Heart Surgery
(Cardiothoracic Surgery)

Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is at the forefront in the treatment of congenital heart disease and acquired cardiac conditions, providing heart surgery to infants, children and young adults in an environment specially designed to meet their unique needs.

Connecticut Children’s cardiovascular surgery specialists are exclusively and extensively trained to care for children of all ages who require heart surgery. Led by Paul Kirshbom, MD and Mohsen Karimi, MD, our cardiac surgery team specializes in the correction of complex heart defects in newborns and the surgical management of other complex heart diseases in older children.

Our pediatric heart surgeons use advanced surgery techniques for:

  • Correcting congenital heart defects, a flaw or abnormality present at birth
  • Repairing acquired heart conditions or injury to the heart caused by trauma
  • Fixing conditions such as holes between chambers of the heart, valve problems and abnormal
    blood vessels
  • Repairing damage to the heart by the same bacterium that causes strep throat (rheumatic heart disease)

Congenital heart defects range from relatively minor to life-threatening, and afflict more than 30,000 newborns born in the United States each year. While heart disease in adults typically follows a predictable pattern, congenital heart disease in children ranges across a wide spectrum, with no two conditions exactly alike. Surgical treatments for congenital heart conditions require specialized skill and a high level of expertise. With a focus on patient- and family-centered care, Connecticut Children’s pediatric cardiothoracic surgery team can care for your child’s heart disease present from birth, and those that appear as your child grows.

Connecticut Children’s cardiac surgery program is unique to the region, the result of an exceptional partnership between our physicians and top researchers at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.

Surgery and Your Child

For children requiring heart surgery, we work closely with anesthesiology and the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) to provide the finest pre- and post-operative care to every child. Infants and children undergoing heart surgery are assigned nurses who have been specifically trained in caring for young patients, with extensive classroom and clinical training. For our smallest patients, newborns and infants are cared for in our state-of-the-art neonatal intensive care units (NICU) at Hartford Hospital and the University of Connecticut Health Center.

The cardiac anesthesia team at Connecticut Children’s is made up of anesthesiologists and nurses who have been specially trained to care for infants, children and adolescents with a wide-range of congenital and acquired heart defects. Our anesthesiologists are highly trained and work exclusively with children, allowing them to provide anesthesia and pain medication in doses appropriate for a child.