Pediatric Cardiothoracic Program

The Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Program at Cedars-Sinai consists of several divisions working together for a multidisciplinary approach to achieve the very best care for children with heart disease. We have expertise in all aspects of congenital heart disease, from neonate to adult. 

Our Pediatric Cardiac Team includes all board certified physicians and expert nursing and ancillary team members:

  • Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Pediatric Anesthesiology
  • Pediatric Cardiology and Intervetional Cardiology
  • Pediatric Intensive Care Medicine
  • Neonatology
  • Pediatric Medicine
  • Maternal-Fetal Medicine
  • Adult Congenital Cardiology
  • Genetics
  • Nursing
  • Perfusion
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Nutrition Therapy
  • Social Work
  • Child Life
  • Occupational Therapy

All of our doctors use state-of-the-art techniques to treat all forms of congenital heart defects and acquired heart disease in infants, children and adolescents. Our expert team of surgeons, interventional pediatric cardiologists and pediatric anesthesiologists can provide a full array of diagnostic and surgical procedures and as a result our patients experience a very low incidence of complications after pediatric cardiac surgery. The result of fewer complications means less pain, shorter hospital stays, faster recovery and less anxiety for our patients. Together, the Pediatric Cardiac team is in a unique position to provide optimum, individualized care for each patient. Diagnosing and treatment of children’s heart diseases require specialized knowledge and dedication. The management of the pediatric patient after surgery for congenital heart disease requires a multidisciplinary team approach. 

The Pediatric Cardiac Team at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is committed to exceptional outcomes for our patients. In addition to some of the finest surgeons and cardiologists in the country, our team consists of Advanced Practice Nurses, critical care specialists, specialized anesthesiologists, respiratory therapists, social workers and support staff. A few different cardiac defects, such as the secundum-type ASD, can be treated without surgery in the Cardiovascular Interventional Center (CVIC) by our expert pediatric interventional cardiologists. The pediatric cardiac program at Cedars-Sinai is certified by CCS (California Children’s Services) as a pediatric cardiac special care center.

A pivotal time in the recovery process is immediately after surgery. Great care is essential to faster recovery times. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has an outstanding staff in the PICU. The team is led by a board certified pediatric intensivist physician who is in the hospital 24 hours a day. Our nursing staff is also superb as demonstrated by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center having the longest running nursing Magnet Designation in the state as granted by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). A highly coveted recognition of nursing excellence, studies show that Magnet designated hospitals tend to have lower mortality and infection rates, as well as higher patient satisfaction and nurse staffing levels. Many of the registered nurses in the PICU are certified in their specialty. Although this is not a requirement to practice, it is a clear indication of their dedication and superior knowledge base.

In addition to the children from all over Los Angeles County, children are referred from several surrounding counties including Santa Barbara County, Ventura County, Kern County and San Bernardino County. We also welcome children from around the world who are unable to get their heart defects repaired in their own countries. These patients are referred by charity organizations and cared for through our International Children’s Surgery Fund.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center has been a leader in developing and adopting advanced techniques, many of them minimally invasive. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center was the first in the western United States to perform video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) in the treatment of patients with patent ductus arteriosus and vascular rings. VATS requires a smaller incision, often resulting in less pain and faster recovery.

Children with complex heart defects (such as children born with a single heart chamber) are treated at Cedars-Sinai with staged reconstructive surgery. By using a series of surgeries, pediatric cardiac surgeons at Cedars-Sinai are able to rebuild the hearts of these tiny infants so that most experience no symptoms by the time they enter grade school.

The pediatric cardiac program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center offers all types of repairs needed for congenital heart defects including repair and replacement of valves, the Ross Procedure, and repair of arteries. 

State-of-the-art surgical procedures are provided by three full-time pediatric heart surgeons and a support staff dedicated to pediatric heart surgery. The treatment and recovery of the smallest heart patients is supported by the medical center's Pediatric Services at the Maxine Dunitz Children's Health Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.