By Dr. Christopher Chyu of UCSF Pediatric Cardiology
In an ongoing mission to provide Caring, Healing, Teaching and Discovering, one of the goals of UCSF Health is to provide resources and access to subspecialty care locally for communities throughout Northern California. The UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, through its Pediatric Heart Center, has recently expanded its presence in the Stockton area. Dr. Christopher Chyu and Dr. Mark Cocalis are UCSF pediatric cardiologists who see patients in their Stockton clinic. Dr. Cocalis has served the Stockton and Modesto community for over 15 years and Dr. Chyu has created additional clinical availability in Stockton since 2018.
Pediatric cardiologists provide expertise regarding congenital heart defects (CHD) beginning in fetal life through early adulthood. Dr. Chyu, Dr. Cocalis, and their colleague, Dr. Walter Li, provide cardiac evaluations and management for infants, children, and young adults for a variety of referral indications. They also offer consultative services for pregnant women that have been referred for fetal echocardiograms. Congenital heart defects affect approximately 1% of all newborns but most of these abnormalities do not require any significant medical or surgical intervention. In cases of complex congenital heart disease, it is common to require close monitoring in an intensive care unit. In some cases, urgent surgical intervention may be required and transfer to advanced level hospital facilities are coordinated with the pediatric cardiologists. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital has campuses in both Oakland and San Francisco providing services for patients with the most complex congenital heart disease with excellent outcomes and is recognized by the US News and World Report as the highest-ranking program in Northern California.
The UCSF pediatric cardiologists also provide inpatient consultative services in the major hospitals of San Joaquin County. These relationships allow the majority of patients with common cardiac abnormalities to remain with their families in these local hospitals. Additionally, if prenatal diagnosis of congenital heart defects is known after a fetal echocardiogram has been completed then families and obstetricians can determine whether the babies can be delivered in local Stockton hospitals or recommend delivery at advanced level hospitals in order to best coordinate care for the babies after delivery.
The UCSF Pediatric Heart Center is also integrated with the UCSF Fetal Treatment Center and prenatal counseling and management are offered to families when congenital heart defects are identified. Improving prenatal detection of congenital heart defects with fetal echocardiograms available in the Stockton community provides the opportunity to deliver the best care for patients and families.
If a referral to pediatric cardiology is indicated, talk to your primary care physician or obstetrician about the UCSF pediatric and fetal cardiology clinic in Stockton.