Services & Specialties
Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) Program

Lifelong Care for Adults and Teens with Congenital Heart Disease

Research shows that adults born with heart defects who seek care from a congenital heart disease (CHD) specialist at a pediatric hospital are three times less likely to die from surgical complications. However, fewer than 20% of these adults in the U.S. are receiving the specialist care they need. 

That’s why Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) Program cardiologists at Cincinnati Children’s see patients at more than 10 locations across the region, from Louisville, Kentucky, to Dayton, Ohio. As the first nationally accredited comprehensive care center in the region, we understand how to treat all types of congenital heart defects in adults.

Why ACHD Care Could Be Just What You Need

Routine Follow-Up Care as an Adult Is Essential

The future can be bright for people living with congenital heart disease. But medical problems can arise years or decades after a heart condition is repaired during childhood. Every adult with CHD should see a specialist trained in adult congenital heart disease at least once. In most cases, patients should continue to see an ACHD specialist to monitor potential medical problems.

Routine check-ups are critical, even when you don’t have symptoms. This is because as a repaired heart grows and adapts through life, negative changes can occur. This includes heart rhythm disturbances, leaky valves, strokes, obstruction or even heart failure.

A heart affected by congenital heart disease is unique. For that reason, the gold standard of care today for adults with CHD is regular follow-up and treatment by specialists trained in adult congenital heart disease. In our Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program at Cincinnati Children’s, we offer that gold standard of care.

Nationally Accredited ACHD Comprehensive Care Center

We are proud to be one of the first centers in the nation to earn accreditation from the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) as an ACHD Accredited Comprehensive Care Center. The ACHA ACHD Accreditation Program is a critical landmark, as adults with congenital heart disease now have a means to find a high-quality ACHD program throughout the U.S.

Specially Trained Experts

Our ACHD Program includes a team of internationally renowned faculty with a broad range of expertise in recognizing and treating issues related to CHD.

  • Our congenital heart specialists have experience in the complex procedures that an ACHD patient may have had in childhood. They have the expertise to review scans, understand the physiology, determine proper tests, and conduct specialized procedures based on surgeries and repairs done in childhood.
  • We treat teens and adults with all forms of CHD as well as other related conditions. This includes those born with single ventricular physiology who had a Fontan operation.
  • Our team has experience in pulmonary hypertension, cardiovascular genetics and electrophysiology—all of which play a part in care for an adult with CHD.
  • We have expertise in consulting and treating women with CHD who are pregnant or considering pregnancy.
  • Our Heart and Mind Wellbeing Center provides individualized emotional support and mental health care for teens and adults with CHD and their families and caregivers throughout their journey with heart disease.
  • Our one-year survival rate for adult congenital heart surgery is 98%.*

*Society for Thoracic Surgeons, all index primary procedures from 7/1/2018 – 6/30/2022. 

Our Treatment Approach

Our ACHD Program ensures you receive the care you need, whether you’re a teenager or an adult. At our center, you’ll experience:

  • Ongoing, lifelong surveillance for patients with even the most complex congenital heart defects in order to prevent complications
  • Tailored education for your specific condition; this includes family planning and pregnancy, exercise goals, symptom identification, infection prevention and genetic counseling
  • Care that is coordinated with your other physicians, including primary care physicians and other specialists you may see
  • A transition plan to help teens move smoothly from pediatric cardiology care to our outstanding adult program that will follow them throughout adulthood
  • A nationally accredited ACHD Comprehensive Care Center

We’re also available to provide second opinions, offering you the opportunity to hear more than one expert’s perspective.

Providing the Best Care Possible

It is our mission to provide the best possible care for adults with congenital heart disease by integrating:

  • Compassionate, comprehensive, patient-centered care
  • Community advocacy, partnerships, and education
  • Transformational research