NewsMedical Moment


Medical Moment: Exploring Spectrum Health's Congenital Heart Center

Posted at 6:08 PM, Sep 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-07 22:50:48-04

The Congenital Heart Center at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital (HDVCH) is a one-of-a-kind program.

"We have a comprehensive center with 13 cardiologists across a range of different sub specialties and really we can do everything and anything that needs to be done here in West Michigan," said Heart Center co-director Marcus Haw.

Haw said that the center takes on some of the most complicated cases.

"We have now performed a series of procedures on patients who have been said not to be able to have anything else done," Haw said.

Haw is proud of the transformation the program has undergone in just a few years.

"(We're) basically treating all cases that arrive," Haw said. "And so we are now a comprehensive center which deals with fetal diagnosis right through to old age in patients who have congenital heart repairs from times past."

Haw said that what sets them apart is their use of cutting-edge technology, including the ability to create a 3-D printed model of a patient's heart.

"We take digital data from a CT scan or an MRI scan or even an echo," Haw said. "We can actually combine data from the three different types of scan and print from those."

The 3-D Model has been pivotal to the program's success.

"With the 3-D model, I was able to show Mom and Dad exactly how we would do the surgery and why it was doable when they had been told it wasn't doable in another center so that is incredibly reassuring for families that we're not just making things up."

The doctors at the center are excited to see how they can better serve the West Michigan community as the program continues to grow.

"We see ourselves as a service to the community," said Giedris Baliulis, a Cardiothoratic Surgeon at the Center. "The reason I came here from the UK was really the incredible connection between the people, the hospital, and the community and the desire to deliver world-class care here in West Michigan."