Heart Conditions and Treatments

We care for children of all ages with simple to highly complex structural heart defects and heart disease, including those with serious conditions that are labeled untreatable by other medical providers and premature babies who need immediate heart surgery. We develop surgical techniques for very challenging heart conditions—for some, we are the only center in the world that offers them. In part, our heart surgery program at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health is successful because we perform so many heart operations; the literature is clear that outcomes in heart surgery relate directly to the volume of procedures performed.

When treating complex structural heart defects, pediatric heart surgery can be like plastic surgery of the heart. With highly sophisticated and intricate repair and reconstruction, we take apart a heart that isn’t constructed correctly and then reconstruct it so that its valves, chambers, and arteries are in the right positions and connected as they should be. Heart surgery is often the best solution for children with highly complex heart defects.

Specialized heart surgery programs and key partnerships at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health

Within our large cardiothoracic surgical team, we have surgeons who subspecialize in specific heart conditions. By focusing their careers on performing heart surgeries for certain pediatric heart conditions, they are able to provide the latest, most advanced pediatric heart care in highly effective ways. The following programs offer specialized pediatric heart surgeries:

Innovative surgical reconstruction of pulmonary artery abnormalities, including tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia and major aortopulmonary collateral arteries.

Learn more about our Pulmonary Arter Reconstruction Program >

Our pediatric heart surgeons team up with the holistic Single Ventricle Program to provide surgical treatments, including Norwood, Glenn, Fontan, and hybrid procedures, for children with single ventricle hearts.

Learn more about our Single Ventricle Program >

Multistep onetime surgical reconfiguration for single ventricle heart patients who are deemed candidates for this procedure.

Learn more about our Complex Biventricular Reconstruction Program >

Our heart surgeons partner with other medical providers at Stanford Children’s to address the needs of children with a connective tissue disorder, such as Marfan syndrome or Williams syndrome.

Learn more about our Cardiovascular Connective TIssues Disorders Program >

Advanced therapies, including mechanical circulatory support devices and use of the research-proven Potts shunt to support children with advanced pulmonary hypertension who are likely facing a heart-lung transplant.

Learn more about our Center for Advanced Lung (CEAL) Therapies >

Our pediatric heart surgeons address the heart needs of children with Alagille syndrome in partnership with multiple specialists within this comprehensive program.

Learn more about our Alagille Syndrome Program >

A multispecialty program where heart surgeons team up with cardiologists to treat children and adults with anomalous aortic origin of a coronary artery (AAOCA), myocardial bridges, Kawasaki disease, and other coronary anomalies.

Learn more about our Coronary Anomalies Program >

 A highly specialized pediatric program that helps avoid the unnecessary use of blood products during heart surgery for children who are candidates for such a procedure.

Learn more about our Bloodless Surgery Program >

As members of these specialty programs for children with heart failure/heart transplant needs, our pediatric heart surgeons have placed 200+ ventricular assist devices (VADs) and performed 500+ heart transplants to date.

Learn more about our Pediatric Cardiomyopathy Program and Pediatric Advanced Cardiac Therapies (PACT) >

Our heart surgery team members partner with the Transplant Center to treat end-stage lung disease, which includes heart failure.

Learn more about our Pediatric Lung and Heart-Lung Transplant Program >

Our heart surgeons provide specialty operations for children born with tracheal narrowing who also have a syndrome that includes heart abnormalities.

Learn more about Thoracic Tracheoplasty >

The heart surgeons at Betty Irene Moore Children’s Heart Center team up with other medical providers at Stanford Children’s to address the needs of children with the rare PHACE syndrome.

Learn more about our PHACE Syndrome Program >

Our heart surgeons partner with other medical providers from Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and Stanford Health Care to care for teens, young adults, and adults with congenital heart disease.

Learn more about our Adult Congenital Heart Program >

Besides these established programs, our skilled heart surgeons work closely with fetal cardiologists at Stanford Children’s to plan and carry out neonatal cardiac surgery (including for very low-birth-weight or premature babies) and partner with the broader team within Betty Irene Moore Children’s Heart Center and the Stanford Medicine Children’s Health network to remove heart tumors in children, place heart valves for congenital heart disease, and more.

Treatment highlights

At Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, we use advanced imaging, anesthesia, perfusion, and heart surgery methods to give children with heart disease the best possible outcome.

  • We lead the nation in the use of electronic beam three-dimensional CT (computerized tomography) scanners, which provide highly accurate images of the heart and major vessels. These images give our heart surgeons a detailed view of your child’s condition and allow thorough planning of the procedure in advance.
  • Our heart surgeons have worked closely with pediatric cardiac imaging specialists to develop 3-D imaging of complex heart conditions that can be displayed on large monitors just behind the operating table, so that surgeons can use a road map to explore the cardiac defect they are addressing in real time. The better that surgeons can visualize the nuances of a patient’s heart defect, the faster and more thoroughly they can access and correct it.
  • Our state-of-the-art large operating rooms afford ample space for everything and everyone needed to seamlessly care for and provide your child with the best possible outcome.
  • Our exceptional Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit (CVICU) provides advanced and highly tailored care for your child after their heart surgery, with experts specifically trained in critical care for pediatric heart patients.
  • We are committed to patient-centered care and working closely with you as a family, which means including you in regular care meetings and honoring your opinion. Every step of the way, we will support your child and your family with various patient resources.
  • If your child requires a complex heart surgery or interventional cardiac catheterization procedure, ask about our Heart Center Coordination Program, which can provide your family with a cardiac nurse navigator to guide you through your child’s care journey at Stanford Children’s. The program is currently supporting pediatric patients with certain complex heart needs. 

Our ultimate goal is to see your newborn, child, or teenager leave Packard Children’s after surgery for a complex heart condition and learn later on that your child has met life’s milestones and is living a healthy, full life just like everyone else.