Pediatric Heart Surgery at Columbia

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If your child has a heart condition that may benefit from surgery, we’re here to help. The Congenital Heart Center at Columbia is one of the nation’s best programs for treating complex heart conditions in children of all ages, from newborns to adolescents and young adults. Our multispecialist team delivers the highest level of care and support at Columbia/NewYork-Presbyterian’s Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, New York’s No. 1 children’s hospital. 

Our surgeons routinely treat the most complex cases while providing the best outcomes. We have the lowest mortality rate in New York State for pediatric heart surgery.

To get started with our center, call (212) 305-2688 or request an appointment online.

Pediatric Heart Programs & Services

The Congenital Heart Center is home to a number of specialized services and programs that leverage the experience and expertise of our surgeons, clinicians, and support staff to provide the latest evidence-based treatment for pediatric cardiac conditions.

Lifesaving Care—Even Before Birth

Many serious heart conditions can be surgically treated while the child is still in the womb. The Congenital Heart Center has one of the largest and most experienced maternal-fetal medicine teams in the country. The Fetal Cardiac Program at Columbia’s Center for Prenatal Pediatrics offers comprehensive and compassionate care for children diagnosed with congenital heart disease before birth, providing care for both mother and baby from the time of prenatal diagnosis through birth and beyond.

Fetal Cardiac Program

A One of a Kind Pediatric Heart Valve Center

Our fully dedicated Pediatric Heart Valve Center is one of the largest and most preeminent programs focusing on heart valve congenital malformations in the nation. The Pediatric Heart Valve Center provides safe, effective, and innovative treatments for children and adolescents with congenital heart valve disease. Our collaborative team of experts from across Columbia offers cutting-edge surgical and interventional techniques for heart valve repair and heart valve replacement.

Pediatric Heart Valve Center

Leaders in Pediatric Heart Transplantation

As one of the largest and most successful pediatric heart transplantation programs in the world, we’ve helped hundreds of children receive new hearts and live longer, healthier lives. Our Pediatric Cardiomyopathy, Heart Failure, and Transplantation program is a pioneer in innovative techniques and treatments, delivering care for children in need of a heart transplant. We are at the forefront of the latest technologies, including:

  • ventricular assist devices to support patients awaiting a new heart
  • novel immunosuppression after transplantation
  • extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO): We are the only platinum center of excellence for ECMO in the region.

The Latest in Hybrid Heart Surgery

The Congenital Heart Center is one of just a few centers in the U.S., and the only one in the tristate area, offering hybrid cardiac surgery for infants and children. Hybrid heart surgery combines conventional surgical methods with minimally invasive, catheter-based interventional approaches to permit much smaller incisions, avoid the use of a heart-lung bypass machine, promote a faster recovery, and allow our surgeons to treat a condition with a single operation.

Specialized Care for Marfan and Connective Tissue Disorders

Columbia’s Pediatric Marfan Program is an all-in-one center designed to provide streamlined access to all the services our Marfan patients need, with a panel of experts working together to ensure you get the best care possible.

Pediatric Marfan Program

Treatment Through Adolescence and Beyond

Thanks to lifesaving advancements in pediatric heart care, a growing population of adults may eventually need surgical repair for congenital heart disease treatments they received as children. Our surgeons are also part of the Columbia’s Schneeweiss Adult Congenital Heart Center, one of the largest and most experienced adult congenital heart programs in the world, and can be a consistent presence in your child’s life as they transition to adult care.

Adult Congenital Center

Other Specialized Programs

Pediatric Cardiac Nursing: Critical care nurses are at your child’s bedside from the operating room to the intensive care unit, providing compassionate care at all times. While your child is in the Cardiac ICU, a senior cardiology nurse will come to help prepare your family for the transition from the critical care setting to the inpatient cardiology floor. Nurses at our center understand that the ideal natural environment for a child is the home. Surgery and illness are a stressful experience in anyone’s life, especially a child’s, so we create an inviting, family-friendly, stimulating environment for kids. We work wholeheartedly to decrease their exposure to invasive testing and to promote pain control and distraction during these procedures. The nurses working on the in-patient cardiology unit see all the patients every hour, so that all needs are identified as early as possible and plans for discharge home are identified in a timely fashion so that preparations may be made well in advance. From the moment that you and your child are admitted to the ICU, our nurses are working to facilitate a safe, timely, and streamlined discharge.

Child Life Program: The Child Life program originated at MSCHONY in 1929 and is one of the oldest and most respected programs in the country. The program is designed to help children understand, cope with, and master their medical experiences. Child life specialists recognize a child's reactions to the stresses of illness and medical procedures, allowing them to assess a child and family’s psychosocial needs, and provide appropriate individualized interventions, including developing coping strategies, creating diversions during procedures, and planning activities that help normalize the environment. In addition, the program has a Music Therapist and an Art Therapist to provide music and art as a means for children to express their emotions and cope with their hospitalization. The Congenital Heart Center has a dedicated child life specialist assigned specifically to help our patient population and their families.

