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With ongoing advances in the treatment of infants and children with congenital heart disease (CHD), there are now more adults living with congenital disorders of the heart than there are children with CHD.

That’s because adult patients had operations for CHD earlier in life — before advances such as three-dimensional imaging improved cardiac care. They now often require additional surgery to treat new conditions related to the progression of the original disease or those associated with prior treatments.

CHD can also be newly diagnosed in adulthood. At this stage of life, it can often bring complex risks — including pulmonary hypertension and arrhythmia — that complicate further treatment and are seen less frequently in children who have the same congenital abnormalities. Adults with congenital heart disease can also have other recognizable, often chronic, conditions, such as diabetes and renal disease, that need to be factored into CHD treatment. They can also face health risks that some pediatric congenital specialists and less-specialized adult cardiac specialists may be less familiar with.

For these reasons, if you’re an adult with congenital heart disease you should seek specialized congenital cardiac care — especially if you require surgery. You should be treated by clinicians who understand the nuances of the disease on two fronts: your complex congenital anatomy and physiology, and the associations between CHD and any other health conditions you have.

Why choose Boston Children’s for adult congenital heart surgery?

Performing more than 1,500 operations each year on adults and children with congenital heart disease — the most of any medical institution in the U.S. — the cardiac surgeons in Boston Children’s Benderson Family Heart Center treat the most complex forms of adult CHD. That experience gives us a deep understanding of more than 30 types of conditions related to CHD and their effects on adults.

With the aid of the latest advanced imaging technologies, our board-certified cardiovascular experts provide evaluation and diagnosis for patients 16 years and older who have CHD and related conditions. To create an individualized treatment plan that best addresses your CHD, we take advantage of an abundance of resources at Benderson Family Heart Center — innovations and technologies that aim to enhance your treatment and shorten your post-operative recovery time.

You will also benefit from our collaboration with our cardiology colleagues in the Boston Adult Congenital Heart (BACH) and Pulmonary Hypertension Division — the first program accredited by the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) and the only ACHA-accredited program in New England. Our team also provides long-term medical and surgical care, in addition to counseling and education.

If you have complex conditions, you can benefit from our unique collaboration with Mass General Brigham to ease access to adult-specific subspecialty care that may be required while you undergo adult congenital heart surgery.

How will my anticoagulation be managed?

Working with Boston Children’s Cardiac Antithrombosis Management Program (CAMP), we take a multidisciplinary approach to managing your anticoagulation treatment, which includes the use of specialized tests such as TEG and VerifyNowTM and our experience in safely transitioning patients to newer non-Coumadin anticoagulants.

Outstanding outcomes in adult congenital heart surgery

Although Boston Children’s adult congenital heart surgery team treats some of the most complex heart conditions in the world, we have some of the best success rates. Data taken from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) Congenital Heart Surgery Database.

Surgical case volume

Data for surgery performed: 2016 – 2021


Survival rate

Data for surgery performed: 2017 – 2021