Beating Heart Surgery

LIke ThisLIke ThisLIke ThisLIke ThisLIke This
Beating Heart Surgery

The problem

We are at the forefront of a whole new field in cardiac surgery that will be less invasive for children and will promote a quicker recovery. Currently, when surgeons operate on a child’s heart, they have to use open-heart surgery. This means using a bypass machine, stopping the heart, opening the chest and performing the surgical repair—an invasive, lengthy procedure that can cause life-threatening complications.

Our innovative solution

Our scientists, led by Pedro J. del Nido, MD, Boston Children's Hospital's chairman of Cardiac Surgery, are exploring ways to perform heart surgery while the heart is actually still beating. But he needed two things that didn't exist:

  • superior imaging tools that could show the structures inside the heart while it's beating - They borrowed technology from the videogame industry and developed stereo-rendered 3-D ultrasound imaging that allows surgeons to see inside the beating heart as a hologram. The high-definition imaging allows us to see the heart in three dimensions as we manipulate structures. With this new technique, we will be able to avoid bypass and also continually assess the heart repair as we’re performing it.

  • tiny instruments to perform the intricate surgery - Our research team is also developing new surgical tools that will allow us to operate on the smallest beating hearts. One is a millimeter-sized tool that extends into the heart through needle-sized incisions. Using a joystick controller and real-time imaging, a surgeon can navigate through the beating heart's chambers to remove blockages, repair faulty valves and close leaks. They have also developed a cardioport device that allows instruments to be safely introduced into the cardiac chambers without the usual risks of blood loss or an air embolism.

Our 3-D tool appears to not only provide superior imaging, but also yield faster surgery times.

Learn more

Video: Operating on beating hearts

Pedro del Nido, MD, Boston Children's chief of Cardiac Surgery, discusses his goal of doing these delicate operations using sophisticated new tools and imaging techniques. Watch video

Request an Appointment

If this is a medical emergency, please dial 9-1-1. This form should not be used in an emergency.

Patient Information
Date of Birth:
Contact Information
Appointment Details
Send RequestIf you do not see the specialty you are looking for, please call us at: 617-355-6000.International visitors should call International Health Services at +1-617-355-5209.
Please complete all required fields

This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

This department is currently not accepting appointment requests online. Please call us at: 617-355-6000. International +1-617-355-6000.

Thank you.

Your request has been successfully submitted

You will be contacted within 1 business day.

If you have questions or would like more information, please call:

617-355-6000 +1-617-355-6000
Find a Doctor
Search by Clinician's Last Name or Specialty:
Select by Location:
Search by First Letter of Clinician's Last Name: *ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
Condition & Treatments
Search for a Condition or Treatment:
View allSearch
  • Heart Center at Boston Children's Hospital

    Thank you, CHOB!!! Gabe is 10. Born with a form of HLHS and DS. In 2003 very few children with this dual dx survived for more than a few years. Dr. Del nido found a way. There are no words to express our gratitude. Never give up hope. Pray for direction.Read More

  • Heart Center at Boston Children's Hospital

    Our son Hayden was born 5/12/14 with undiagnosed Transposition of The Great Arteries. He was transferred to Boston Children's and his team of doctors saved his life. He was very sick leading up to his Arterial Switch and... Read More

  • Heart Center at Boston Children's Hospital

    One year ago our little Jonah went in for open heart surgery. He is now 15 months old and is a happy, healthy little boy. We can't thank Dr. Emani and the rest of the crew from the Heart Center at Boston Children's Hospital enough! Little Jonah thanks you too!Read More

  • Heart Center at Boston Children's Hospital

    Michael has two birthday's every year now; born on April 14, and re-born on June 3, 2011. It's been three years now since his heart surgery at Boston Children's Hospital. Michael is doing incredibly well, even ...Read More

  • Heart Center at Boston Children's Hospital

    You would never know our little heart warrior Reece was just at BCH undergoing his 8th heart cath. Thank you to all the doctors, especially Drs. Lock and Marshall, for making sure our little miracle is always smiling!Read More

Support Boston Children's Heart Center

Contact the Department of Cardiac Surgery

The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO