Our Approach & Expertise

Congenital Heart Center

The NewYork-Presbyterian Congenital Heart Center is one of the largest and most preeminent pediatric cardiology and cardiac surgery centers in the nation. We provide patients with congenital heart defects treatment options never thought possible just a short time ago, with outcomes that are among the best in the nation. Our center has the lowest mortality rate in New York State for pediatric heart surgery, and one of the lowest nationwide – even though our surgeons routinely treat some of the most complex cases, many referred from other institutions.

Our distinguished roster of highly-skilled and experienced cardiovascular surgeons includes three national leaders specializing in complex neonatal surgery, hybrid minimally invasive surgery and transplant/assist devices.

We offer our young patients not only cardiovascular expertise, but all sub-specialties that may be needed when treating a complex heart problem:

State of the Art Interventional Catheterization

Interventional Cardiology is a unique specialty that involves non-surgical treatment of cardiovascular disorders. The Congenital Heart Center has the only pediatric catheterization laboratories in metropolitan New York dedicated to pediatric pulmonary hypertension and arrhythmia studies, as well as diagnostic and therapeutic interventions such as radiofrequency ablation for cardiac arrhythmias and balloon valvuloplasty of the aortic and pulmonary valves. Many of the pediatric interventional procedures that have become standard of care worldwide have been developed by interventional cardiologists at NewYork-Presbyterian.

The Congenital Heart Center is one of just a few centers in the U.S., and the only one in the tri-state area, to offer 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 cardiopulmonary bypass, and promote a faster recovery. Our center evaluates all patients for less invasive treatment options, which may also allow the surgeon to treat a condition with a single operation rather than a series of procedures. Our interventional cardiologists also offer percutaneous procedures, a less invasive option for valve repair and replacement, using a catheter inserted through a small incision in the groin.

Leadership in Heart Transplantation

We have a rich history of developing innovative surgical treatments that set the standard in pediatric cardiac surgery. In 1984, our surgeons performed the world’s first successful pediatric heart transplant in a 4-year old boy. More than 360 children have received new hearts at our center since that milestone. Our transplant program is now one of the largest and most successful pediatric heart transplant centers in North America and the world, largely due to the dedication and expertise of our heart transplant team, the use of cardiac assist devices in managing heart failure, and the use of novel immunosuppression protocols. The hospital is a leader in the Pediatric Heart Transplant Study Group, which includes 23 institutions across North America and is responsible for a significant proportion of multi-institutional research related to heart transplantation today.

Our cardiac surgeons are at the forefront of developing and designing ventricular assist devices for infants and small children as a bridge to recovery or transplantation.

Our center is among the first in the world to use extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a short term cardiac assist device, to successfully sustain the lives of children whose anatomy or age would not permit a ventricular assist device.