C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry Heart Center
Wolfson Children’s Hospital provides pediatric cardiology in partnership with University of Florida College of Medicine, Jacksonville. Learn more
Adult Congenital Heart Defect Program
With continued advances in medical and surgical care, more and more children with congenital heart defects are surviving into adulthood — and thriving. The highly-trained experts in our Adult Congenital Heart Program at Wolfson Children’s Hospital are here to offer you the latest in advanced treatments that allow you to live life to the fullest.
Diagnosis and Treatment for Adults
Outpatient care for adults with congenital heart disease "(CHD)" includes a range of non-invasive and interventional diagnostic and treatment options. Outpatient care is provided at the UF Health Pediatric Cardiovascular Center and Wolfson Children’s Hospital’s Terry Heart Center in Jacksonville, Florida, but also at other locations throughout North Florida and South Georgia.
To ensure proper diagnosis and management of an individual’s congenital heart disease, diagnostic tests may include a chest X-ray, EKG, echocardiogram or other diagnostic procedures. Additional non-invasive testing may include stress tests, metabolic stress tests, cardiac MRI and CT angiography.
Our Echocardiography Laboratories are fully accredited in transthoracic, transesophageal and intracardiac echocardiography.
Our Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory features advanced digital technology used to identify congenital heart disease and repair certain types of heart defects without the need for more invasive heart surgery. New and advanced interventional catheterization techniques also are used to implant pulmonary valves and to completely close a patent foramen ovale or patent ductus arteriosus.
Adults with congenital heart disease have a significant risk to develop heart rhythm abnormalities. The most advanced 3-D mapping technology is available for our congenital electrophysiologists to locate and eliminate arrhythmias "(heart rhythm irregularities)" related to scars from previous heart surgery. In addition, the most advanced implantable devices are available to restore normal heart rhythm with a pacemaker or automatic internal cardiac defibrillator.
Our congenital cardiothoracic surgeons specialize in treating people with CHD who need surgical repair, either for the first time in adulthood or to revise previous surgeries for heart defects that may have been performed in childhood. Our Cardiovascular Surgery Program meets or exceeds national standards for patient outcomes. Our team performs surgeries to address a variety of heart defects, including:
- Atrial septal defects
- Ventricular septal defects
- Transposition of the great arteries
- Aortic and mitral valve disease
- Total anomalous pulmonary venous connections
- Tetralogy of Fallot
- Atrioventricular canal defects
- Double-outlet right ventricle
- Coarctation of the aorta
- Truncus arteriosus
- Single ventricle palliation
- Ebstein’s anomaly
- Vascular rings
Anesthesia plays a critical role in the interventional catheterization or surgical treatment of patients with congenital heart disease. All anesthesia services are provided by subspecialty-trained, board-certified anesthesiologists. Our cardiac anesthesiologists specialize in the care of adults with congenital heart disease and cardiovascular disorders.
In our hybrid vascular operating room (OR), technologies and capabilities combine to create part imaging suite, part catheterization lab and part operating room. We no longer need to transfer the patient to different parts of the hospital for different procedures, resulting in enhanced patient safety and outcomes.
The imaging quality in the hybrid OR is far superior, too. Better imaging translates into better results for the patient because the physician can more clearly assess progress during procedures. The real-time confirmation that repairs are working during the surgery also reduces the time a patient spends in the OR.
Cardiovascular Intensive Care
Our Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) at Wolfson Children’s Hospital is a resource for adults with CHD who do not have lifestyle-related heart disease. The unit is available for patients who may have just had a catheterization procedure or surgical repair and require intensive care. The CVICU features advanced monitoring and treatment technologies, and is staffed by congenital cardiologists, cardiovascular surgeons, critical care physicians, hospitalists, and critical care nurses, as well as other team members specially trained in caring for individuals with CHD.
As an additional resource for those with acquired heart disease in addition to CHD, our Coronary Intensive Care Unit at Baptist Heart Hospital is available. This unit is staffed by cardiac professionals with expertise in caring for coronary artery disease. Baptist Heart Hospital is available for patients to receive care of adult medical conditions, yet maintain access to our congenital heart specialists.
Pre-Pregnancy Genetic Counseling
If you are a woman considering pregnancy and you've had any heart conditions or heart surgery when younger, our genetic counselors can help determine the likelihood of passing on a congenital heart condition to a child. We can also can help women determine potential risks so they can make an informed decision before attempting pregnancy.
Care for Expectant Mothers with CHD
For women with CHD who are already pregnant, our congenital heart specialists and cardiac imaging experts work with obstetricians or perinatologists (high-risk obstetricians) to co-manage the expectant mother’s care for the best possible outcome – for the mom and her unborn child. Learn more about our High-Risk Obstetrics services.
Our Adult Congenital Heart Program’s multidisciplinary team works with adults living with congenital heart disease to create a personalized treatment plan. The team collaborates with the patient’s primary care physician and cardiologist to manage overall health and well-being.
Read how Rebecca Zwass-Brown overcame multiple defects, surgeries and a groundbreaking procedure to fulfill her dream of motherhood.
Advancements in treatment and care are helping Jennifer Killingsworth thrive in adulthood with condition diagnosed back in 1969.