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Cardiac Surgery

Children's National Heart Institute provides comprehensive, seamless care for patients with congenital heart defects and other cardiac conditions. Children's Heart Institute includes Cardiology, Cardiac Surgery, Cardiac Intensive Care, and Cardiac Anesthesia — all of the necessary specialists, all in one place.

The Cardiac Surgery team brings together the region's best cardiac surgeons, anesthesiologists, cardiologists, and cardiac intensivists.

The Most Advanced Care for the Smallest Patients
Children’s cardiac team provides care in the most technologically advanced and child-friendly setting. Our surgical program includes corrective procedures for newborns, infants, children, and adults, and treatment for some of the most complex cases in the world.

More than two thirds of cardiovascular surgeries we perform are on patients less than one year old, and half of these are on newborns less than one month old. We often perform surgery when children are very young, so a repair or reconstruction grows with the child and patients and anxious families benefit from a faster recovery.

Meet Richard Levy, MD, cardiac anesthesiologist at Children's National

Dr. Levy takes care of infants and children who require our most specialized care in pediatric cardiac surgery.

We want your child to thrive and our team is leading advances in the use of the improved surgical procedures, including safer, state-of-the-art cardiopulmonary bypass techniques. Research and practical application has resulted in improved outcomes, quicker intensive care unit recovery, fewer neurological injuries, and better long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes for our cardiac patients.

Download Children's National Heart Institute brochure
Your Child’s Cardiac Surgery Team

Children’s surgeons perform the largest volume of pediatric surgeries in the Washington, DC area with one of the best success rates for cardiac surgery in the nation.

Our accomplished team is led by Richard Jonas, MD, a pioneer in complex congenital heart surgery and early primary repair. In addition, the surgery team includes two outstanding cardiac surgeons. Pranav Sinha, MD, trained in London and Boston before completing his training with Dr. Jonas. Dilip Nath, MD, completed extensive training in complex congenital cardiac surgery, and he is recognized for his work as a transplant researcher.

Children’s National also is the only hospital in the Washington, DC region that guarantees all anesthesia, sedation and pain management is administered by a fellowship-trained pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist at any time of the day or night – 24/7.

Comprehensive Care — Before and After Your Child’s Procedure
Children's coordinated, multidisciplinary care results in shorter lengths-of stay for patients following surgery. The surgical team works in concert with Children's cardiologists who provide preoperative and postoperative diagnostic assessments and therapeutic interventions.

Pediatric cardiac intensivists and cardiac critical care nurses and therapists provide the next stage of care in Children’s state-of-the-art Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU). After a CICU stay, your child is transferred to a dedicated step-down cardiac unit with specially trained cardiac physicians and advanced practice nurse practitioners.  

Patient and Family Resources
Our goal is to maximize the quality of our patients’ lives and ease the stress on families. Children’s National Heart Institute provides many family-centered services because we understand that when a child is ill, the entire family is involved and affected.

Follow this link to read the stories from the Children’s Parent’s Letter Project.

Visit our Resource Page for Families to learn more about surgery at Children’s National and the resources we offer to all of our patients and their families.

Research at Children’s National
Dr. Jonas maintains active laboratory and clinical research programs. He spent his career studying ways to improve the safety of cardiopulmonary bypass, particularly as it relates to neurological development. His development of a clinical research program in cardiopulmonary bypass techniques revolutionized the field of pediatric cardiac surgery. Dr. Jonas continues to study advanced bypass techniques within the Children's National Heart Institute in a dedicated research laboratory.

To learn more about our current research activities and clinical trials, speak with a member of your child’s care team.

Unmatched Cardiac Care
Children’s Heart Institute is one of the top cardiac centers in the nation. Children's cardiac surgery team has some of the most coveted surgical results in the country. In 2009, more than 550 patients underwent surgery, with more than 300 patients undergoing open heart surgery using the heart-lung machine (cardiopulmonary bypass). According to the November 2010 report by the Child Health Corporation of America (CHCA), Children's National ranked 12th in volume of these cases. Children’s Heart Institute is ranked at the highest level for complexity of cardiac surgical cases managed.

Staff in the department of Cardiac Surgery can discuss the specific procedure your child requires, our experience with that particular surgery, and outcomes from previous cases.

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The team's survival statistics for Fiscal Year 2012

Surgery Number of Cases Survival
Valve repair/ replace 35 97%
Fontan 27 96%
TOF repair 24 100%
Bidirectional Glenn 23 96%
VSD repair 22 100%
ASD repair, including primum, secundum, and sinus venosus 17 100%
CAVC repair 14 100%
Conduit placement/replacement 14 100%
Other complex/emergency open procedures 14 100%
Blalock shunt 12 92%
11 100%
10 100%
10 100%
Arterial switch
9 100%
PAB 9 100%
Vascular ring
8 100%
7 100%
4 100%
4 100%
RVOT patch
4 100%
Repair of anomalous coronary 3 100%
DORV repair 3 100%
IAA repair 3 67%
Tracheal reconstruction 3 100%
Tricuspid valvuloplasty 3 100%
Cor triatriatum 2 100%
DCRV repair 2 100%
TAPVC repair 2 100%
Supra AS 2 100%
PA plasty 2 100%
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