Department of Cardiac Surgery | Research & Innovation

"The culture of Children's is one of innovation, of solving the problems that others have been unable to solve, and tackling the most complex cases." 

Pedro del Nido, MD, Chief of Cardiac Surgery 

In 1938 at Boston Children's Hospital, Robert Gross, MD, performed the first surgery to correct a congenital heart defect in a baby. This culture of innovation still exists at Boston Children's and is one of the reasons we maintain our position as world leader in pediatric cardiac surgery.

Over the past 60 years, our cardiovascular surgical innovations and advancements have included:

  • Performing the world's first successful repair to correct a congenital cardiovascular defect.
  • Ground-breaking efforts to correct complex congenital heart defects in early infancy and prevent secondary organ damage to the heart, brain and lungs.
  • Pioneering the Norwood operation for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.
  • Introducing the neonatal Arterial Switch Procedure for Transposition of the Great Arteries.
  • Developing modifications to heart-lung bypass that reduce the risk of neurologic injury and developmental delay in children after heart surgery.
  • Pioneering robotic surgical approaches for congenital heart disease.

Our mission is to continuously improve the treatment of children with congenital heart disease and other heart conditions and to advance the complex science that underlies these treatments.  To help meet this goal, the Heart center maintains an active laboratory of clinical trials and on-going research.

Highlights of our pediatric cardiac research and current work include: