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Congenital Heart Care

mother and daughter smiling while outside
mother and daughter smiling while outside

Why choose Ochsner Health for your child’s congenital heart care?

While every parent-to-be hopes for a healthy child, that’s not the reality for everyone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 1% of babies born in the U.S. each year have a congenital heart defect — an abnormality with the heart’s structure or function that develops before the baby is born. If your child has a congenital heart defect, also known as congenital heart disease, one of the first important decisions you’ll need to make is where they will receive heart care. For families in the Gulf South, that extremely specialized care can be found at Ochsner.

Our world-class, nationally recognized team of pediatric congenital cardiac surgeons and cardiologists partners with maternal fetal medicine specialists to diagnose congenital heart conditions before babies are born. Our fetal cardiology team helps plan treatment after the babies are born. Once the baby is born, our congenital heart care team continues to provide collaborative care for babies, children, adolescents and even adults who live with congenital heart disease.

Ochsner Hospital for Children in New Orleans has been ranked among the Top 50 Children’s Hospitals in the country for pediatric cardiology and heart surgery specialties by U.S. News & World Report, and Ochsner Hospital for Children is the only children’s hospital in Louisiana currently ranked on U.S. New & World Report’s list of top hospitals. Our network of congenital heart care clinics across Louisiana helps ensure that kids get that same level of compassionate, expert care they need from a team they trust. Your child’s heart is in great hands with Ochsner.

Our mission is to be the preeminent congenital heart program in the Gulf South and beyond. To achieve this goal, we have built a highly trained team of experts in their fields who are dedicated to helping the hearts of kids. Our team includes world-renowned pediatric cardiac surgeons, interventional cardiologists, imaging specialists, pediatric anesthesiologists, pediatric electrophysiologists, pediatric heart failure and heart transplant cardiologists, cardiac sonographers, pediatric nurses and critical care cardiac specialists, as well as perfusionists, professionals who use heart-lung machines during cardiac surgery.

Our pediatric congenital heart care program is based at Ochsner Hospital for Children in New Orleans, and clinics are available throughout Louisiana and Mississippi to make care more convenient for families. Find a location near you.

The Ochsner congenital heart care program treats the full scope of congenital heart conditions, including:

  • Aortic regurgitation — a heart valve that doesn’t close properly, allowing blood to flow into the heart instead of out of it
  • Atrial septal defect — a hole in the wall between the heart’s two upper chambers
  • Bicuspid aortic valve — having two valves in the heart instead of three
  • Cardiomyopathy — any of several types of heart muscle disease
  • Coarctation of the aorta — narrowing of the aorta
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome — the left part of the heart doesn’t develop properly, preventing blood from flowing normally through the heart
  • Patent ductus arteriosus — an opening in the heart prevents blood from passing through the lungs for oxygen
  • Pulmonary atresia — the valve that manages blood flow between the heart and lungs doesn’t form
  • Tetralogy of Fallot — four heart defects that combine to cause low oxygen levels in the blood
  • Transposition of the great arteries — the positions of the aorta and the main pulmonary artery are reversed
  • Ventricular septal defects — a hole in the wall between the heart’s two lower chambers

This list is not inclusive. Schedule an appointment with our program to learn how we can help your child.

We offer innovative treatments for congenital heart conditions. Some care and treatments we offer include:

  • Ablations — procedures that use heat or cold to correct heart rhythm problems
  • Cardiac catheterization — a minimally invasive procedure to diagnose and treat a variety of heart conditions
  • Heart valve surgery — a procedure to replace or repair damaged heart valves
  • Maternal fetal imaging — used to visualize developing hearts before the baby is born
  • Pacemakers — devices to control heart rhythm
  • Specialized pediatric exercise physiology laboratory — helps determine the body’s response to exercise
  • Stress echocardiography — assesses how the heart functions during exercise


Not everyone who is living with congenital heart disease requires treatment. The best way to understand how to manage your or your child’s heart condition is to ask a congenital heart care specialist. In some cases, congenital heart disease just requires monitoring. In other cases, medication or minimally invasive procedures provide treatment. Some heart conditions will require surgery, potentially including a heart transplant.

Because congenital heart defects develop before a baby is born, they’re not always able to be prevented. The best thing you can do to reduce your risk of congenital heart disease in your baby is to have a healthy pregnancy. Make your OB/GYN aware of any family history of congenital heart disease and discuss any medications you take or chemicals or substances that you’re exposed to, maintain a healthy weight, control diabetes and don’t smoke or be around those who are smoking.

If your baby has a congenital heart issue, you will likely have to see a pediatric cardiologist and your child’s pediatrician more often. The doctor will provide you with specific details about steps you need to take to properly take care of your baby.

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Map of Ochsner-affiliated facilities that provide services related to Congenital Heart Care

Congenital Heart Care Locations

Heart & Vascular Center of Acadiana
155 Hospital Drive
Lafayette, LA 70503
  • Monday–Thursday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Friday: 8 a.m.-noon
Ochsner Medical Center – New Orleans
1514 Jefferson Highway
New Orleans, LA 70121
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner Children's Hospital
1514 Jefferson Highway
New Orleans, LA 70121
  • Open 24/7