Your child’s heart is not like an adult’s. It’s not like any other child’s heart. At Duke Children’s, we understand that. Our pediatric heart surgeons perform a broad range of children’s heart surgeries and provide the unique care your child needs. They also are part of a highly skilled, compassionate team that’s dedicated to delivering the best care to achieve the best outcomes for children of all ages -- from the smallest, most fragile newborns to teenagers.

A gold badge shows Duke has been nationally ranked in 10 pediatric specialties for 2023 to 2024
#2 in Nation and #1 in NC for Pediatric Cardiology and Heart Surgery

Duke Children’s is ranked the #2 pediatric cardiology program in the nation and the best in North Carolina by U.S. News & World Report.

Pediatric Heart Surgery Outcomes

The Duke Pediatric Heart Center's patient survival rates are among the highest in the U.S.

Experts in Children’s Heart Surgery

Duke pediatric cardiac surgeons offer the full range of pediatric heart surgeries. They perform -- and in some cases have pioneered -- the latest techniques.

When possible, our surgeons perform procedures through small, minimally invasive incisions, to reduce the risk of infection and bleeding, and to help your child recover faster.

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Why Choose Duke

When you choose Duke Children’s for your child’s heart surgery, we’ll be with you every step of the way -- before, during, and after the procedure.

Verified by the American College of Surgeons
We are one of the few hospitals in the U.S. verified as a Level I Children's Surgery Center by the American College of Surgeons. This Level I designation recognizes our commitment to providing the highest-quality surgical care to our young patients. To achieve Level I certification, centers must offer multiple medical and surgical specialties, with procedures for major congenital anomalies and complex diseases, including those that are uncommon or require significant coordination among multiple specialties.

Dedicated Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit
After surgery, your child will receive ’round-the-clock care in our pediatric cardiac intensive care unit (PCICU), one of only two in the state. The PCICU is equipped with advanced technology and staffed 24/7 by a team of highly trained critical-care specialists, nurses, respiratory therapists, and other experts in caring for critically ill children. 

Dedicated Pediatric Perfusion and Anesthesiology Experts
The complexity of pediatric heart surgery requires team members who focus specifically on perfusion (blood circulation) and anesthesia. Our award-winning perfusionists, who are certified by the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion, expertly divert blood away from your child’s heart and lungs during surgery, while ensuring your child’s blood continues to deliver oxygen throughout their body. In addition, our pediatric anesthesiologists are specially trained to administer the right drugs at the right doses to children undergoing heart surgery.

Family-Friendly Services
Before your child’s surgery, you’ll have a chance to talk to the surgical team and get answers to your questions at a pre-op appointment or surgical consultation. We’ll explain what will happen on the day of surgery and where. Knowing where to go and what to expect can mean fewer worries on an already stressful day. When your child is ready to leave Duke Children’s, we’ll make sure you have the information and support you need to help your child continue to heal at home.

Watch this video to learn how Duke Children’s Hospital providers will prepare your child for heart surgery once you arrive at the Duke Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center.

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Duke Children's Hospital

Duke Children's Hospital and Health Center provides expert care in a child- and family-friendly environment

This page was medically reviewed on 08/12/2020 by