UPMC Bridging the Great Health Divide: UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center

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The UPMC Adult Congenital Heart Disease program takes a unique and multi-faceted approach to life-long cardiac care. Program director Dr. Arvind Hoskoppal explains.

“The ACT Center, the congenital heart Disease Center is is a unique model where integrated throughout the city between three main hospitals,” said Dr. Hoskoppal. “One, of course, is the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. The other one is the adult hospital at Presbyterian and then Maggie Women’s Hospital. We deliver a uniquely comprehensive care and treat the patient in a holistic fashion from childhood to adulthood and later.”

Most patients who are born with congenital heart disease in the United States have some type of surgical repair during childhood. Dr. Hoskoppal says that doesn’t mean that cardiac issues go away entirely.

“Problems related to cardiac and other systems can surface as the patients get older. So, it’s extremely important for patients to maintain contact with their cardiologists and have a thorough follow up so that we can anticipate these problems, do adequate testing and treat them before it becomes a huge issue,” Dr. Hoskoppal said. “And that’s the reason, even if you had congenital heart disease, which is treated well in childhood, you need to continue to follow with your cardiologist. And once you get older with an adult congenital heart disease specialists.”

Dr. Hoskoppal says the team at UPMC’s Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center are leaders in cardiac treatment and less-invasive techniques.

“The treatment for congenital heart disease keeps evolving,” said Dr. Hoskoppal. “Even since I finished my training, there are so many more new treatment modalities. There have been advances in surgical and also catheter-based techniques. For example, our center is one of the leading centers for replacing the pulmonary valve, which is the valve which sits between the right ventricle, the pumping chamber, which pumps blood to the lungs and and the lungs itself, and the pulmonary arteries. So we can replace that valve with the catheter without recording an open heart surgery. So the treatments keep involved evolving, the medications keep changing and I think the patients are doing better as a result.”

Dr. Hoskoppal says the staff and care at the UPMC Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center are patient centered.

“We also get patients from all over the country, honestly”, Dr. Hoskoppal said. “So, when a patient comes from outside of the state, we offer a concierge service where there is a whole team dedicated to making the patients feel comfortable, navigate the system and also provide the best care. I’m truly fortunate to be working in a center like this where I have access to all the subspecialists, all the technologies, the leading-edge, cutting-edge technology so that we can provide the best care for all of the patients we serve.”

To learn more about the UPMC Adult Congenital Heart Disease program, e-mail Great Health Divide@chp.edu.