Heart Surgery Outcomes :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Heart Surgery Featured Success

The Cardiothoracic Surgery Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital has been dedicated to the treatment of all patients, from newborns to adults, with congenital heart defects ranging from the most straightforward to the extremely complex. We offer a comprehensive approach to heart care that is based on a multidisciplinary team model. This model enables our team to constantly monitor quality of care and patient safety pre- and post-surgery to assure the best possible outcomes.

Under the ten-year program leadership of Mark Galantowicz, MD, he has built a team of surgeons that have the training and experience to excel in a full range of pediatric and adult surgical procedures for congenital cardiac disorders — performing more than 500 procedures a year. With the leadership and combined research of Patrick I. McConnell, MD, and Toshiharu Shinoka, MD, PhD, they are developing innovative approaches to cardiovascular surgery and recovery. For example, the use of mechanical assist devices and associated therapies that target heart recovery and bioengineering tissue for use in surgery.

Our patients that require an invasive procedure go through a case review process with our team to determine their treatment path. Our team combines the knowledge and expertise of cardiologists, surgeons, anesthesiologists, researchers, intensivists, advance practice nurses, technologists and clinical staff. Each team member plays an active role in determining the best course of care for our patients. With the combined side-by-side involvement with our patients and families, we are able to provide quality care and receive optimal patient outcomes.

To ensure our program and outcomes are held at the highest standards, we participate in several national databases and registries as well as advisory panels where issues of value (outcomes/cost) are reviewed. With this comprehensive look, we are able to develop quality improvement initiatives and measurements that will continue to lead and enhance cardiac care around the country.

According to the latest Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) database, The Heart Center is designated a high-volume center with outcomes ranking among the best. During the most recent year for STAT category 5 (most complex surgery level) The Heart Center’s mortality rate was 2.9% compared to the STS all participant average of 15.2%.



Natiowide Children's Renowned Cardiothoracic Surgery Program (PDF)


According to the latest Society of Thoracic Surgery (STS) database, The Heart Center at Nationwide Children’s outcomes rank among the best among high-volume centers for both children and adults undergoing congenital heart surgery. The Heart Center’s 2011 mortality rate for children was 1.9% and for adults 0%, while the 4-year (2008–2011) average for children was 0.5% and adults 0.8%.

Chart for Mortality Rates for RACHS 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6

Our bloodless, open-heart surgery target was 50%. And we exceeded it.

Chart for Bloodless Surgery Rate

With the goal of limiting or eliminating blood transfusion, our comprehensive team of perioperative nurses, cardiologists, intensivists, anesthesiologists and perfusionists work together, and have the expertise to deliver the latest advances, developments, standards and nonblood therapies. As pioneers in bloodless surgery, we accept the responsibility for setting standards and teaching others to the benefit of all patients everywhere.

A multidisciplinary team delivering tailored care leads to better cardiothoracic surgical outcomes.

Chart for Cardiothoracic Surgery Outcomes

Heart Transplant Outcomes

  • 93% 30-day survival (expected national average 92%)
  • 88% 1-year survival (expected national average 84%)

Lung Transplant Outcomes

  • 92.4% 1- and 2-year survival (expected national average 77%)


  • According to the Society of Thoracic Surgery (STS) database, among all high volume ranked centers, The Heart Center maintains low mortality rates of 1.2% (children < 18 yrs.) and 0.8% (adults >18 yrs.) for cases with the highest case complexity.
  • Baby boy born at 29 weeks gestation and 1.5 kilos with type B interrupted aortic arch, inlet ventricular septal defect with interventricular hemorrhages and subarachnoid bleeds, and DiGeorge syndrome. Given the concern for making the neurological insults worse by going on bypass, the patient underwent a Hybrid Stage 1 procedure, which allowed him to grow, and allowed his brain to recover and develop. He did very well and at age 6 months, weighing 5.2 kg, he underwent full repair of his aortic arch, removal of the PDA stent, removal of the PA bands and closure of his VSD. He is now 18 months old and developing normally with no neurological or cardiac issues.
Cardiothoracic Surgery Total Cases Chart
Cardiothoracic Surgery Median Length of Stay (Days) Chart
Cardiothoracic Surgery Outcomes Chart
Cardiothoracic Surgery Cases Chart

Featured Heart Center Quality Initiatives

The Heart Center Snapshot: Quality Initiatives and Program Outcomes
This book features a snapshot of quality initiatives and program outcomes from The Heart Center at Nationwide Children's Hospital.
Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000