Dr. Sharon Karr, Dr. Robert Escalera, Dr. Irene Sadr, Dr. Jin Park & Dr. Annette Ansong are specialists in fetal cardiology with Pediatric Cardiology Associates, P.C. These services are offered at each of our office locations. Our highly skilled fetal cardiology physicians offer specialized evaluations and quality care for our families and patients.
Today, most congenital heart defects can be diagnosed before birth. While it can be overwhelming for a family to receive the news that the baby’s heart is less than perfect, prenatal diagnosis allows valuable time to consider options, make informed choices and plan intelligently for the future. Recognizing the difficulty of taking in the complicated new information, we allow dedicated time with the fetal cardiologist to explain the findings and answer questions. Our physicians can also help the family decide if the cardiac findings would suggest that other diagnostic studies, such as amniocentesis, are indicated.
Fetal heart anomalies can usually be diagnosed at about 16 to 18 weeks gestation, using fetal echocardiography. We also perform fetal echocardiograms at 13 and 14 weeks gestation for specific high-risk pregnancies, if appropriate after discussions with a fetal cardiologist. This safe, noninvasive ultrasound procedure enables the cardiologist to assess the structure, function and heart rhythm of the fetal heart. Only a small number of pediatric cardiologists in the United States are trained to perform and interpret fetal echocardiograms. Our fetal cardiology service offers the skills of experienced physicians who have performed over 3,000 fetal echocardiograms.
If the cardiologist identifies a heart problem, our team works with the family and obstetrician to develop a plan of care, including options for delivery. When appropriate, we also facilitate a consultation with a cardiothoracic surgeon to discuss surgical options and outcomes. We can also arrange an opportunity to meet other members of the pediatric cardiac team, as needed.