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 fieldsThis department is currently not accepting appointment requests onlineThis department is currently not accepting appointment requests online

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
close
Find a Doctor
Search by Clinician's Last Name or Specialty:
Select by Location:
Search by First Letter of Clinician's Last Name: *ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
More optionsSearch
Condition & Treatments
Search for a Condition or Treatment:
Show Items Starting With: *ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
View allSearch
Visitor Information

Visit the Heart Center Facebook community today!

Donate to Boston Children's

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
Close