Congenital Heart Surgery

The Congenital Heart Surgery Service offers a comprehensive surgical program that includes every procedure available for the treatment of pediatric heart disease and defects. We care for children of every age, including preterm and low-birth-weight newborns, tailoring procedures and treatments to the needs of each individual child and his or her family. During surgery, this individualized approach includes cardiopulmonary bypass and neuroprotection strategies customized to each patient’s condition and needs, helping to ensure optimal outcomes are achieved. Among the heart problems we treat: atrial septal defect, ventricular septal defect, tetralogy of Fallot and transposition of the great arteries.

We specialize in the surgical procedures most effective in correcting these conditions, offering their patients the promise of a long life.

Types of Congenital Heart Surgery

Surgery becomes necessary when non-invasive procedures fail to correct a heart defect. There are two types of congenital heart surgery:

  • Reparative congenital heart surgery: This procedure is used to correct the heart defect.
  • Palliative congenital heart surgery: A surgical procedure that relieves pain but doesn’t necessarily correct the actual defect.

Reparative Congenital Heart Surgery

We perform many types of reparative heart surgery. Some of the more common procedures include:

  • Repairing or closing ventricular or atrial septal defects and atrioventricular valves. This is done with stitches or a patch (artificial or made from the patient's own tissue).
  • Stretching or widening the pulmonic valve and closing a ventricular septal defect to correct Tetralogy of the Fallot
  • Moving the great arteries and coronary arteries back to their normal position to cure transposition of the great arteries
  • Widening a narrow aorta to treat coarctation

Palliative Congenital Heart Surgery

Our surgeons also perform many types of palliative surgery, which relieves pain and makes you feel more comfortable. Here are some common palliative surgical procedures:

  • Blalock-Taussig procedure: Here, our surgeons insert a tube to connect the aorta to the pulmonary artery to increase the flow of blood to the lungs.
  • Fontan procedure: This procedure helps patients with a single ventricle by allowing deoxygenated blood flow into the lungs and avoiding the heart. The one heart ventricle then pumps oxygenated blood.
  • Pulmonary artery band: A band is placed around the pulmonary artery in order to restrict the flow of blood to the lungs.