Newswise — LOS ANGELES (April 24, 2018) — Physicians from Cedars-Sinai and Stanford Children’s Health are teaming up to offer the newest treatments and surgical techniques to patients born with heart defects.

The new collaboration between the two prominent institutions features doctors from the Smidt Heart Institute’s Guerin Family Congenital Heart Program at Cedars-Sinai and the Betty Irene Moore Children’s Heart Center at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. Both teams focus on treating patients born with heart defects who require specialized care throughout their lives.  

“Patients born with structural heart problems need the very best specialized care that modern cardiac medicine can offer. This collaboration between Stanford Children’s Health and Cedars-Sinai ensures that they will receive it,” said Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD, director of the Smidt Heart Institute. “Joining together redoubles our dedication to serving the needs of congenital heart patients throughout California and beyond.”

Through the collaboration, patients with congenital heart disease will be treated by physicians widely regarded as among the best in their field. For example, a Stanford Medicine pediatric heart surgeon would be available to perform procedures on pediatric patients at Cedars-Sinai. Or, a Cedars-Sinai physician with expertise in developing catheter-based procedures could be consulted on minimally invasive techniques for repairing a defective heart valve. 

“We are excited to collaborate with such an outstanding institution as Cedars-Sinai to care for patients with congenital heart disease,” said Frank Hanley, MD, chief of pediatric cardiac surgery at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford.

As recently as a decade ago, children born with structural heart defects, such as hypoplastic left heart syndrome and tetralogy of Fallot, were not expected to survive past late adolescence.  But new technology and nonsurgical procedures have greatly extended life expectancies and available treatment options. 

While some types of heart malformations require patients to undergo several surgical procedures throughout their lives, other heart defects can be treated or repaired during a single minimally invasive catheter-based procedure. Still, most born with a structural heart defect need ongoing specialized care throughout their lives.

Since the collaboration began earlier this year, congenital heart teams from both health systems attend weekly teleconferences to determine how best to treat patients with complex congenital heart disease issues, share new techniques and develop comprehensive treatment plans for patients from birth throughout adulthood. Teams of doctors and other caregivers provide tailored care as needed at either institution, with a goal of better-serving the Los Angeles community.

About the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai
The Smidt Heart Institute is internationally recognized for outstanding heart care built on decades of innovation and leading-edge research. From cardiac imaging and advanced diagnostics to surgical repair of complex heart problems, to the training of the heart specialists of tomorrow and research that is deepening medical knowledge and practice, the Smidt Heart Institute is known around the world for excellence and innovations. 

About the Betty Irene Moore Children’s Heart Center
The Betty Irene Moore Children’s Heart Center at Stanford Children’s Health offers the most advanced diagnostic and therapeutic modalities available for addressing the entire spectrum of congenital and acquired cardiovascular disorders in babies, children, and adults with congenital heart disease.