Congenital and Pediatric Heart Care

Our pediatric cardiologists treat heart problems that children were born with (congenital) or develop after birth (acquired). These include conditions such as aortic stenosis and Kawasaki disease.

Because congenital problems often require lifelong follow-up care, our team also includes adult congenital heart disease specialists. This means we help adults who were born with a heart abnormality prevent complications that can develop later in life.

Doctor using a stethoscope to listen to a patients heart

Expertise in All Types of Congenital and Pediatric Heart Problems

Modern advances in heart care mean most congenital and acquired conditions can be diagnosed early — and treated effectively.

Congenital Heart Disease Care

For many of our congenital heart disease patients, care begins in the womb and continues through adulthood. Whether you need follow-up care for yourself or your child, you’ll find expert guidance and support right here in Central Virginia. We diagnose and manage all types of congenital heart problems, including:

  • Aortic stenosis
  • Atrial septal defect (ASD)
  • Coarctation of the aorta
  • Ebstein’s anomaly
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
  • Marfan syndrome
  • Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)
  • Patent foramen ovale (PFO)
  • Pulmonary atresia
  • Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF)
  • Transposition of the great arteries
  • Truncus arteriosus
  • Ventricular septal defect (VSD)

Advanced Pediatric Care for Acquired Heart Conditions

Our pediatric cardiologists help children with heart problems thrive. We treat a wide range of acquired cardiovascular conditions, including:

  • Arrhythmias
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Kawasaki disease
  • Myocarditis

Our Approach to Congenital and Pediatric Heart Care

Our team provides prenatal, pediatric and specialized adult care through three integrated clinics.

Fetal Cardiology Clinic

Thanks to advanced imaging technology, many babies are diagnosed with congenital heart disease before birth. This gives parents and doctors time to prepare — and ensures a treatment plan is already in place at the time of delivery. Our prenatal support includes:

  • Fetal echocardiograms to evaluate a baby’s heart in detail, in utero
  • Genetic testing and counseling
  • Care coordination with the mother’s obstetrician, high-risk pregnancy specialist and delivery hospital

Pediatric Cardiology Clinic

Our pediatric cardiologists diagnose and treat heart problems in infants, children and teens. We help make sure children receive the right treatment at the right time and reach their developmental milestones. Our services include:

  • Cardiac imaging tests, including pediatric echocardiograms, cardiac CT and cardiac MRI
  • Extended rhythm monitoring and stress testing
  • Referrals for surgery or inpatient care in partnership with children’s hospitals throughout the region
  • Medical treatments for childhood obesity, high blood pressure or high cholesterol
  • Education of patients and parents about safe participation in sports and other activities
  • Preparing teens who were born with a heart problem for their eventual transition to an adult congenital heart disease specialist

Adult Congenital Cardiology Clinic

Many adults who had heart surgery as a child think they are cured. But people born with congenital heart disease have a higher risk of certain cardiovascular problems later in life, even if they were treated during childhood.

Our board-certified adult congenital heart disease specialists are here to monitor — and help you maintain — lifelong heart health. We offer:

  • Cardiac imaging tests including echocardiograms, stress tests and lung perfusion studies
  • Heart rhythm monitoring using Holter monitors or cardiac event recorders
  • Medical management of cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Referrals for preconception counseling, genetic testing or high-risk pregnancy care if you have congenital heart disease and want to get pregnant

Complete Care for Cardiovascular Disease

People who were born with heart problems — or developed them during childhood — are living longer than ever. However, they are still at risk of developing complications later on. These include:

  • Arrhythmias
  • Heart failure
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Stroke

Should problems arise during adulthood, our goal is to catch them as early as possible, when they’re often easier to treat. No matter what type of treatment you need, you’ll find it at Centra. Our team includes doctors who specialize in:

Why Choose Centra for Congenital and Pediatric Heart Disease Care?

You don’t have to travel far from home to receive expert care for a congenital or acquired heart condition. Learn what sets us apart from health systems that don’t offer these specialty services:

  • Our safety is second to none. Babies born with critical congenital heart disease (meaning they’ll need lifesaving treatment in the first year of life), are in capable hands at Centra. Immediately after birth we manage these patients in the Intensive Care Nursery and, when appropriate, safely transfer them to specialty children’s hospitals for treatment. Our rates of mortality and major morbidity among infants with CHD have been less than 0.1% since 2013.
  • We collaborate to improve your care. We’re one of approximately 50 centers participating in the National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative (NPC-QIC). This network of healthcare organizations aims to improve outcomes for children with complex or single-ventricle congenital heart disease. Each organization shares data from enrolled (and willing) patients, including how many procedures they had, whether there were complications and how their heart health has improved. We track this data over time and learn how to improve care from infancy through adulthood.
  • We empower teens born with heart problems to take charge of their heart health. Our formal transition program helps ensure a seamless hand-off between pediatric and adult congenital cardiologists when a child becomes an adult. We make sure teens thoroughly understand their diagnoses. We also ensure they know what treatments they’ve had since birth, what medications they take, and what to do if they develop new or troubling symptoms.
Photo of Jacob Barret and physician smiling

After relocating, we had to find the right doctor to care for our son. He was born with multiple defects and has had 19 surgeries. We are pleased to have our medical needs met in Lynchburg. Dr. Carothers and his team are second to none.

Heath Barret , Father of Congenital Cardiology Patient

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