Pediatric Cardiac Rehabilitation: Each pediatric heart surgery patient receives an individualized and detailed evaluation and treatment plan by an occupational and/or physical therapist. By creating a playful atmosphere in therapy, a wide variety of interventions are used to achieve successful outcomes. Physical therapists specialized in cardiopulmonary techniques work with kids at the bedside to improve strength, endurance, balance, and mobility while promoting heart and lung function. Occupational therapists may assist with coordination, cognitive development, academic strategies and social coping skills. In the case of infants and young children, physical and occupational therapists facilitate the development of gross and fine motor skills including rolling, sitting, standing and independent mobility, which may be hindered in cases of congenital cardiac disease or other disorders that affect the heart. Outside of the hospital setting, our physical and occupational therapists offer a combination of supervised exercise, education and psychosocial support specifically designed for the specialized needs of those with cardiac disease. Education topics include basic review of the structure and function of the heart, modification of risk factors (when appropriate), and guidance in establishing a healthy exercise routine.

Speech, Language and Swallowing Disorders Program: The Speech Pathology team works closely with our pediatric heart specialists to accurately assess each child’s needs. The team then works collaboratively with the Departments of Nutrition, Respiratory Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy to facilitate advancements in safe feeding/swallowing and overall nutritional status. The team also helps communication through speech-language intervention and use of speaking valves. Our team has the capability to perform objective swallowing evaluations such as Modified Barium Swallow Study and Flexible Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing.

Related Programs

Conditions & Treatments We Cover

Our team has experience with all forms of pediatric heart disease and is fully trained in all of the most advanced surgical treatment techniques.

Pediatric Heart Conditions

  • Atrial Septal Defect
  • Coarctation of the Aorta
  • Congenital Aortic Valve Stenosis
  • Congenitally Corrected Transposition of the Great Vessels
  • Coronary Artery Fistula
  • D-Transposition of the Great Arteries
  • Ebstein's Anomaly
  • Mitral Valve Stenosis and Regurgitation
  • Patent Foramen Ovale
  • Pulmonary Valve Stenosis
  • Single Ventricle
  • Sinus of Valsalva Aneurysm
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Ventricular Septal Defect

Pediatric Heart Treatments

  • Aortic Ross Procedure
  • Arterial Switch Operation
  • Atrial Septal Defect Repair
  • Fontan Procedure
  • Glenn Procedure
  • Norwood Procedure
  • Ozaki Aortic Valve Repair
  • Tetralogy of Fallot Repair
  • Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return Repair
  • Transplant
  • Ventricular Septal Defect Repair

Read more about congenital heart disease.

Our Pediatric Surgery Team

Our team of highly-skilled and experienced pediatric heart surgeons include national leaders in complex neonatal surgery, hybrid minimally invasive surgery and transplant/assist devices.

To talk with our team, call (212) 305-2688 or request an appointment today.

Emile A. Bacha, MD | (212) 305-2688
Chief, Congenital and Pediatric Cardiac Surgery

Dr. Bacha is Chief of the Division of Cardiac, Thoracic, & Vascular Surgery and the director of the Congenital Heart Center. His surgical expertise encompasses the full-spectrum of congenital and pediatric heart disease, including complex neonatal cardiac repairs and heart transplantation.

Andrew B Goldstone, MD | (212) 305-5975

Dr. Goldstone treats patients spanning from birth through adulthood, with a focus on neonatal surgery, complex biventricular repair, pulmonary artery reconstruction, and the surgical management of heart failure. He believes in a personalized approach to the treatment of heart disease, tailored to each patient’s specific needs.

David Kalfa, MD, PhD | (212) 305-5975

Dr. Kalfa is the Director of the Pediatric Heart Valve Center and Director of the Initiative for Pediatric Cardiac Innovation. His expertise includes the full spectrum of pediatric and adult congenital heart diseases including minimally-invasive procedures and heart transplantation.

John Karamichalis, MD | (212) 305-5975

Dr. Karamichalis is an experienced and award-winning pediatric heart surgeon. He is certified in Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery with subspecialty certification in Congenital Cardiac Surgery.

Our Pediatric Cardiology Partners

Pediatric Heart Resources & More

Contact Information

Call us at (212) 305-2688 or reach us through our online appointment request form.
Documents and records can be faxed to us at (212) 305-4408

Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian

3959 Broadway (165th Street and Broadway)
New York, NY 10032
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Planning & Preparing

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To get started with our pediatric heart surgery team, call (212) 305-2688 or request an appointment online.

Here For You, Now More Than Ever

Even with the Covid-19 situation, we’re still here to give you the care you need. Our team is ready to provide virtual visits for any issue, and we have all the necessary precautions to safely do in-person visits for situations requiring an examination. Read about the lessons we’ve learned from the pandemic, and how they will help us give better, safer care than ever.

Call us at (212) 305-2688 or request an appointment online