists to ensure all of our patients receive the highest level care. Inpatient care is provided in spacious, up-to-date units that were specifically designed to meet the unique needs of pediatric patients and their families.
Our 14-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) provides monitoring and life-sustaining treatment for critically ill infants, children, and adolescents. Our PICU offers advanced cardiovascular, neurological and respiratory support, including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), which was pioneered at Mass General. All PICU attendings are trained in pediatric critical care medicine, and cardiac patients are followed by a dedicated cardiac intensivist as well as by their pediatric cardiologist. Our pediatric intensive care team is an important aspect in the care of our pediatric cardiac catheterization and heart surgery patients and families.
Our 14-bed (with four intermediate care beds) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) provides critical care to premature and critically ill newborns. This level III unit provides the most advanced technological resources for cardiac patients, including ECMO and inhaled nitric oxide, and the specialized expertise of a multidisciplinary neonatology team that includes a cardiac intensivist, as well as the pediatric cardiologist involved in the infant’s care. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit cares for recently born infants with congenital heart defects in conjunction with the pediatric cardiology service to offer families support and complete solutions for any medical issue.
In both the PICU and NICU (as well as in general inpatient pediatric units), parents or guardians are welcome at any time, and may stay overnight at their child’s bedside in sleep chairs or day beds. Parents and family members have access to free wireless Internet service, and there is a children’s play area to help keep siblings occupied.
The philosophy of the Pediatric Cardiology program fosters a sense of intimacy that is very reassuring to both parents and children, and encourages close communication among the multidisciplinary specialists involved in each child’s care, including referring physicians.
Our commitment to clinical excellence, combined with our focus on understanding and addressing the unique needs of each patient and family, is one of the reasons parents are highly satisfied with the care their child has received.
MassGeneral Hospital for Children offers a wide range of services and programs designed to help patients of all ages and their family members understand and cope with the diagnosis and treatment of a cardiac condition.
To help normalize the hospital setting, our certified child life specialists offer patients and their siblings numerous age-appropriate opportunities for play and socialization with their peers. Learn more.
A Family Support Group gives parents, including those with a prenatal diagnosis of congenital heart disease, an opportunity to share experiences and advice, and provide each other with emotional support.
Our other services include pre-admission tours for children and families, one-on-one and group educational programs and a School Re-Entry Program.
Additional services available to MGHfC patients and families include:
Accepting New Patients
Kateri McGuinness, NP
At 16, Anna Young was diagnosed with Myhre Syndrome, a very rare genetic condition. Since coming to the Myhre Syndrome Clinic at MGHfC, she has found her place in the world and learned the skills to thrive as a young adult.
April Lanord's son, Alec Bruneau, was considered a medical mystery until he received a diagnosis of Myhre Syndrome, a very rare genetic condition, during childhood. Since coming to the Myhre Syndrome Clinic, Alec has found a new sense of confidence and comfort in who he is. April was also inspired to become an ambassador for the clinic, helping other families get oriented to Boston and MGHfC.
At just seven weeks old, Lucas Calderon was rushed to the Emergency Department at MGHfC. His tiny body had gone into cardiogenic shock, caused by SVT, a condition that causes a fast heart rate because of extra electrical conduction tissue in the heart. Now at age 1, Lucas is the happiest of miracle babies.
Brittany Maag was born with congenital heart disease, but it doesn't stop her from living life to the fullest. The support she receives from the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program has helped her transition from pediatric to adult cardiology, but to also define success her own way.
A cow says moo. A sheep says baa. Three singing pigs say... If you just finished that sentence with La, La, La, then you and Dr. Ami Bhatt have a shared existence as parents.
Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care
MassGeneral Hospital for Children Access Center (open during business hours)
If your child has never been seen at Massachusetts General Hospital and does not have an Mass General medical record number, please call 866-211-6588 to obtain one before calling the Access Center to schedule an appointment.
Boston*MassGeneral Hospital for ChildrenYawkey Center for Outpatient Care, Suite 6C55 Fruit StreetBoston, MA 02114T: 617-726-3826
BraintreeMassGeneral for Children South Shore340 Wood Road, Suite 204Braintree, MA 02184T: 781-884-6900
ConcordMassGeneral for Children at Emerson Hospital's Center for Specialty Care54 Baker Ave. Ext.Suite 302Concord, MAT: 978-287-8503.
DanversMass General / North Shore Center for Outpatient Care102-104 Endicott StreetDanvers, MA 01923T: 978-882-6999
LawrenceMassGeneral for Children at Lawrence General Hospital1 General StreetLawrence, MA 01842T: 617-726-3826
Newton*MassGeneral for Children at Newton-Wellesley Hospital2014 Washington Street, 6th SouthNewton, MA 02462T: 617-243-6585
Salem*MassGeneral for Children at North Shore Children's HospitalGloria Walls Building57 Highland AvenueSalem, MA 01960T: 978-354-2760
Nashua, NH*MassGeneral for Children at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center 8 Prospect StNashua, NH 03060T: 603-577-5360
*Fetal ultrasound is available at these locations.
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