Cardiac Surgery Contact number | 202-476-2811


Find Out How We Rebuilt Ian's Heart

During a routine fetal scan at 20 weeks, doctors discovered a problem in unborn baby Ian’s heart. Our team of pediatric heart experts diagnosed and surgically corrected the congenital defect before Ian’s first birthday. Now Ian is like any other thriving, energetic child, thanks to the outstanding cardiac care he received at Children’s National.

Watch Ian's Story
Donate to support Cardiac Surgery and other lifesaving efforts

Our pediatric heart surgeons have dedicated their careers to providing excellent heart care to patients with congenital heart defects and other cardiac conditions. We perform twice the number of cardiac surgeries of any other hospital in the region, with some of the best pediatric cardiac surgery outcomes in the nation. See our outcomes.

Our world class team is led by Richard Jonas, MD, a pioneer in complex congenital surgery and early repair. We provide the full range of surgical procedures, including complex reconstructions on newborns. Our approach is to intervene early to correct defects and to avoid  palliative procedures, resulting in better outcomes for our little patients.

Heart Surgery for Children: Why Choose Children’s National

In addition to our team of internationally renowned heart surgeons and pediatric cardiologists, we provide:

  • Expertise: Our surgeons use advanced surgical procedures, including the most up-to-date cardiopulmonary bypass techniques. Our approach to care results in shorter lengths of stay for patients following surgery. One-third of our surgeries for congenital heart defects are performed on children under three months, leading to a repair that grows with the child, quicker recovery and less stress on the family.
  • Subspecialty care: It takes a team to care for a child. As a major pediatric academic medical center, we also offer care in the more than 40 subspecialties your child may need before, during and after heart surgery. You can be assured that no matter what service, study or specialized care your child needs, we have an expert right here who will join with your pediatric heart surgery team to offer the best, most comprehensive care possible.
  • Dedicated anesthesiologists: We have one of the few programs in the nation with an anesthesiology team dedicated exclusively to pediatric heart patients. Our board-certified anesthesiologists are available 24/7 for your child’s anesthesia and pain management needs. In fact, we are the only center in the region to guarantee that a specialized pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist will be available for your child at all times. In addition, our unique Cardiac Procedure Recovery Unit provides individualized care for patients before, during, and after undergoing anesthesia.
  • Advanced technology and research: We’ve incorporated the most sophisticated technology available into our procedure rooms and Cardiac Intensive Care Units (Cardiac ICU). When children need open heart surgery, we often need to place them on a cardiopulmonary bypass machine. During the surgery, the bypass machine takes over the function of the lungs and heart. This can carry a risk of neurological damage. During heart surgery, our heart surgeons use advanced measures based on the latest research—some of which they discovered—to protect your child’s brain and neurological development during surgery.
  • Cardiac ICU rooms for parents: We know that you want to be with your child as much as possible to provide comfort and support. With that in mind, we designed extra-large rooms in our Cardiac ICU, with plenty of room for one or both parents to stay with their child. Learn more about the Cardiac ICU at Children’s National.

Cardiac Surgery Programs

  • Congenital Heart Defect Surgery: We offer the full spectrum of congenital heart surgeries, including the most complex procedures. Our focus is on early primary repair and many of our surgeries are performed on children during the first few days of life.
  • Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Program: Our experienced team provides a full spectrum of therapies for children with heart failure. When transplantation is indicated, we collaborate with nearby MedStar Washington Hospital Center to provide heart transplantation for children. 
  • Ventricular Assist Devices Program: We offer the next generation of ventricular assist devices, a pump that keeps blood pumping through the left or right heart ventricles, to stabilize children awaiting heart transplant. While VADs are routinely used in adults, they have only recently been used for children. We are one of a few elite programs using this life-saving technology for children, including the Berlin Heart®, the only VAD available for babies and small children.
  • Pre-Operative Care Clinic: When your child is having surgery at Children’s National Health System, the Pre-Operative Care Clinic’s (POCC) team of pediatric professionals screens patients for surgery and creates a specific care plan for each patient.

Teresa's Story


Teresa, 2, was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and waited on the Berlin Heart EXCOR® Pediatric Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) for nine months while she waited for a heart transplant. Her heart arrived on Christmas Day.

Teresa's Story

The Cardiac Surgery Team

In This Section:

Cardiac Surgery Outcomes Data

Children’s National consistently has some of the best outcomes in the country.


We provide a healthcare experience designed with kids in mind, and deliver confidence and assurance when parents need it most.

Contact Information

Have a question about a specific disease, condition, treatments, or services we offer? Contact us here.


Children’s National patients can receive heart surgery at our main campus or imaging and monitoring at our outpatient locations around the Beltway.

Meet the Team

The breadth and depth of our team is unmatched in the region and our cardiac surgeons are pioneers and international leaders.

Preparing for Surgery

At Children’s National, we know that going to the hospital can be a scary experience for children – and their siblings. This information will help your family understand the process ahead and to talk about cardiac surgery with your children.

Programs and Services

Pediatric specialists at Children’s National work closely to ensure an integrated approach to caring for each child and family.

Resources for Families

Learn about our programs for families, from our social work and concierge services, to Child Life Specialists who help support your child during treatment.

Resources for Providers

We value the network of referring physicians and staff and offer resources for medical education and referring patients. Learn how to refer a patient and take a look at our universal cholesterol screening guidelines.