Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery

Approximately one in every 100 newborns in the United States is born with a congenital heart defect, an abnormality in the heart's structure that is present at birth, and can range from mild to—potentially—life-threatening.

Our patients are cared by world-renowned pediatric and congenital heart surgeons. In addition to performing pediatric and congenital heart surgeries, our physicians also offer personalized treatment and follow-up care to patients.

We treat a wide range of congenital heart conditions including:

  • Atrial septal defect (ASD)
  • Atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD)
  • Coarctation of the aorta
  • Complex single ventricle
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
  • Interrupted aortic arch
  • Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Transposition of the great arteries
  • Ventricular septal defect (VSD)

We also perform heart transplantation for pediatric and congenital heart defects that cannot be managed by conventional surgical techniques. For a child awaiting a heart transplant, a ventricular assist device can provide a veritable lifeline until the time of transplant. Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital is the only medical center in South Florida to use the FDA-approved Berlin Heart, a mechanical pumping device that is a lifesaving option for children who must wait weeks, if not months, for a heart transplant.

Since congenital heart conditions are varied and complex, patients benefit from our multidisciplinary, evidence-based treatment approach. Our pediatric and congenital heart surgeons work shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the cardiac team to offer a truly collaborative program that revolves around what is best for the patient's long-term outcome.

From preoperative planning to postoperative recovery, our surgeons work closely with interventional cardiologists to offer patients minimally invasive treatment options whenever medically appropriate. In some instances, a patient may be treated with an interventional procedure early on, followed by open-heart surgery at a later date, when the patient is older and better able to withstand the operation. At other times, patients may undergo hybrid procedures that combine surgical and interventional procedures, which are performed in our dedicated pediatric hybrid lab, where cardiac surgeons and interventional cardiologists work side by side to treat some of the most complex cardiac cases.

Leading-Edge Clinical Care

Our pediatric and congenital heart surgeons offer innovative surgical repair techniques. Since 2007, the program has been instrumental in pioneering the use of extra cellular matrix to repair congenital heart defects. This technique allows for complete repair without the use of prosthetic material and allows the heart to essentially repair itself. Our surgeons also offer innovative valve reconstruction options, which are being used in select lifesaving situations. The first revolutionary custom-made left atrioventricular valve was successfully implanted here in 2013 with excellent outcomes and is the first such reported case performed in the world.

Internationally recognized for excellence in patient care and translational research, our team is conducting advanced clinical care based on promising protocols that are examining ways to modulate the autonomic nervous system. Such advanced treatment options have the potential significantly improve outcomes for pediatric and adult patients with congenital heart disease.