If your child needs surgery, you want to know that they are in the very best hands. The cardiothoracic surgery program at St. Louis Children’s Hospital has the distinction of being one of the oldest in the Midwest and is a leader in innovative care for children diagnosed with heart problems. Combining innovative technology with a family-centered approach to pediatric heart care, our team of Washington University surgeons, physicians and specialists work together to provide outstanding care for your child and family. 

Approach to Care

Each year, our high-volume program cares for patients ranging from newborn to adult congenital patients, with outcomes among the best. Our combined experience includes more than 300 specialists and experts focused on managing your child’s heart problems. 

At St. Louis Children’s Hospital, our cardiothoracic surgery program provides comprehensive care through a multi-disciplinary, team approach. That means everyone involved in your child’s care works together to care for your loved one before, during and after surgery. Open communication is another hallmark of our program, and we meet daily with families to discuss the choices for helping their child to make sure they are part of the decision-making process. We are known for focusing on the patient and the family and are always available to listen and answer questions. 

It’s our skill, understanding and attention to every detail that help make St. Louis Children’s Hospital one of the top choices in the nation for pediatric cardiothoracic surgery. 

Commonly Treated Conditions

From the most common to the rarest, our board-certified cardiothoracic surgeons treat a broad range of congenital (present at birth) and acquired heart conditions for children of all ages, including newborns and infants. We tailor procedures to fit the needs of each child and their family. View the conditions we treat. 

Pioneers in Treatment

Our specialists are leaders in the research and surgical treatment for congenital and acquired heart conditions. Our program was among the first in the nation for:

  • Using ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) to support the heart and lungs before, during and after surgery
  • Pioneering the Potts shunt for patients with severe pulmonary hypertension
  • Developing a new approach to bridge for heart transplantation
  • Innovating a lung assistive device for lung transplantation (PLAD, or paracorporeal lung assist devices)
  • Performing pediatric heart, lung and heart-lung transplants

We also have the only dedicated cardiac intensive care unit in the region. After your child’s surgery, they will spend time in our Inpatient Heart Center, where our expert team will seamlessly care for your child during this critical time.

Lifelong Heart Care

We offer seamless care for patients 18 years or older living with congenital heart disease as they transition from pediatric to adult management. At the Center for Adults with Congenital Heart Disease, we partner with Washington University Heart and Vascular Center and Barnes-Jewish Hospital to keep hearts healthy throughout adulthood.

We also accept new adult patients seeking care for managing a congenital heart defect.

Cardiothoracic Surgery: Why Choose Us?

At St. Louis Children’s Hospital, we are dedicated to providing the best possible care at every stage of your child’s healthcare journey. The specialists in our cardiothoracic surgery program are part of the multi-disciplinary team trained to offer the best care for your child. We are also known for:

  • Extensive experience in treating a wide range of congenital and acquired heart conditions. 
  • Pioneering treatments to support your child’s heart and lungs.
  • Family-centered care and support that puts your child’s comfort first with the goal of getting children and families back to normal.

Our program is recognized by U.S. News and World Report for our care of heart conditions. It is also a destination center for referring physicians wanting second opinions for any heart disease diagnosis or heart disease treatment.

Meet Our Cardiothoracic Surgery Program Experts

The St. Louis Children’s Hospital cardiothoracic surgery team is one of the most expert and comprehensive teams in the country. Doctors, advanced practice providers, nurses, and therapists seamlessly coordinate your child’s care during this critical time. Meet the team

Learn More About the Surgeries

If you need more information about cardiothoracic surgery, contact 314.454.KIDS or email us. For patient referrals, call Children's Direct at 800.678.HELP (4357).