Cardiologist listening to patients heartbeat with a banner from the Adult Congenital Heart Association that reads - ACHD Accredited Comprehensive Care Center

Congenital Heart Program

Approximately eight out of every 1,000 babies are born with a congenital heart defect (CHD). There are many types of problems with the heart’s structure and function. Many have lifelong effects, and some can be life-threatening.

Doctors detect some congenital heart defects in infancy or childhood. Other people are unaware they have a heart condition until later in life. MUSC Health’s Congenital Heart Program serves people of all ages, from birth into adulthood, with South Carolina’s leading experts in congenital heart conditions..

Why Choose MUSC Health for Congenital Heart Disease Treatment?

MUSC Health offers South Carolina’s first comprehensive program that provides specialized lifelong care for children and adults born with heart defects. When you come to MUSC Health for congenital heart disease care, you benefit from::

  • Adult Congenital Heart Association ACHD Accredited Comprehensive Care CenterOnly ACHD Accredited Comprehensive Care Center in South Carolina: MUSC Health was the first in the Southeast (and one of the first 12 in the U.S.) to earn the Adult Congenital Heart Association’s seal of approval as an ACHD Accredited Comprehensive Care Center. The recognition acknowledges our expertise and comprehensive care for people with ACHD.
  • Top-ranked pediatric cardiology: U.S. News & World Report ranks the MUSC Children’s Health Pediatric Cardiology & Heart Surgery department among the top 10 in the country. Our brand-new pediatric hospital opened in 2019, offering greater surgical capacity and flexibility to meet patients’ needs.
  • Highly rated congenital heart surgeons: MUSC Health’s 3-star Congenital Heart Program is one of 12 in the U.S. rated by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.
  • Depth of experience: Our congenital cardiologists have dedicated their careers to helping people with congenital heart defects live longer, more fulfilling lives. MUSC Health is proud that our team includes several of the very first doctors to be board-certified in adult congenital cardiology, a relatively new specialty. Meet our team.
  • Heart transplant expertise: MUSC Health is South Carolina’s only heart transplantation program. Our team has special expertise in adult and pediatric transplant for people with CHD, including complex hearts with unique anatomy. Learn more about heart transplants at MUSC Health.
  • Support for non-cardiac procedures: Some people with heart defects need to take special precautions before medical procedures such as dental surgery. You can safely undergo these procedures at MUSC Health under the watchful care of your congenital heart disease team.
  • Innovative treatments: Our standing as South Carolina’s only academic medical institution may offer you the opportunity to try new heart treatments not available elsewhere in the state. Many of our doctors are engaged in testing new therapies. See our clinical trials.

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Your CHD Team at MUSC Health

At MUSC Health, CHD experts from adult and pediatric programs work together to get you the care you need. Our comprehensive program provides a medical home for people with ACHD, where you can get all your care over the years.

Our team understands the complex nature of congenital heart defects, as well as the related medical and social issues. Your doctors, nurse practitioners and nurses are trained in caring for people with CHD. As young adults grow, we work with you and your family to support your transition to adult CHD care.

Your CHD team may include:

• Adult and pediatric cardiologists
• Cardiac nurse practitioners
• Cardiac surgeons
• Electrophysiologists (heart rhythm experts)
• Interventional cardiologists
• Interventional radiologists
• Pulmonologists (lung specialists)

In addition to heart specialists, other experts such as high-risk obstetrics specialists, geneticists and psychologists support ACHD patients. These specialists can help you navigate important life decisions such as starting a family. They can also help you understand the genetic risk (if any) of your child having a heart defect. Find out more about cardiovascular genetics.

CHD Treatments

Your congenital heart disease team works collaboratively to develop a treatment plan that meets your specific ongoing health needs. Congenital heart disease treatment options may include: