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Pediatric Cardiac Surgery

US News Award - Cardiology & Heart Surgery
If your child needs heart surgery, the Division of Cardiac Surgery at Children’s National Hospital is there to provide compassionate, world-class expertise. Our dedicated team of heart surgeons uses groundbreaking innovation and state-of-the-art technology to make sure your child gets the best possible care.

Our Providers

Our pediatric specialists provide personalized care for your child’s physical, mental and emotional health needs.

Contact Us

For appointments, please call 1-888-884-BEAR (2327) and for information, call 202-478-2811.

Our Programs

  • Advanced Cardiac Therapies and Heart 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.
  • 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.
  • Pre-Operative Care Clinic: When your child is having surgery at Children’s National, the Pre-Operative Care Clinic’s (POCC) team of pediatric professionals screens patients for surgery and creates a specific care plan for each patient.
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  • 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

Choosing Children’s National for Cardiac (Heart) Surgery

When you’re researching pediatric heart surgeons, you want someone who is at the cutting-edge of pediatric surgical techniques, but who will also care for your child’s overall well-being. At Children’s National, we offer this level of ‘whole child care,’ focusing on your child’s physical, emotional and mental well-being.  Our team provides your family with the following:

  • Surgical 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 after surgery. 
  • Multidisciplinary 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 (neurology, nutrition, gastroenterology, etc.) that 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 who will join your pediatric heart surgery team to offer the best, most comprehensive care possible.
  • Dedicated anesthesiologists. We have one of the only 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 that guarantees that a 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 Unit (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. Learn more about this work from the Ishibashi Laboratory.
  • 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 (Heart) Surgery Procedures

Children’s National offers a comprehensive surgical program that includes the full range of procedures available for the treatment of pediatric cardiac disease and congenital heart defects. Our physicians pioneered many of these procedures and have extensive experience performing them, leading to some of the best heart surgery outcomes in the nation. Procedures we perform, include:


Additional Contact Information

Fixing Baby Jane's Broken Heart

"There are no other hands I'd want to fix my baby's broken heart than the team at Children's National," says one Virginia mom. Learn more about why you should trust the pediatric heart experts at Children's National for your child's heart care needs.

Choosing a Cardiologist Blog

Cardiac Surgery Outcomes Data

Learn about the high volume of lifesaving surgeries performed by Children's National surgeons, ranging from the most complex congenital heart problems to more common heart conditions.


Claire's Story

Claire with Dr Yerebakan
Read Claire's Story

Family Services

Find out more about our support services and helpful resources for families and patients.

Visual Resources to Prepare for a Visit

Our Autism Behavioral Consult team has compiled visual resources that any family can review with their child to make them more comfortable before all types of doctor's visits.

Congenital Cardiac Surgery Fellowship

The Congenital Cardiac Surgery Fellowship at Children's National Hospital is a three-year training program (two years with one optional year) that is accepting two fellows. Ideal fellows will have an interest in developing a clinical and academic career specializing in neonatal and infant cardiac surgery, pediatric heart transplantation and ventricular assist devices.