Pediatric Cardiac Surgery and Adults’ Congenital Heart Disease Department

Contact Phone Numbers
Head: Spyridon Rammos
Deputy Head: Sotiria Apostolopoulou
Attending Doctors Α΄: Maria Kiaffa
Clios Laskari
Alexandros Tsoutino
Nurse Liaison: Aggeliki Moutsou
Administration: 210 94 93 865
Call center: 210 94 93 000
Fax: 210 94 93 853
Administration email address: vlahouli@ocsc.gr

 

The Pediatric Cardiac Surgery and Adults’ Congenital Heart Disease Department offers a wide range of modern diagnostic services for both external and hospitalized patients which, besides basic clinical examination and a basic electrocardiogram can be expanded among others to echocardiographic control (color triplex heart), chest CT – heart – vessels, triplex vessels, rhythm and pressure holter, stress test, withdrawal test (tilt test), cardiac catheterization, electrophysiologic study, definitive treatment of arrhythmias with ablation, defibrillator placement if there is clinical indication to do so.

Depending on the diagnosis and clinical condition of the patient, the treatment may be either on an outpatient basis or it may require hospitalization. Therapeutic services are offered to patients with congenital disease by fetal to adult life, as well as to newborns, infants and children with acquired cardiopathy. Diagnostic or invasive treatment at the Catheterization Laboratory is always based on the newest international standards and in the case of several congenital heart problems, surgeries are performed in cooperation with the OCSC’s Pediatric Surgery Department. One of the biggest advantages of the Pediatric Cardiology Department which makes it a pioneer in the treatment of heart disease in fetal, infant, and childhood, as well as in the treatment of congenital heart disease in all ages is that it can provide at the same space diagnostic services with immediate treating.

A large percentage of catheterizations performed by OCSC’s doctors over the years is invasive, i.e. catheterization that not only diagnose but also treat a congenital heart disease. These catheterizations include occlusion of open ovale foramen or atrial communication with an “Umbrella”, occlusion of arterial duct, valvuloplasty i.e. stenosis’s opening of the pulmonary or aortic valve, septal septostomy, angioplastic correction of aortic isthmus stenosis or pulmonary arteries, stents placements at the aorta isthmus or at the peripheral pulmonary arteries stenosis.

Since its foundation the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery and Adults’ Congenital Heart Disease Department has been a pioneer in interventional Pediatric Cardiologist introducing new treatment techniques; and it is the only non-private department in the country that can offer interventional catheterization cardiac services coverage. At the same time, in recent years, hybrid invasive techniques have also been performed with the cooperation of invasive pediatric cardiologists and pediatric surgeons in order to reduce the intraoperative risk as well as the time of specific cardiac surgeries.

Pediatric patients with arrhythmias or generally with heart rhythm problems need to be monitored by specialized Pediatric Cardiologists. In OCSC there is special attention paid to these patients since Pediatric Cardiologists have available to them a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic options for treating children and adults with congenital heart disease and arrhythmias. It is thus, possible to not only provide pharmaceutical treatment of rhythm disorders, but also to include electrophysiological studies, ablation procedures, pacemakers’ and defibrillators’ placement and monitoring.

Transesophageal echocardiograms are performed by specially trained Pediatric Cardiologists and in specific cases. Furthermore, they are performed even during cardiac surgeries and interventional catheterizations, according to specific indications.

The fetal echocardiography is a specialized echocardiographic study of the heart and the cardiovascular system of the fetus. The study is carried out preferably from the 20th to the 24th week of pregnancy, usually when there is an indication, and after a recommendation from the gynecologist – obstetrician attending the pregnancy. In the last 10 years, the OCSC Pediatric Cardiologist Department has particularly developed the sector of fetal echocardiography. There are about 900-1,000 fetal studies performed per year, with a high accuracy diagnostic rate around 90-95%.

The Pediatric Cardiac Surgery and Adults’ Congenital Heart Disease Department is one of the few centers in the country to monitor a large number of adults with congenital heart disease, covering 50% of the total needs in Greece (i.e. patients who are born with a heart problem and are over 18 years age who either have been diagnosed in childhood with a congenital heart disease or they have been recently diagnosed during adulthood). For these patients, OCSC offers modern diagnostics, as well as therapeutic services by a specific team of congenital heart disease cardiologists that specialize in this particular subject. In addition, it offers a treatment continuum due to the various specialties of doctors within this group.

In Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center, pediatric patients with heart failure can be diagnosed, evaluated and treated, given the available modern diagnostics with biopsies and specialized imaging and laboratory methods, as well as the extensive experience of the medical staff. It is therefore, possible to investigate the reasons that led the patient to this pathologic entity, and there is the possibility of an integrated therapeutic strategy for the symptomatic treatment during both the acute and the chronic phase.

In close cooperation with the Pediatric Cardio Surgical team, the department has extensive experience in supporting these patients during the acute phase of their heart failure with ECMO support devices and artificial heart function. In cooperation with the transplant team it is even possible to process a pre-transplant screening for pediatric patients who might require a heart or lungs transplant. Moreover a large number of children who have been transplanted abroad are monitored by OCSC’s department.

The services of the Pediatric Cardiac Surgery and Adults’ Congenital Heart Disease Department include but are not limited to the evaluation of pediatric patients with stress test, Gas analyzer (Ergospirometry) and tilting test in the context of cardiovascular assessment. These examinations are recommended in order to evaluate and explore a wide range of diseases (arrhythmias, heart failure, fainting episodes, etc.) and occur when there are specific indications.