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The Pediatric Heart Center

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John H. Gutfreund Fetal Heart Program

The John H. Gutfreund Fetal Heart Program at Children’s Hospital at Montefiore consists of nationally and internationally renowned cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, obstetricians and neonatologists. Our experienced cardiologists are able to image the smallest of fetal heart structures using the latest in ultrasound technology to provide state-of-the-art diagnosis. This gives us the clearest picture possible in order to plan the optimal care for the fetus and baby.

With special gratitude to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) for their inaugural support of the Fetal Heart Program, gifted in memory of John H. Gutfreund.

We offer:

  • Expert diagnosis
  • Interventional cardiology
  • Neonatal cardiac surgery

We are experts in all fetal cardiac conditions, including:

  • Single ventricle
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Tranposition of the great arteries
  • Double-outlet right ventricle
  • Atrioventricular canal defect
  • Fetal arrhythmia

We work as a team to coordinate care for mothers and their babies through pregnancy and delivery. We see patients at sites throughout Westchester County and the Bronx.

Collaboration with referring physicians

Our team sees more than 900 patients every year from across the New York tristate region. Many of these are same-day referrals for mothers who have a possible fetal heart problem seen on an ultrasound, or have an abnormal fetal heartbeat heard on examination. We partner closely with general obstetricians and maternal-fetal medicine specialists from Westchester County, and throughout New York City and the surrounding region. We work closely with our fetal medicine service to ensure that all fetuses with potential heart defects are thoroughly evaluated for any other problems.

Compassionate, coordinated care

When a fetus is diagnosed with a heart condition, our fetal and interventional cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, maternal-fetal medicine specialists and neonatologists meet with the mother and family to discuss the diagnosis and develop a plan. Together with the expertise of our colleagues in the Pediatric Heart Center, including cardiac anesthesiologists, cardiac intensivists and a dedicated team of cardiac nurses, social workers and child life specialists, we work to provide the very best in care for the baby and mother.

About the fetal echocardiogram – what to expect

A fetal echocardiogram uses sound waves to look at the structure and function of your baby’s heart. Screening examinations are typically performed between 18 and 22 weeks' gestation, though with high-risk pregnancies or suspected heart disease, imaging earlier in pregnancy is possible. It is noninvasive, safe and painless. It takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes to complete.

After evaluating the images, one of our fetal cardiologists will thoroughly explain the results to you and any family member who is accompanying you. Some cardiac conditions, such as fetal arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeats), may be treated before your baby is born, while others may require treatment immediately after the baby is born. The advanced awareness of any heart condition is highly beneficial to mothers and family members, who have time to understand the diagnosis and plan ahead for their baby’s treatment. Obstetricians, pediatricians and other caregivers also benefit from the information gained on the fetal echocardiogram by being able to anticipate the baby’s needs after birth.

On the day of your visit, please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time. If possible, try to avoid consuming a large amount of caffeine prior to your visit, as this can lead to increased movement of the baby and make imaging more difficult. There are no special preparations that are needed otherwise, and your bladder may be full or empty (though you may prefer it empty!). Please budget at least 1 ½ hours for the entire appointment and counseling.

Advanced fetal echocardiography technology

The CHAM fetal cardiologists use advanced technology, such as 2D and 3D imaging, Doppler imaging, speckle tracking echocardiography and fetal biometry (tracking fetal growth) to gather critical information. These detailed noninvasive imaging methods provide enhanced imaging quality and a vast amount of quantitative data. We can then track the growth of the heart structure over the course of your pregnancy, allowing for better predictions of your baby’s need for treatment after birth.

Resources for families of children with congenital heart disease

American Heart Association
1-800-AHA-USA-1
1-800-242-8721
1-888-474-VIVE (Spanish)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Little Hearts
1-866-435-HOPE

Little Hearts, Inc., is a national organization providing support, education, resources, networking, and hope to families affected by congenital heart defects. Membership consists of families nationwide who have or are expecting a child with a congenital heart defect.

Mended Little Hearts

Mended Little Hearts is a nonprofit, volunteer-led program providing hope and support to children, patients and families affected by congenital heart disease, whose mission is to empower families affected by congenital heart disease (CHD) through peer-to-peer support services, education, connecting families with resources, creating awareness and advocacy.

Call us for a consultation

Urgent Consultations Accommodated Within 24-48 Hours 

John H. Gutfreund Fetal Heart Program: 718-741-2178
Spanish spoken

Visit us

Montefiore Hutchinson Campus   
1250 Waters Place, Tower 2  
11th Floor  
Bronx, New York 10461 

Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM) Pediatric Heart Center 
3415 Bainbridge Avenue
5th Floor
Bronx, New York 10467

Hartsdale Fetal Medicine 
141 South Central Avenue, Suite 203
Hartsdale, New York 10530

WESTMED Medical Group 
Ridge Hill
73 Market Street
Yonkers, NY 10710