Skip to Main Content

Fetal Cardiovascular Program

Some of UCSF's smallest patients are still in the womb. Our Fetal Cardiovascular Program evaluates the health of unborn babies' hearts, and when we find a problem, our experts determine the best treatment approach.

Our diagnostic program is one of the largest in Northern California and uses the latest imaging technologies to provide unparalleled accuracy. As early as 12 weeks of pregnancy, we're able to screen for and diagnose a wide range of structural, functional and rhythm-related heart disorders.

Depending on what your testing results show, we may manage your care or coordinate next steps with other fetal and pediatric heart specialists at UCSF. For conditions that shouldn’t wait, we offer advanced in utero treatments.

Learning that your baby has a heart condition can be scary. You'll have access to supportive services from the time of diagnosis through the critical newborn period and beyond. These include counseling, parent education and referrals to community resources.

This program is a partnership between UCSF's Pediatric Heart Center and Fetal Treatment Center. We're also part of the Neonatal Cardiovascular Center of Excellence, which treats premature and seriously ill infants with heart birth defects. Together, we provide a continuum of care that maximizes our patients' long-term health and development.

Our locations (14)

    Awards & recognition

    • Ranked among the nation's best in 10 specialties

    • Best in Northern California for cardiology & heart surgery

    • fetal heart ultrasounds performed each year

    Related clinics (11)

    arrhythmia-center-320x320-2x 2

    Arrhythmia Center

    Arrhythmia Center

    San Francisco / Oakland

    cardiology-clinic-320x320-2x 20

    Cardiology Clinic

    Cardiology Clinic

    San Francisco / Oakland / Berkeley / Brentwood / Eureka / Fairfield / Fr...

    cardiothoracic-surgery-program-320x320-2x 3

    Cardiothoracic Surgery Program

    Cardiothoracic Surgery Program

    San Francisco / Oakland

    cardiovascular-genetics-center-320x320-2x 3

    Cardiovascular Genetics Center

    Cardiovascular Genetics Center

    San Francisco / Oakland / Modesto

    Healthy Hearts & Minds Program

    Healthy Hearts & Minds Program

    675 18th St, Second Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94107


    Interventional Cardiology Program

    Interventional Cardiology Program

    San Francisco / Oakland

    Single Ventricle Comprehensive Program

    Single Ventricle Comprehensive Program

    744 52nd St., Third Floor
    Oakland, CA 94609

    fetal-treatment-center-320x320-2x 2

    Fetal Treatment Center

    Fetal Treatment Center

    San Francisco / Oakland


    Heart Failure & Transplant Program

    Heart Failure & Transplant Program

    San Francisco / Oakland / Modesto

    pediatric-cardiac-intensive-care-unit-320x320-2x 2

    Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit

    Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit

    San Francisco / Oakland


    Single Ventricle Home Monitoring Program

    Single Ventricle Home Monitoring Program

    San Francisco / Oakland

    Why choose UCSF?

    Since performing the first successful open fetal surgery in 1981, UCSF has remained a world leader in diagnosing and treating birth defects before delivery.

    We offer many advantages for families and their referring doctors, including:

    • Ongoing communication with referring doctors on treatment plans, test results, procedure updates and discharge plans, with direct access to UCSF's electronic medical record system
    • Locations throughout the Bay Area and a cardiologist available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for consultations or emergency referrals
    • State-of-the-art care from some of the nation's leading specialists in fetal echocardiography (heart ultrasound), fetal cardiac interventions and other areas of fetal cardiology
    • Specialized programs and staff to support babies' growth and development after birth
    • Access to clinical trials (studies of potential new treatments) related to heart birth defects
    • The latest technologies, including whole genome sequencing, a leading-edge genetic test for unexplained fetal complications

    Support services

    Child Life Services

    Activity rooms, pet therapy and more to help kids feel at home.

    Child Life

    Certified child life specialists ease the stress and anxiety of childhood illness through therapeutic play, schooling and family-focused support.

    Family Amenities

    Family-friendly amenities help you relax and take care of yourself while staying close to your child. We offer lounges, kitchens, showers, breastfeeding rooms and more.


    Social Services

    Social workers ease the effect of illness, injury and hospitalization on your family with counseling and assistance to help you navigate the challenges.


    Activity Rooms

    Activity rooms offer a relaxed environment for children of all ages. Features include a playroom, digital arts studio and teen lounge. Find out more.


    Art Therapy

    Art therapy helps kids and families express themselves, making it easier to cope with pediatric health issues. Group and bedside services are available.


    Music Therapy Program

    Board-certified music therapists help kids cope with illness and the feelings that come with it. Find out about group activities and bedside therapy.


    School Program

    Our schoolroom services and individual learning programs help children hospitalized at UCSF continue their education and get ready to return to school.


    School Re-Entry Program

    We help kids return to school after hospitalization by educating staff and students about their needs and recommending needed accommodations. Read more.


    Individual Playtime & Instruction

    If your child can't be around other kids for medical reasons, you can sign up for private sessions in our activity and school rooms. Find out how.


    Interpreter Services & Communication Assistance

    Interpreter services in many languages and TDDs are available for families that need help communicating with care teams. Here's how to access them.

    Family Resource Center

    We help families cope with the challenges of childhood illness and hospitalization in a relaxing environment where parents can get a much-needed break.


    Parent Support Program

    Weekly activities, including knitting, scrapbooking, chair massage and more, help family caregivers get a much-needed break. Find out more.


    Patient Relations

    Patient relations reps and nursing supervisors are here to answer questions and address concerns. Learn about your rights, how to reach us and more.


    Spiritual Care

    Chaplains help UCSF patients, families and staff cope with the spiritual and emotional challenges of childhood illness. Learn more.


    International Services

    If you're coming to UCSF from outside the U.S., we coordinate your child's appointments and provide other helpful services. Here's how to get started.

    Our research initiatives

    Fetal surgery firsts

    The first open fetal surgery in the world was performed at UCSF in the early 1980s.