Adult Congenital Heart Disease

UAB Medicine’s Alabama Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program is the only one of its kind in Alabama and one of only a handful in the nation with the full range of expertise to provide continuing care for patients with congenital heart disease as they move into adulthood. Thanks to advances in pediatric congenital care, the life expectancy for most patients now reaches far beyond childhood, yet more than 60% stop seeing a cardiologist once they turn 18. The Alabama Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program is designed to prevent that gap in care.

We partner with cardiologists and primary care physicians to care for this growing patient population at convenient clinic locations throughout the Birmingham area and in Huntsville and Montgomery. Our team combines the expertise of physicians and staff from several UAB Medicine specialties, including pediatric cardiology, adult cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, cardiovascular anesthesia, and maternal fetal medicine.

We treat more than 1,700 patients from across the Southeast annually, and we perform some 65 surgeries each year, with a mortality rate of less than 1%. We make every effort to maintain follow-up care for patients, in an effort to identify and treat symptoms earlier and prevent small problems from turning into life-threatening issues such as heart failure, arrhythmia, residual congenital heart defects, endocarditis, and stroke. We also maintain the only Comprehensive Pregnancy & Heart Disease Program in the region.

Our team also includes clinicians with specialized training in surgical interventions, echocardiography, catheterization, electrophysiology, heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, and MRI & CT imaging. Our experienced interventional cardiologists perform cardiac catheterizations on adult patients at Children’s of Alabama in dedicated, state-of-the-art cath labs.


How to Refer

To refer a patient to the Alabama Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program, please call UAB MIST (Medical Information Service via Telephone) at 1.800.UAB.MIST (800.822.6478).

Access Your Patients' UAB Records - UAB Ambassador

UAB Ambassador is a service that allows referring physicians to access their patients’ UAB records – including inpatient and outpatient documents, activities, and lab results – through a secure online portal.

To request access to Ambassador, click here to complete the form and return to UAB Physician Services via fax to 205.996.9107 or via email to physicianservices@uabmc.edu. For more information or questions regarding Ambassador, contact UAB Physician Services at 205.934.6890 or email physicianservices@uabmc.edu.


PHYSICIANS

 

Educational Opportunities

Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD)

Marc Cribbs — Congenital heart disease (CHD) is a problem present at birth that involves the structure of the heart, its valves, or blood vessels. It is the most common type of birth defect, affecting about one in 100 babies. Thanks to medical advances, increasing numbers of children with CHD are surviving into adulthood. Common problems associated with ACHD include difficulty with exercise, heart rhythm problems (arrhythmia), endocarditis (infection of the heart’s inner lining, often in the heart’s valves), heart failure, sudden cardiac arrest, stroke, and premature death.

Marc G. Cribbs, MD and James K. Kirklin, MD Adult Congenital Heart Disease
Care of the Adult with Congenital Heart Disease

More than 20,000 adults enter the Adult Congenital Heart Disease population every year, but 60% are lost to follow-up care. View this CME program presented by UAB’s Marc G. Cribbs, MD, and James K. Kirklin, MD, to learn how to recognize and educate these vulnerable patients about the ongoing, specialized care they need to live longer, healthier lives.