Fetal Heart Services
When doctors suspect a problem with your unborn baby’s heart, having a strong plan is the most important thing.
Our UC Irvine Health pediatric cardiologists are experts at using fetal echocardiography to precisely screen for and diagnose heart problems before your baby is born so that we can put a comprehensive treatment plan in place as soon as possible.
Fetal echocardiography: Why choose us?
- Expertise: We have one of the only fellowship-trained fetal cardiac imaging specialists in Orange County. That means our team is among the most advanced in this area.
- Accurate diagnosis, better treatments: We created our Fetal Heart Services team to provide the most accurate information to help us develop the most comprehensive plan for your baby’s treatment and long-term health.
- Excellent communication: We believe that care must include educating parents to make the best choices for their developing baby's treatment. We devote time during each visit to ensure that you know — and are comfortable with — what to expect every step of the way.
- Comprehensive team: If we diagnose a heart condition in your developing baby, we work seamlessly with our expert neonatal and obstetric teams, giving you access to the advanced treatments and technology of the region’s only academic medical center.
What is fetal echocardiography?
Fetal echocardiography uses sound waves to create images of your unborn baby’s heart, similar to a prenatal ultrasound. We use this important tool to see how well different parts of the heart are functioning.
Your doctor may refer you to us for many reasons:
- An earlier ultrasound indicated potential issues with your baby’s heart development.
- Your personal or family health history caused your doctor to be concerned. This could be because you:
- Have a family history of congenital heart disease or other genetic diseases
- Had an illness or took medications during your pregnancy that may affect the baby
- Are diabetic
Fetal echocardiography: What to expect
You can expect to work in partnership with our staff before, during and after the fetal echocardiogram.
During your test, a technician or doctor will move a probe over your abdomen, sending sound waves to create real-time images of your developing fetus. These will include the blood vessels and structures connecting your baby’s heart, lungs, brain and umbilical cord.
These images allow us to see how your baby’s heart is developing and give us the best information to make a comprehensive plan for your baby’s care.
Once the plan is in place, our team works closely with other specialists involved in your labor and delivery. This seamless working relationship helps us create the best possible outcome for you and your baby.
For more information or to make an appointment, please call 714-581-4401 or 855-563-5320.