Cardiothoracic Surgery

CHOC Children’s Specialists Cardiothoracic Surgery provides cardiothoracic surgery, medical treatment and follow-up care to infants, children and adolescents to repair congenital heart defects. Our pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons have completed a residency in general surgery as well as thoracic or cardiothoracic surgery, and a fellowship in congenital cardiac surgery.

CHOC has long been a leader in cardiac surgical care. Our team was instrumental in the development of new systems used to protect children’s hearts during surgery and improve heart-lung machine technology. We worked with bioengineers at Quest Medical to develop techniques and instruments that could be used to bring cardiopulmonary bypass technology to children and infants, previously available only for adults. CHOC was the first institution to offer this lifesaving technology that is now used in more than 60 institutions around the globe.

CHOC’s cardiothoracic surgeons lead the way in raising the standard of care and surgical outcomes for neonates undergoing open heart surgery. CHOC Children’s heart surgery program has the only facility in Orange County that performs newborn and pediatric open-heart surgery, and has dedicated cardiovascular operating rooms with extracorporeal life support (ECLS) and a Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU).

Our cardiothoracic surgeons direct the ECLS program for the hospital.  The ECLS program at CHOC is a member of the International Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) and has been designated an ELSO “Center of Excellence” .  CHOC’s ECLS program provides life saving technology  to neonates thru adolescents with heart and/or lung failure.

For more than a decade, CHOC has been a member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) National Database, an international benchmarking organization that sets the highest standards for hospitals performing heart surgery. CHOC was among the first 15 institutions to join the registry and report surgical outcome data. Today, there are more than 130 premiere hospitals in the STS database.

The CHOC Children’s Specialists Cardiothoracic team offers a full range of surgical procedures to correct heart and thoracic defects:

Heart Conditions

In addition to congenital heart defects, our cardiothoracic surgeons perform procedures to correct lung and chest wall defects as well as complex vascular procedures to place specialized lines for renal dialysis and chemotherapy.

Thoracic Conditions

  • Chest wall and lung malignancies
  • Lung defects – congenital pulmonary airway malformations, pulmonary sequestration, spontaneous pneumothorax
  • Lung infections
  • Pectus excavatum
  • Complex vascular access

Multidisciplinary Approach

CHOC’s multidisciplinary care complements these clinical services. Other members of the care team include additional specialists, interventionists, anesthesiologists, perfusionists, intensivists, cardiovascular nurse practitioners, respiratory therapists, dietitians, social workers, child life specialists and case managers, all of whom have specialized training and expertise.


Leading-Edge Cardiodiagnostic Services

The CHOC Children’s Specialists Cardiothoracic team is fully equipped with advanced cardiodiagnostic equipment: