Heart & Chest Surgery

Innovative Approaches and Quality Outcomes for Patients With Congenital Heart Defects From Fetus to Adult

Heart & Chest Surgery

Dedicated to the treatment of all patients, regardless of age, our Cardiothoracic Surgical Program treats those who are suffering from congenital disorders of the thorax including heart, lung, mediastium and chest wall. A nationally ranked, multidisciplinary team is the key to our success. A team who tailors care to the individual patient.

US News Badge Cardiology

Nationwide Children's Hospital is ranked by U.S. News & World Report for Cardiology and Heart Surgery.

What Matters to Heart Surgery Patients and Families, Matters to Us.

Minimally invasive heart surgery. Open heart surgery. Cardiothoracic surgeons at Nationwide Children’s Hospital use a variety of surgical techniques to repair congenital and acquired heart defects ranging from the most straightforward to the extremely complex.

The developer and leader of Hybrid procedures. One of the only pediatric hospitals to use 3-D Video Assisted Thorascopy. The Heart Center continues to be a pioneer in the development of novel treatment strategies allowing us to expand the use of minimally invasive techniques. The overall driving goal is to improve the long-term quality of life for our patients through the development of minimally-invasive approaches to surgery and shorter recovery time. This less invasive approach is also the cornerstone of the Blood Conservation Program. By exposing patients to less blood products, we reduce the impact of cardiopulmonary bypass.

The Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery is renowned for innovative surgical approaches to congenital heart disease and thoracic diseases, which includes:

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Treating Non-Cardiac Thoracic Disease

Successful diagnosis and treatment is accomplished by a multidisciplinary team of specialists from Hematology/Oncology & BMT, Pulmonary Medicine, Physical Therapy, Plastic Surgery and Cardiothoracic specialists, who tailor the treatment to each individual patient. We have developed a program that brings together a wide range of expertise to ensure the best outcomes for our patients, while making the experience as easy as possible for patients and their families.

Our driving goal is to continuously improve the quality and quantity of life for our patients. By developing less invasive approaches, the impact of surgery will be far less and will allow patients to recover quicker and have better long-term outcomes. This less invasive approach is also the cornerstone of the Blood Conservation Program. By exposing our patients to less blood products, we reduce the impact of cardiopulmonary bypass.

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Learn More About Our Transplant Programs


Young boy in hospital bed

Cardiomyopathy, Heart Failure & Heart Transplant Program

We treat patients with heart failure including medical management and mechanical assist devices as a bridge to transplant. We work with patients and families to plan treatment that provides the best possible quality of life.

Young Girl in Hospital Bed with Stuffed Animal

Lung & Heart-Lung Transplant Program

Our program utilizes a multidisciplinary team of lung transplant and heart-lung transplant experts in the transplantation of children and adults with childhood lung diseases.

Quality Counts: See Our Surgical Outcomes 

Our program is actively involved in quality assurance and improvement on a national, state, and local level. Nationally, we participate in several databases (STS Congenital Heart Surgery Database, NACHRI, UNOS) from which we receive annual reports that are reviewed for areas of improvement. Additionally, we participate in the Optum Health’s Centers of Excellence advisory panel for congenital heart surgery where issues of value (outcomes/cost) are reviewed and incorporated into our quality improvement programs. The Cardiothoracic Surgical program is also part of a statewide database and participates on the Cardiac Standards Subcommittee of the Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps.

Heart Surgeons in Operating Room

Outcomes Data

Our multidisciplinary team model at The Heart Center enables our team to constantly monitor quality of care and patient safety pre- and post-surgery to assure the best possible outcomes.

Heart Surgery Patient

Rankings & Ratings

Beginning in 2017-18, U.S. News & World Report  started using a new way of calculating rankings. Our team explains what you and your family need to know.

Meet Our Patients


Rylee's Story

Read Rylee's Story

Name: Rylee C.

The team at Nationwide Children’s discovered that Rylee's heart was aging too quickly and that she needed a heart transplant.

Walker's Story

Read Walker's Story

Name: Walker B.

During his mother’s 20-week ultrasound Walker's mother learned her baby had hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Within a few days of his birth, Walker would need the first of three open-heart surgeries and eventually, a heart transplant.


Read Owen's Story

Name: Owen M.
Age Today: 14 Years

When Laurel was 19 weeks pregnant, the biggest question on her, and her husband, Donald’s, minds was whether they were having a boy or a girl. But that all changed when a routine ultrasound revealed that their baby had a heart condition. 

Resources for our Patients and Their Families

Heart Surgery Patients

Heart Surgery Guide: What To Expect

Now that you or your child has been scheduled for heart surgery, here's what to expect before, during and after the procedure.

EASE Mobile App


At Nationwide Children’s, families have the option to stay connected by using a safe and secure mobile platform for sending updates from the operating room during surgery.

Resources for Families

Check out some useful resources for families during their time with Heart and Chest Surgery.

Animation: Hybrid Stage 1
Animation Library

Learn More About Our Surgical Procedures

The Heart Center has created a number of educational animations to help our patients understand their heart conditions and the procedures we perform to treat them.