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Cardiothoracic Surgery

Pediatric Heart Surgery in New Orleans

The cardiothoracic surgery program at Children’s Hospital New Orleans is one of the most successful in the entire country. The Heart Center is a nationally recognized leader in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with heart conditions. A major contributor to our high success rate is the long-term monitoring we provide patients after they leave the operating room. Patients are provided with round-the-clock care from cardiac intensivists, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals until they are ready to return home. In case of an emergency, our transport team is ready 24/7 to transport patients to another facility should the need arise.

Surgical services designed for children

Children’s Hospital has the only specialty pediatric anesthesia team and dedicated 20-bed Cardiac Intensive Care Unit in Louisiana and the Gulf South. The Heart Center staff is trained to work with children and adolescents, helping them feel comfortable and safe in the hospital. We also provide parents and family members with forthright updates on the patient’s condition.

The Heart Center typically treats patients with congenital heart conditions, but also provide services for patients with acquired conditions. We treat nearly 2,000 children and adults each year and perform more than 450 cardiothoracic surgeries. Approximately half of these operations are performed on children who are not ales than one year old.

Conditions we treat include:

  • Septal defects
  • Valvular anomalies
  • Coarctation of the aorta
  • Interrupted or hypoplastic aortic arch
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Transposition of the great arteries
  • Total anomalous pulmonary venous return
  • Ebstein’s anomaly
  • Truncus arteriosus
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) or single ventricle variants (e.g. tricuspid atresia)
  • Chest wall deformities including pectus excavatum and carinatum
  • Diseases involving the lungs, pleura or diaphragm as well as implantation of pacemakers
  • Congenital coronary artery abnormalities

ECMO is a life-sustaining treatment, used to support patients with respiratory distress. It is often used on children after they undergo cardiac surgery while they recover. Our ECMO program is overseen by a specially-trained team of respiratory therapists, and is currently the largest and most successful program of its kind in the region.

Children’s Hospital New Orleans contributes to the Society for Thoracic Surgery (STS) Congenital Heart Surgery Database. This database allows for an option to publicly report outcomes, which we have elected to do for the last several years. STS updates this publicly reporting initiative once a year; the report includes a cumulative 4 years of data. Get STS data for Children's Hospital New Orleans here.

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