Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery

Our pediatric and congenital heart surgeons treat a range of heart conditions, HLHS and heart failure, strongly focused on patient safety and quality of life.

You wouldn’t trust just any doctor to do heart surgery on your child. Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Heart Institute has some of the best survival rates for pediatric heart surgery in the nation. We keep the family in the center, and the focus on your child.

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When Does a Child Need Heart Surgery?

Advancements in nonsurgical cardiac catheterization mean that we can treat many congenital heart conditions without surgery. This is good news for both children and parents.

For certain congenital conditions, however, surgery is still the best treatment.

We try to delay surgery for newborns if possible, but some congenital heart disease requires that we do surgery right after your baby is born. Some congenital conditions require a series of surgeries in the first few years of life, such as hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS).

We’ll discuss your child’s care openly and transparently throughout their treatment. Together, we will discuss all the surgical options and involve you in the care plan at each turn. For helpful information before surgery, download our Preparing for Your Child's Cardiac Surgery guide.

Why Choose Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital for Heart Surgery?

As with everything we do, we take a family-centered approach to surgical care at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. We offer:

Excellent outcomes

Our surgical outcomes rival those of the top programs in the country, making us an exceptional place for congenital heart care in Florida.

See more about our outcomes.

Full range of surgeries

We care for all ages, from fragile newborns to adults with a history of pediatric heart disease. Here, you’ll have access to a full repertoire of surgeries, treating conditions including congenital heart disease and HLHS. We are also one of the state’s most active programs for heart transplant, and we have an active surgical program for heart failure and VAD.

Focus on patient safety

Keeping your child safe before, during and after surgery is our top focus. We have many initiatives in place in both the operating room and the cardiac ICU centered around safety: 

  • Every team member is empowered to speak up concerning anything to do with patient safety.
  • For babies younger than 6 months, the entire team meets ahead of time for a “dry run” of the entire surgery. Together, we review imaging of your baby’s heart and then plan out each movement and step. Although we cannot predict every event, we try to anticipate potential medical and surgical challenges and how we will handle them before we touch your child.
  • Each week, the team meets to review all surgeries and cases, discussing outcomes and how we managed any complications. This helps us continually learn and improve.
Outstanding care team

Our pediatric specialists and surgeons don’t work in silos. Rather, we all interact with and support each other, because it’s about your child – not about us. Every specialty comes together, and all cardiac support services work together. The team includes perfusionists, surgeons, cardiologists, nurses, respiratory therapists (specialists who run the heart-lung machine we use during surgery), anesthesiologists, heart imaging and cardiac ICU.

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Johnny's Heart Surgery Survivor Story

Johnny's Heart Surgery Survivor Story

See how Johnny, who had heart surgery in 2012, returns to run the Tour de Broward 5K, with his heart surgeon.
Meet Dr. Frank Scholl, Chief of Pediatric Pediatric & Congenital Cardiac Surgery

Meet Dr. Frank Scholl, Chief of Pediatric Pediatric & Congenital Cardiac Surgery

Frank Scholl, MD, chief of the pediatric & congenital cardiac surgery program at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, is motivated to make a difference in the lives of children with heart conditions.

He finds congenital heart surgery particularly rewarding because it has the potential to help change a child’s health for a lifetime.

Dr. Scholl knows that working with a truly multidisciplinary team is critically important for young patients and their families.
Meet Dr. Steven Bibevski - Cardiac Surgeon

Meet Dr. Steven Bibevski - Cardiac Surgeon

Dr. Steven Bibevski comes to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital from the University of Michigan, where he completed fellowships in both adult and pediatric cardiac surgery.

His training at one of the busiest congenital heart programs in the nation, with more than 900 procedures annually, afforded him extensive experience in the treatment of all complex forms of congenital heart disease, with an emphasis on hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Dr. Bibevski also completed a visiting fellowship at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, the largest pediatric heart center in the southern hemisphere.

Both pediatric fellowships provided experience in Extracorporeal Life Support, post-operative intensive care unit management, heart transplantation and all aspects of managing patients with adult congenital heart disease. Dr. Bibevski’s clinical interest is in complex congenital heart defect repair, including single-ventricle physiology, transposition of the great vessels and atrio-ventricular canal defects.
New Cardiac Floor At Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital

New Cardiac Floor At Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital

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