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Kirk R Kanter, MD

Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgeon


Primary Specialty

Cardiothoracic Surgery


Board Certification
Am Bd Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery, Am Bd Thoracic Surgery (Sub: Congenital Cardiac Surgery)
Medical School:
Albany Medical College
Emory University School of Medicine
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Brompton Hospital
Harefield Hospital


Pubmed Profile



Dr. Kanter served as the Chief of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta from 1990 to 2013. He currently serves as Director of the Heart Transplant Program at Children’s and is Professor of Surgery at Emory University School of Medicine.

Dr. Kanter graduated from Albany Medical College in Albany, N.Y. He completed his internal medicine residency at Emory University, followed by residencies in general surgery, cardiac surgery research and cardiothoracic surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He completed his pediatric cardiac surgery fellowship at Royal Brompton Hospital in London, England, and his pediatric cardiothoracic and transplantation fellowship at Harefield Hospital in Middlesex, England.

For more than 30 years, Dr. Kanter has pioneered the field of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery and pediatric heart transplantation. He has directed the Heart Transplant Program at Children’s since its inception in 1988, performing more than 350 heart transplants in his career. He successfully performed Georgia’s first pediatric heart transplant, first ABO-incompatible heart transplant, first lung transplant, first heterotopic heart transplant, first heart-kidney transplant, first heart-lung transplant, first domino transplant and first pediatric ventricular assist device. He also performed Georgia’s first successful Norwood, Ross, Nikaidoh and double switch procedures.

Focus of Practice

  • Pediatric congenital heart surgery

Areas of Interest

  • Congenital heart disease
  • Heart transplant
  • Mechanical circulatory support


Childrens Physician Group - Cardiothoracic Surgery

Egleston hospital, 1405 Clifton Road NE Atlanta, GA 30322 Get Directions 404-785-6330

Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta - Heart Transplant

Emory Childrens Center, 2015 Uppergate Dr NE Atlanta, GA 30322 Get Directions 404-785-5437

Research & Publications

Computational flow modeling

In the News

How a Boy's Heart Defect Became a Mom's Mission

Dr. Kanter performed all three of 5-year-old Josiah's heart repair surgeries. Throughout the journey, he became a friend to Josiah and his family.

Fox 5