At the UF Health Congenital Heart Center, we believe collaboration, communication and a commitment to quality improvement are keys to our excellent outcomes and enhanced quality of life for our patients and their families.
At the UF Health Congenital Heart Center, we provide a full range of congenital heart services, including congenital heart surgery and heart/heart-lung transplantation, adult congenital cardiology, ventricular-assist device implants, transplant cardiology, pediatric cardiac intensive care, fetal cardiology, heart failure and cardiomyopathies, noninvasive cardiac imaging, invasive electrophysiology and interventional cardiology.
Our team also includes dedicated pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists; pediatric cardiac perfusionists; pediatric cardiac critical care physicians and nurses; and physical, respiratory, occupational and speech therapists trained in pediatric cardiac care.
Our center uses a multidisciplinary approach to patient care that encompasses the extraordinary resources we have through the renowned University of Florida Health and UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital. We collaborate among our pediatric heart specialists and routinely team up with pediatric specialists in the areas of obstetrics, neonatology, genetics, hematology, pharmacology, endocrinology, neurology, gastroenterology, pulmonology and other pediatric medical specialties. As part of a world-class academic health center, we also have opportunities for research and access to innovative technologies in congenital heart care.
As an integral part of UF Health Shands Children's Hospital, our center’s patients and their families can access many helpful resources, including our Child Life Program; social workers; Streetlight, for hospitalized adolescents; and Shands Arts in Medicine.
Range of Surgical Services
Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the Top 50 pediatric cardiology and heart surgery programs in the country, the UF Health Congenital Heart Center cares for some of the sickest children in the southeastern United States.
Our team of cardiovascular surgeons -- Mark Bleiweis, M.D., Eric Ceithaml, M.D., and Michael Shillingford, M.D. -- are recognized for their expertise in treating newborns, including premature and low-birth-weight babies; adults of all ages; heart failure and transplantation, including ventricular assist devices such as the Berlin Heart and SynCardia Total Artificial Heart; and complex, single-ventricle defects. They perform more than 250 congenital heart cases each year, from straightforward atrial septal defect closures, to complex operations such as the arterial switch, to high-risk surgeries such as the Norwood.
Leaders in Innovation
As the first in Florida to establish a pediatric heart transplant program, UF Health and the UF Health Congenital Heart Center also have been the first in Florida to perform the following procedures:
- pediatric heart transplant, 1986
- infant heart transplant, 1993
- pediatric lung transplant, 1996
- pediatric heart/kidney transplant, 1994
- pediatric heart/lung transplant, 1999
- double-lung transplant in youngest infant, 2002
- Berlin Heart implant as bridge to transplant, 2006 (CHC contributed to data collection that resulted in FDA approval in the fall of 2011)
- heart/lung transplant in youngest infant, 2013
- SynCardia Total Artificial Heart implant, 2013
As part of our commitment to quality and improvement, our center participates in the Society for Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Database. The STS database has become the gold standard for specialty outcomes databases.
By participating in the STS Congenital Heart Surgery Database, our cardiothoracic surgeons are committed to providing the highest quality and safest care to our patients. Through our participation in the STS program, we are able to compare our outcomes with other congenital heart programs across the country.
Our one-year, overall, risk-adjusted survival rate for our center is 97.8 percent, compared with the 96.8 percent national average for congenital heart programs participating in the STS database. Our four-year, overall, risk-adjusted survival rate for our center is 97.7 percent, compared with the 96.5 percent national average for congenital heart programs participating in the STS database.
* Society of Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Database
Our survival rates for heart transplants also are better than national and expected survival rates, according to the July 2011 report from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients.
* Percentage of patients surviving at the end of each time period.
** July 2011 Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients Report
Have a Question or Would Like More Information?
We hope our Outcomes page provides the information you’re looking for, but if you have a question that’s not answered here, please feel free to contact us via email or by calling 352.273.7770, or toll-free at 866.696.2333.
To obtain a copy of your medical records from UF Health Congenital Heart Center, please contact 866-696-2333.
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Shands hospitals and UF Physician practices accept insurance from numerous providers, including Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, CIGNA, Humana, Capital Health, United Healthcare, Medicaid, and state and government services. For a full list of accepted plans visit our Insurance / Billing page.
Insurance acceptance varies between physicians and locations and is subject to change. To confirm that a specific physician will accept your insurance, please contact the practice using the telephone numbers listed at the top of the page. A representative will be happy to assist you.
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