A growing number of children with congenital heart disease (CHD) are beating the
odds. Due to advances in medicine, babies born with structural heart problems
are surviving into adulthood, which was rare just decades ago.
To better serve this group of patients and help with the transition into
adult care, our UMass Memorial pediatric and adult cardiology programs joined
together to form the Adult Congenital Heart Program.
"Patients with major structural defects benefit from the expertise of this
program," said Darshak Sanghavi, MD, chief of pediatric cardiology, who works
closely with adult cardiologist Oscar Starobin, MD, the program's director. This
collaboration also allows Drs. Sanghavi and Starobin to share their knowledge
with each other.
Patients, who see both cardiologists, come in regularly for blood work,
ultrasounds, fetal echocardiograms and other tests as needed.
One of the team's patients, a 24-year-old woman, was referred by her
cardiologist to the program when she turned 18. As an infant, she developed CHD,
and at age six, had heart surgery to repair the narrowing of her aorta. Today
she is seen every six months at the Medical Center. "Everything is in one place,
and the team is great," said her mother. "She feels very comfortable here ...
and she loves Dr. Starobin."