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Heart Institute
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CHOC Children’s Heart Institute: Leading the way in pediatric cardiac care.

Heart Institute

The CHOC Children's Heart Institute is the only pediatric-dedicated facility in Southern California offering the latest in advanced cardiac care.

The CHOC Children’s Heart Institute offers state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment for an entire spectrum of cardiac conditions all in one convenient, family friendly location. Moreover, it is the only pediatric-dedicated facility in Southern California offering the latest in advanced cardiac care, and is the only regional facility to perform neonatal and pediatric open heart surgery.

CHOC has assembled a multi-disciplinary team, specially trained in the management of infants and children with congenital heart defects. Our heart team includes pediatric cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, cardiac intensivists, anesthesiologists, perfusionists, cardiovascular nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, dieticians, social workers, child life specialists and case managers, all with specialized cardiac training and experience. Our specialists work together as a team to discuss each child's case and determine the best course of treatment. We also offer expert rehabilitation, psychosocial support and the very latest complementary and alternative medicine services. To see a comprehensive list of all CHOC Heart Institute physicians, click here.

 

What we treat

Most people only think of middle-aged adults or the elderly as being affected by heart disease; however, nine out of every 1,000 babies born in the United States are born with a congenital heart abnormality. Several studies suggest that in order to prevent death in the first year of life, 2.3 per 1,000 live births require some sort of invasive treatment for a congenital heart defect. Nearly one million people living in the US were born with a congenital heart defect.

At CHOC Children's, we are experts in treating children with a variety of heart problems and offer the very latest in both diagnosis and treatment of heart problems and proudly offer:

  • Heart surgery for children of all ages--from newborns to young adults.
  • Cardiovascular intensive care.
  • Expert diagnostics for diagnosing complicated heart issues.
  • Cardiac catheterization.
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrilators and pacemakers with remote monitoring capabilities.
  • Interventional cardiology.

 

State-of-the-art pediatric cardiac care programs

Children are not tiny adults and their health care needs, especially cardiac concerns, should be diagnosed and treated by specialists who understand the needs of children. Our nationally recognized cardiac experts exclusively evaluate and treat newborns, infants, children, teens and young adults with all types of heart problems. 

The Heart Institute features specialized programs in

  • Heart surgery
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Cardiac intervention and catheterization
  • Fetal cardiodiagnostics
  • Heart failure
  • Pediatric cardiopulmonary (CPX) and pulmonary function (PFT) testing
  • Sports cardiology 
  • Onco-cardiology
  • Preventive pediatric cardiology issues related to obesity, hypertension and lipid management
  • Electrophysiology with a dedicated Arrhythmia Device Center that offers pacemaker checks, implantable loop recorders and Holter monitors.
 
The CHOC Difference
 
Because kids are our specialty at CHOC Children’s, we strive to provide family- and patient-centered care that focuses on treating each child’s heart condition while always allowing the child to be a child and being mindful of the child’s future health and well-being. It is important that our patients still feel and act like kids and that their families get the support they need to focus on what is most important: patient recovery.
 
Once diagnosed, each patient is followed by a pediatric cardiovascular nurse practitioner who serves as an advocate for the child, attends all case conferences, facilitates patient appointments and ensures seamless care between inpatient and outpatient treatment. Each patient’s care team also includes additional certified pediatric cardiac clinical staff, pediatric cardiac nurse practitioners and social workers who work together to provide the child seamless care, patient education and family support. Because parents are a child's best expert, our specialists work closely with each child's parents or legal guardians throughout the diagnosis and treatment process to create the best treatment plan possible for the child. Working as a team with the child's family also allows our specialists to help families better understand the type and length of treatment the child will undergo and why the treatment is the best option of the patient. Our specialists also work closely with the child's referring physician to ensure that there is coordination of care as well as close communication. At the Heart Institute, we believe that the referring physician and the child's parents are two very important members of the child's treatment team and long-term care. 
 
We are also dedicated to providing families and patients with the resources needed so that kids can be kids while they are patients in our Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, as we believe that play and discovery are very important in the treatment and recovery process. We proudly offer:
  • Counseling and Support
  • Child Life Specialists
  • Complimentary and Alternative Medicine
  • Rehabilitation Services

Video

Advantages of the Melody Valve: Dr. Berdjis - CHOC Children’s Cardiology Advantages of the Melody Valve: Dr. Berdjis - CHOC Children’s Cardiology
In this video Dr. Farhouch Berdjis talks about the significant advantages and why the Melody® Valve and helps with speedy recovery.
Cardiac MRI: Dr. Renella, CHOC Children's Cardiac MRI: Dr. Renella, CHOC Children's
In this segment of American Health Journal, Dr. Pierangelo Renella, CHOC Children's, talks about Cardiac MRI, the advanced non-invasive imaging technique for diagnosing heart defects.
Dr. Chang - Stimulants and the Effects on the Heart Dr. Chang - Stimulants and the Effects on the Heart
In this segment from American Health Journal, Dr. Anthony Chang, CHOC Children's, explains what it means when a medication indicates there is a stimulant inside.
Ashley Zook, RN Ashley Zook, RN
Ashley Zook explains how CHOC gives parents power by showing them where they can touch their child, whether a hand or a toe, or letting them feed and hold their babies.
Pediatric Cardiology - Dr. John Cleary Pediatric Cardiology - Dr. John Cleary
In this segment from American Health Journal, Dr. John Cleary discusses modern developments in pediatric cardiology.
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Children's Hospital of Orange County is affiliated with UC Irvine Healthcare and UC Irvine School of Medicine

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