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 Services
Ranked No. 27 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top pediatric cardiology and heart surgery programs in the country, the UF Health Congenital Heart Center has the most complex case mix of all Florida congenital heart programs, caring for some of the sickest children in the southeastern United States.
Our team of cardiovascular surgeons perform almost 300 congenital heart cases each year at UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, from straightforward atrial septal defect closures, to complex operations such as the arterial switch, to high-risk surgeries such as the Norwood. Our surgeons are recognized for their expertise in treating:
- newborns, including premature and low-birth-weight babies
- complex, single-ventricle defects
- heart failure and transplantation, including ventricular-assist devices such as the Berlin Heart and SynCardia Total Artificial Heart
- valve procedures, including replacements and valve-sparing repairs.
At the UF Health Congenital Heart Center, we provide a full range of congenital heart services to patients of all ages. Here are highlights of our program:
- only center in Florida providing congenital cardiology for patients of all ages – from unborn children through elderly adults with CHD
- strong ventricular-assist device (Berlin Heart, ECMO), and synthetic heart implants
- only hospital in Florida certified to implant the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart
- fetal cardiology, including interstage monitoring
- largest heart/heart-lung transplant and transplant cardiology program in Florida and greater Southeastern United States
- interventional cardiology, including Melody valve placement
- Center of Excellence for advanced, noninvasive cardiac imaging, including cardiac MRI/MRA, cardiac CT, echocardiography, and transesophageal echocardiography
- largest adult congenital cardiology program in Florida
- telemedicine consultations for echocardiography imaging
Facilities and After-Hours
Our facilities are located on the UF Health campus in Gainesville, Florida, and are easily accessed from I-75. If you have multiple appointments, UF Health provides free transportation services to and from UF Health Shands Medical Plaza to UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital.
At our pediatric cardiology specialty clinics, we’re able to perform numerous diagnostic tests, including transthoracic echocardiograms, fetal echocardiograms, cardiac stress tests, perfusion scans, blood work and X-rays. On the children’s hospital campus, we conduct our cardiac MRIs and MRAs, cardiac CT scans, transesophageal echocardiograms, and diagnostic and interventional cardiac catheterizations.
In January 2014, we opened our state-of-the-art pediatric cardiac intensive cardiac unit, including advanced technologies and family-centered patient rooms. The unit also features The Sunshine Gym, where patients can go for physical, occupational and speech therapy, which promotes and improves preoperative health and postoperative recovery.
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 temporary Total Artificial Heart implant, 2013
- SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart implant with portable Freedom drive in youngest patient in the world, 2014
Extensive Resources for Patients and their Families
As an integral part of UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital, our center’s patients and their families can access many helpful resources, including:
- Quality and Patient Safety
- Extensive online patient guide and resources section
- UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital services guide
- Patient Guide
- Child Life Program
- UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine
- Support groups (Children’s Services, heart-related support groups, ; Streetlight)
- Pet Visitation Program
Have a Question or Would Like More Information?
We hope we’ve provided 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.
The UF Health Congenital Heart Center takes care of some of the sickest children in Florida and the southeastern United States, and we have excellent outcomes.
Our data are pulled from the June 2014 report from the Society for Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Database, covering procedural data from January 1, 2010, through December 31, 2013. This report includes information from more than 100 North American heart surgery participants. STS data are arranged by complexity of procedure, based on STAT Categories – or The Society of Thoracic Surgeons - European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery Congenital Heart Surgery Mortality Categories.
The UF Health Congenital Heart Center’s overall operative survival rates – averaging all STAT categories – are above national average. During the period of January 2010 to December 2013, our survival rate was 98 percent; the national rate was 96.5 percent.
To obtain a copy of your medical records from UF Health Congenital Heart Center, please contact 866-696-2333.
Pay your bill
If you have questions or wish to pay in person, please consult our billing section.
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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