Boston Children's Hospital has a rich history of developing innovative surgical treatments that dates back to 1938 when Robert Gross, MD performed the first surgery to correct a congenital heart defect in a baby.
This tradition continues today as evidenced by Childrens' many groundbreaking surgical innovations.
Opened in fall 2005, Children's brand new MR/OR is the world's first mobile Intraoperative Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) system (in a pediatric hospital). The system includes a 15,000-pound MRI machine that enables surgeons to scan patients before completing surgery to ensure they've removed brain and other tumors with utmost accuracy.
In 1998, John Emans, MD, and his colleagues in the Division of Spinal Surgery were hand-selected as just the second team in the world to perform a Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rib (VEPTR) operation, a surgical procedure designed to treat major chest and rib abnormalities.
In 2001, Children's doctors completed the first successful fetal heart surgery in United States history. Since then, they have performed more than 50 of these procedures with increasing success, establishing Children's as one of the preeminent hospitals in the world for fetal heart surgeries.
In 2002, Children's doctors performed the world's first serial transverse enteroplasty (STEP) procedure, a surgical technique developed by Heung Bae Kim, MD and Tom Jaksic, MD, that lengthens the bowels of children with short bowel syndrome.
Weighing only 2.2 pounds, Angel Morales became a world first just four hours after birth when Children's cardiac surgeon Emile Bacha, MD, implanted a quarter-sized pacemaker, making him the smallest baby ever to undergo such an operation.