Pediatric heart care in North Texas

When your child needs heart care, it can be scary. At Medical City Children's Hospital, we offer a core team of teams of world-renowned cardiovascular specialists who treat congenital (present at birth) heart abnormalities and acquired heart disease in patients of all ages–from before birth through adulthood.

Our facility is home to both Medical City Children's Hospital and Medical City Dallas, so we are uniquely qualified to treat hearts of all sizes and offer continuous care throughout your child's life. From the latest in maternal-fetal care at our Maternal Fetal Institute to advanced neonatal care and beyond at Medical City Children’s Heart Center, our experts provide comprehensive, compassionate care.

For more information about our pediatric cardiology programs, please call (972) 566-2244.

Our specialized physicians and services

The multidisciplinary pediatric heart team at Medical City Children's consists of a wide range of specialists to ensure your little one receives the most advanced, comprehensive care possible. Just a few of the specialists who may be part of your child’s care team include:

Should your newborn need it, our Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) provides the highest level of NICU care in Dallas, and our dedicated children’s emergency room (ER) has private rooms with space for you to stay with your child.

We also offer a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Medical City Children's if your child has a life-threatening illness.

Heart conditions we treat

Our cardiac specialists provide treatment for a variety of congenital and acquired conditions in patients of all ages, including:

Congenital heart disease

  • Aortic valve stenosis (AVS)
  • Atrial septal defect (ASD)
  • Coarctation of the aorta (CoA)
  • Complete atrioventricular canal defect (CAVC)
  • D-Transposition of the great arteries (dextro-transposition of the great arteries, d-TGA)
  • Ebstein’s anomaly
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS)
  • L-Transposition of the great arteries (levo-transposition of the great arteries, L-TGA)
  • Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)
  • Pulmonary atresia
  • Pulmonary valve stenosis
  • Single ventricle defects
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Total anomalous pulmonary venous connection (TAPVC)
  • Tricuspid atresia
  • Truncus arteriosus
  • Ventricular septal defect (VSD)

Acquired heart disease

  • Aortic aneurysm
  • Arrhythmias
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Heart failure
  • Heart murmurs
  • Heart valve problems and disease
  • Kawasaki disease
  • Pericarditis
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
  • Venous thromboembolism

Heart diagnostics

Early detection of congenital heart abnormalities allows more careful planning of future care. With a fetal echocardiogram, we can identify certain heart problems as early as 12 weeks into a pregnancy.

Using fetal detection to find potential problems (in utero) gives us the ability to provide treatment best suited for your child's needs. As soon as an abnormality is discovered, our congenital heart doctor or surgeon meets with you and your partner to answer questions and review treatment options.

Cardiac catheterization

Medical City Children’s Hospital provides the latest in cardiac catheterization (cath) technology to perform minimally invasive, routine tests and noninvasive surgical procedures for congenital heart conditions. A cardiac cath is performed by an experienced, highly skilled team lead by a pediatric cardiologist to identify heart and blood vessel problems and to perform any interventions to eliminate the problem.

Many children with congenital heart problems will have a heart cath at some point in their treatment, and some children may need to have the test multiple times. Children are under anesthesia throughout the entire procedure, which usually lasts two to three hours.

Catheterization involves the insertion of catheters—long, thin tubes that resemble straws—into the heart using the large arteries and veins as pathways. Diagnostic catheterization can provide your child’s physician with valuable information, including:

  • The presence of congenital heart defects
  • The location of blocked or narrowed blood vessels
  • Pressure and oxygen level measurements
  • How well the heart is pumping
  • Problems with the heart valves
  • Tissue samples (biopsy)

Cardiac catheterization procedures may be part of your child’s treatment plan and may be used for:

  • Ablation for treating heart arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms)
  • Angioplasty for widening a narrowed artery, with or without placing a stent
  • Fixing congenital heart defects, such as closing holes
  • Replacing or repairing heart valves, such as opening narrow heart valves (balloon valvuloplasty)
  • Preventing blood clots by closing off part of the heart

Electrophysiology

Pediatric electrophysiologists diagnose and treat heart arrhythmias (abnormal and dangerous heart rhythms) in children. Arrhythmias can often go undetected, especially since they may not cause symptoms all of the time.

Signs that your child may have an irregular heart rhythm can include:

  • Heart palpitations (fluttering or skipping beats)
  • Unexplained dizziness or fainting
  • Family history of sudden cardiac death

If you child has a suspected arrhythmia, our specialists may conduct an electrophysiology study to identify problems with the heart’s electrical system. The electrophysiology study is performed using cardiac catheterization.

Available electrophysical (EP) treatments include:

  • EP Studies
  • Ablations
  • Implantable defibrillator or pacemaker for managing abnormal heart rhythms
  • Implantable loop recorders for monitoring heart rhythms

Accredited echocardiology lab

Our specialists use a full array of innovative diagnostic techniques for identifying congenital heart abnormalities, including fetal echocardiography, cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and 3D computerized tomography (CT) scanning.

Our pediatric echocardiology lab is fully accredited by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission and uses ultrasound equipment to visualize the beating heart in real time. We also use advanced technologies to help evaluate children with complex congenital heart disease.

Amazing Little Hearts support group

Families who have a child diagnosed with a congenital heart abnormality can benefit from connecting with people who have had or are having similar experiences. That's why parents of former Medical City Children's Hospital patients lead a congenital heart support group called Amazing Little Hearts.

The mission of Amazing Little Hearts is to provide families affected by congenital heart disease with compassionate care and support. Families meet monthly to share experiences, encouragement and advice.

Visit Amazing Little Hearts to learn more.

camp brave heart

Camp Brave Heart

Camp Brave Heart is a weekend pediatric cardiac camp that provides a medically safe and fun summer camp experience to children ages 7 to 16 who have congenital heart defects or heart disease and have been or are being treated at Medical City Children's Hospital. The camp is free for current and former pediatric heart patients.

Visit the Camp Brave Heart Facebook page for updates and details.

Pediatric cardiology at Medical City Healthcare

Pediatric cardiology is a branch of medicine that specializes in diagnosing and treating heart conditions in children. Pediatric cardiologists provide care for patients with heart conditions before birth and into adulthood.

Learn about Pediatric cardiology