Due to advances in medical and surgical care of congenital heart disease, over 85% of children born today with congenital heart disease can expect to reach adult age. As adults, ongoing problems require care from providers with special expertise in congenital heart disease. Making the transition from adolescence to adulthood is often difficult for any person with a life long illness, especially congenital heart disease. For most, there has been no organized approach to assure ongoing expert care for congenital heart patients as they reach adulthood. Formed in 1995, the Vanderbilt Heart Adult Congenital program is a collaborative effort between the Vanderbilt Pediatric Heart Institute and Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute to provide the expert care necesssary for these adults to have the highest quality of life.
The program is composed of experts in pediatric and adult congenital heart disease. Adult congenital heart services include diagnostic tests and recommendations regarding medical treatment and interventions (both catheter-based and surgical), non-cardiac surgery, pre-conception counseling, pregnancy, and exercise. In collaboration with a primary care physician and/or local cardiologist, adults in this program have access to experienced congenital cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, therapeutic interventional cardiac catheterization, electrophysiology procedures, non-invasive diagnostic imaging, rehabilitation services, and genetic counseling.
There are opportunities for clinical research within the Vanderbilt Adult Congenital Heart Program.
Vanderbilt Heart and the Pediatric Heart Institute are centers of excellence for treating all forms of heart disease. Our expertise in childhood and adult cardiology makes for a comprehensive adult congenital heart program that leads the field in care, research and education. We are staffed by a highly specialized team of adult cardiovascular specialists, pediatric cardiologists, electrophysiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, nurses and administrative support.
Gretchen Jayawardena, RN
Jennifer Koonce, NP
For questions, including patient referral or appointment information, please call Vanderbilt Heart call center at (615) 322-2318. Ask for the Vanderbilt Adult Congenital Heart Program.