Pediatric Heart Surgery

Children's is Dedicated to All BetterA large majority of children with congenital heart defects undergo a surgical procedure within the first few years of life. Surgeons at Children’s, led by Brian Kogon, M.D., Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery, have set national precedence in pediatric heart surgery with leading-edge operative techniques and research. Our pediatric heart surgeons perform more than 850 surgical procedures annually. Our surgical outcomes are consistently better than the national average, despite a high number of complex cases.

Video: Preparing for Your Child's Heart Surgery

Preparing for Your Child's Heart SurgeryView

Video: Cómo Prepararse Para la Cirugía de Corazón de su Hijo

Cómo Prepararse Para la Cirugía de Corazón de su HijoView

Pediatric Heart Surgery Procedures

  • The Norwood procedure, used most often to palliate hypoplastic left heart syndrome, is the first in a series of three surgeries to re-route the flow of blood 
  • The Ross procedure, performed most often to treat aortic valve disease or aortic insufficiency, is an operation using the patient's native pulmonary valve to replace the diseased aortic valve
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)   is a lifesaving technology that acts as a child's heart and lungs outside the body allowing the child's own heart and lungs to heal
  • Intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) decreases the pressure in the heart to help it pump more effectively
  • Ventricular assist device (VAD) circulates blood when the heart cannot pump on its own
  • Heart transplantation, for severely diseased heart conditions, requires open-heart surgery to replace the patient's heart with a donor heart.
  • Implanting of devices including:
    • Heart pacemaker—a device that helps make the heart beat more regularly
    • Internal automated cardioverter defibrillator—a device the delivers a small shock to help the heart beat regularly
    • Heart valve—a device that helps prevent the backflow of blood
  • Management of trauma to the heart, arteries and organs—repair of physical injuries or wounds to the heart or blood vessels
  • Repair of tracheal defects, vascular rings and aortic abnormalities—help with circulation and oxygen supply in blood

We recognize the unique needs of children and make it a priority to get them healthy again—we also have a 24-hour emergency on-call team. Under the direction of the pediatric cardiothoracic surgery section of Emory University, the Children’s pediatric heart surgery team is composed of cardiologists, pediatric heart surgeons, pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists, cardiopulmonary perfusionists and many others.

The comprehensive care available at the Children’s Sibley Heart Center attracts some of the most talented doctors and staff in the nation. Each year, our outcomes and survival rates rank among the best in the country.

Read our handbook for patients and families (en Español).

*Society of Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Database