Pediatric heart care in San Antonio

When your child needs heart care, it can be scary. At the Methodist Children’s | Heart Institute we offer a multidisciplinary team of experienced, board-certified pediatric cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons who are dedicated to complex congenital (present at birth) cardiac and thoracic diseases, from prenatal diagnosis through adulthood.

Our institute is home to both Methodist Children’s Hospital and Methodist Hospital, so we are uniquely qualified to treat hearts of all sizes and offer continuous care throughout your child's life.

To learn more about pediatric cardiac care for your child, please call the Methodist Healthcare HealthLine at (210) 575-0355.

Why choose us?

The pediatric heart team at Methodist Children’s | Heart Institute is a leader in care. The team works with subspecialty-trained, board-certified cardiologists, nurses, respiratory therapists and specialists from related fields to ensure your little one receives the most comprehensive care possible. We are determined to treat your child compassion and respect.

The Institute is known for:

  • Having one of the largest pediatric congenital heart surgery program in South Texas
  • Completing over 250 congenital cardiac surgeries each year
  • Having one of the largest pediatric catheterization service in South Texas
  • Its state-of-the-art pediatric cardiac radiology services with 3-D reconstruction capabilities

Should your child need it, our Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) provides the highest level of NICU care in San Antonio.

We also offer our Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CVICU).

Pediatric heart services

Methodist Children’s Heart Institute, at Methodist Children's Hospital, cares for a number of congenital heart conditions, such as:

  • Cardiac failure
  • Single ventricle abnormality (One ventricle of the heart does not develop)
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS; Improper formation of the left side of the heart muscle resulting in abnormal blood flow)
  • Coronary artery anomalies

Additionally, we perform a full range of congenital cardiac surgical procedures, including:

  • Neonatal and infant heart surgery
  • Heart arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) surgery
  • Beating heart surgery
  • Minimally invasive septal defect repairs

Our program and services

Heart diagnostics

Early detection of congenital heart abnormalities allows more careful planning of future care. With a fetal echocardiogram, we can identify certain heart problems as early as 12 weeks into a pregnancy.

Using fetal detection to find potential problems (in utero) gives us the ability to provide treatment best suited for your child's needs. As soon as an abnormality is discovered, our congenital heart doctor or surgeon meets with you and your partner to answer questions and review treatment options.

Perinatal navigator

Our Perinatal Navigator is available to help you navigate through the complex healthcare system as you prepare for the delivery of your baby. The navigator partners with healthcare team members, providers and specialists to help develop a plan of care to achieve the best possible outcomes. You will be provided with the emotional support, education, and care coordination you may need along your journey. Please speak with your provider to enroll in this service.

Cardiac catheterization

Methodist Children’s | Heart Institute is home to the largest pediatric catheterization (cath) lab in the region. We provide the latest in cardiac cath technology to perform minimally invasive, routine tests and noninvasive surgical procedures for congenital heart conditions. A cardiac cath test is performed by physicians to identify heart and blood vessel problems.

Many children with congenital heart problems will have a heart cath at some point in their treatment, and some children may need to have the test multiple times. Children are under anesthesia throughout the entire procedure, which usually lasts two to three hours.

Pediatric echocardiology lab

Our specialists use a full array of innovative diagnostic techniques for identifying congenital heart abnormalities, including fetal echocardiography, cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and 3D computerized tomography (CT) scanning.

Our pediatric echocardiology lab uses ultrasound equipment to visualize the beating heart in real time. We also use advanced technologies to help evaluate children with complex congenital heart disease.

Pediatric extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)

If your child needs help breathing or his or her heart needs extra support due to an illness or medical procedure, your child’s doctor might recommend an advanced technique called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

ECMO is a treatment that uses a machine to take over the work of your child’s heart and lungs so he or she can heal.

Child life services

While your child is being cared for at Methodist Children’s Hospital, you may request the services of a child life specialist to help them with the support they need. Our child life specialists help children in the hospital with any anxieties or stresses they are having, and help families throughout their stay with us.

Child life specialists are trained professionals with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in child development or a related field. Our specialists focus on the psychosocial needs of your child by collaborating and developing supportive relationships with you and other healthcare professionals to increase familiarity with our hospital environment.

Family support group

We know this can be a stressful time for your family while your child is receiving heart care. Our pediatric ICU families find support in one another during this time. The support group meets once per month in a private setting to share experiences and learn from one another.