During pregnancy, women’s hearts and blood vessels are put under increased pressure. This can cause symptoms of an underlying heart condition to occur for the first time or cause an existing heart condition to worsen.
Our Heart Disease in Pregnancy Program provides specialized care for those women who may be at high-risk for heart disease and for those with a pre-existing cardiovascular condition, such as coronary artery disease. Our team provides care for women with a heart condition who are planning to become pregnant, have a heart condition and are pregnant, and those women who begin experiencing heart disease symptoms when pregnant.
Our multidisciplinary team provides the full scope of services, including:
- Preconceptual counseling and risk stratification
- Pregnancy care, including development of an individualized labor plans
- Access to fetal echocardiography throughout your pregnancy
- Coordinated postpartum care including counseling
Our team sees women with all forms of pre-existing cardiovascular conditions, including arrhythmias, congenital heart disease, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure or hypertension, heart valve disease and peripartum cardiomyopathy. Whether you have a preexisting cardiac condition or develop one during your pregnancy, you can be confident in choosing our team of specially trained experts.
Collaborative Team Approach
Our Heart Disease in Pregnancy Program brings together board-certified experts in adult congenital heart disease, cardiology, maternal fetal medicine, obstetrics and anesthesiology. These experts collaborate with a team of specialty trained nurses and medical staff.
Together, this team develops care plans for each patient, based on the opinion of multiple experts across disciplines.
When needed, we can also collaborate with experts across the health network, including those in interventional cardiology, advanced heart failure, electrophysiology, cardiac surgery, pediatric cardiology, genetics and neonatology to deliver advanced care based on the patient’s needs.
What to Expect
During your first visit with our team, we will complete an in-depth medical history review, including discussing current cardiac concerns or risk factors for cardiac disease you may have. At your initial visit, our team may order diagnostic testing, including blood tests, exercise stress tests, echocardiograms or electrocardiograms, to analyze your heart health.
During your exam, our team will analyze your diagnostic test results and your medical history, including preexisting conditions or risk factors for cardiac disease, to develop an individualized care plan.
Care plans vary based on each woman’s unique situation. If you are at high-risk for cardiovascular disease or have a preexisting condition for example, your care may involve a high-risk obstetrician or congenital heart disease cardiologist. Additional treatment options may include medical management, a customized labor plan, regular diagnostic testing to monitor for changes in heart health and fetal echocardiography.
Evolving Care Through Research
As part of an academic medical center, we are continuously involved in leading-edge research to develop new methods for identifying patients at increased risk of developing cardiac events during pregnancy and researching strategies to reduce to risk of cardiac events for pregnant women. Learn more about cardiovascular research.
Meet Our Doctors
Chicago Man Benefits From Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery
Dr. Robert Boxer had a history of heart problems, including a leaky heart valve. He traveled from the Chicago area to seek out the expertise of Dr. Michael Salinger, who repaired the valve. Dr. Boxer was home for dinner the following evening.
Inspired by Her Care, This Patient Became a Nurse
When Nicole collapsed from an undetected heart condition, our vascular surgeons had to amputate her legs because of her compromised blood flow. With the help of prosthetics, Nicole learned to walk again. Now, Nicole is a nurse at Froedtert Hospital.