Who We Are and What We Do
When it’s your child’s heart, you want the best care possible.
The symptoms can be scary: A parent or caregiver may notice a child has an alarming dizzy spell while participating in athletic activity. Or your family might have a history of heart abnormalities. Maybe your child has trouble breathing or experiences chest pain.
But we are here to ease your fears. Whatever the reason you are searching for a pediatric cardiologist, our experts will be ready when you need them.
The highly skilled and compassionate pediatric cardiologists, technicians, and support staff at Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida treat a wide range of heart conditions. Our team uses the latest technology to diagnose and provide ongoing care for heart defects, both simple and complex. We also treat and provide follow-up care for Kawasaki disease, which is the leading cause of heart disease in children who were not born with a heart problem.
We have many decades of experience – but there’s more here than just trained specialists and superb facilities. You will find a team committed to fostering a warm and reassuring environment for families.
Some of our patients keep seeing our team even after they become adults. This is important because some patients still need care from experts in heart problems that start in childhood.
Initial exam, tests, and services
Our pediatric cardiologists are trained to take care of children – and that makes a big difference. We will evaluate your child at his or her first exam and take the time to fully explain your child’s condition, keep them calm, and answer all of your questions along the way.
The initial exam usually involves a discussion about symptoms, and then we may perform certain tests depending on what we find. Some common tests we perform:
An echocardiogram uses simple sound waves to take a picture of the heart. This tests looks at the size and shape of the heart, how it moves, how well it is pumping, and it also gives us a good picture of heart valves or any tumors or growths. The test takes no special preparation, and parents are encouraged to sit with their children during the test, which can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. The room is usually dark and relaxing.
An electrocardiogram, commonly known as an EKG or ECG, measures the electrical activity of the heart using stickers that attach to your child’s chest. These stickers help our caregivers better understand heart rhythms. Parents are always present and allowed to soothe and encourage their child. The electrocardiogram is pain free, and no electricity goes into the child’s body.
An exercise stress test measures the effect of exercise on your child’s heart. A technician will place 10 flat, sticky patches called electrodes on your child’s chest. These patches are attached to an electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor that follows the electrical activity of the heart during the test, which takes about 60 minutes.
Patients will walk on a treadmill or pedal on an exercise bicycle. Slowly (about every 3 minutes), patients will walk (or pedal) faster and on an incline or with more resistance. It is like walking fast or jogging up a hill.
Here is a complete list of tests we perform:
- Transthoracic echo- Pediatric/Congenital
- Tranesophageal echo - Pediatric/Congenital
- Fetal echocardiogram
- Holter/Event monitor
- Treadmill stress test - Pediatric/Congenital
- Stress echocardiogram - Pediatric/Congenital
- Metabolic stress test - Pediatric/congenital
- Cardiac MRI, MRA
- CTA heart
In October 2017 Golisano Children’s Hospital became the only children’s hospital in Southwest Florida to receive accreditation in pediatric and fetal echocardiography by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission (IAC).
An echocardiogram uses high frequency sound waves to make pictures of the heart to help diagnose possible heart disease in a fetus or newborn baby.
A specially trained ultrasound sonographer typically performs the test and the images are interpreted by a pediatric cardiologist who specializes in congenital heart disease.
The accreditation means families can feel confident that they are receiving high-quality patient care and excellence in diagnostic testing for complex congenital heart disease.