Current Environment:

Pediatric cardiac surgery

At the Department of Cardiac Surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital, our mission is to relentlessly raise the standards of care for patients with congenital heart disease (CHD).

Our group of 12 cardiac surgeons is dedicated to treating patients with congenital heart disease and other rare heart conditions. Each year, our surgeons perform more than 1,000 surgeries, on both children and adults. This depth of experience translates to better outcomes. It also means that our surgeons can specialize in different areas of cardiac surgery and push the boundaries of what was previously possible in each of their areas.

The Department of Cardiac Surgery at Boston Children’s has been at the forefront of pediatric heart surgery since 1938, when our department performed the first operation to correct a congenital heart defect.

In the years since that groundbreaking procedure, our department has grown to become the largest in the United States, and includes 11 specific surgical programs. We routinely operate on children that are deemed too complex for other heart centers, while still achieving some of the best success rates in the world.

Team-based cardiac expertise for children and young adults

From your first visit through surgery, you’ll work with a team of professionals who are committed to supporting you child’s medical, physical and emotional needs — making your family’s experience as manageable as possible.

We work in collaboration with other specialists and programs within the Benderson Family Heart Center as well as other departments throughout Boston Children’s. We also coordinate with each patient’s local pediatrician or heart specialist to ensure continuity of care for even the most complex cases.

Advanced pediatric cardiac services

Our surgeons collectively have more than 26 decades of experience treating complex and uncomplicated types of CHD and non-congenital heart conditions. We draw on that experience to create and carry out treatment plans that aim for the best possible outcomes for patients. Click on any of the clinical programs below to see how we strive to put patients in the best position for a lifetime of good health.

Care initiatives that set us apart

Surgical treatment is more than the operation itself. It’s also about creating the most effective individualized surgical plans, improving procedures in the operating room, and helping patients quickly and fully recover from surgery with minimal complications. Our department has several first-of-their kind initiatives that vastly enhance our ability to prepare for surgery, perform a procedure, and ensure patients heal. Explore each of these three care initiatives to see how we make surgery a seamless process.

Outstanding cardiac surgery outcomes

Despite treating some of the most complex pediatric heart conditions in the world, the Department of Cardiac Surgery at Boston Children's has some of the best success rates. We achieve these favorable outcomes while treating more than four times the number of patients treated at most pediatric heart centers. The data below is taken from the Society for Thoracic Surgeons (STS) Congenital Heart Surgery database, and it includes the most complex heart surgeries. No cases were excluded.


Four-year cardiac surgery case volume

Data for surgery performed: July 2019 - June 2023


Four-year cardiac surgery survival rate comparison

The data below validates our commitment to improving a child’s recovery after surgery — a department-wide effort that is coordinated by our Enhanced Recovery After Cardiac Surgery (ERAS) Program. ERAS’ evidence-based guidelines help children recover better and faster after surgery.

Data for surgery performed: July 2019 - June 2023

Length of stay after cardiac surgery

Four-year post-op length of stay

Data for surgery performed: July 2019 - June 2023



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