Transitioning to Adult CHD Care

If you were diagnosed with a congenital heart defect (CHD) in childhood, you likely have been under the care of pediatric heart specialists for decades. Now that you’re maturing, it’s time to make a switch to doctors who specialize in treating adults with your type of heart condition.

At MUSC Health, we know that you and your family might be nervous about this change. Our CHD Transition Clinic smooths the transition from pediatric congenital heart disease treatment to adult care. We also help newly diagnosed adults navigate the sometimes-confusing world of cardiac care.

Why Choose the CHD Transition Clinic?

People with a congenital heart defect need care throughout their lives from doctors specializing in adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) treatment.

About two-thirds of people with CHD are treated for a heart defect as a child, through hospitals like the Heart Center at MUSC Children’s Health. As young adults grow, though, so does the care they need. Our clinic offers support through the continuum from pediatric care to taking on your own care as an adult.

Throughout your lifetime with ACHD, we will continue to offer the care you need for new situations, including pregnancy and health challenges.

CHD Transition Clinic: What to Expect

In the CHD Transition Clinic, you’ll continue to receive services from both pediatric and adult providers. There is no age requirement to begin or complete the transition. Instead, your move will be gradual and based on your needs.

At the transition clinic, you meet with one dedicated adult CHD specialist (usually a nurse practitioner) to learn more about:

  • Your heart condition and treatment options and how these might change with age
  • Age-related cardiac problems, such as coronary artery disease and high blood pressure
  • Secondary conditions that affect heart health, such as diabetes
  • Scheduling medical appointments and procedures
  • Managing and taking your prescription medications
  • Navigating health care insurance

You’ll also be able to address issues that you might want to discuss with your doctors and other providers in privacy, including:

  • Family planning and contraception
  • Genetic counseling
  • Mental health counseling for depression, stress and anxiety
  • Exercise, nutrition and weight management

CHD Transition Clinic: Physical Location

In 2019, MUSC Children’s Health opened a new hospital that connects directly to MUSC Medical Center. Our CHD clinic uses both facilities for pediatric congenital heart disease treatment and ACHD treatment. Throughout your life, you might receive care in either location.

With the new resources of the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital and Pearl Tourville Women's Pavilion, obstetric (labor and delivery) services are in a building connected to cardiology services. This proximity means that people with CHD can be confident of receiving the care they need during high-risk life moments like pregnancy and childbirth.