Children's Cardiac Surgery & Critical Care

Caring for a congenital or acquired heart condition in children or caring for adults with a congenital condition often requires one or more surgical procedures. No matter what condition you or your child face, your unique situation can benefit from a fully dedicated children’s hospital with every aspect of care – from anesthesia, operating rooms, cardiac ICU and around-the-clock intensive care – designed specifically and only for cardiac kids.

Expert Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgical Care

When you or your doctor or cardiologist consider surgery for your or your child’s heart or vascular condition, choose the first and only comprehensive pediatric cardiothoracic surgery program in Oklahoma at The Children’s Hospital Children’s Heart Center in Oklahoma City. You’ll work with a top-quality pediatric surgery team focused on caring for congenital heart disease and related heart conditions with procedures ranging from correction of relatively minor heart defects to highly complex repairs involving multiple heart conditions.

Experienced Surgeons & Advanced Technologies

You benefit from the extensive experience of The Children’s Hospital board-certified and fellowship-trained pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons who perform more than 450 complex cardiothoracic surgeries each year while using the latest advanced technologies, including minimally invasive, hybrid and robotic-assisted procedures that help speed healing and recovery. And you’ll collaborate with them to determine the best approach to address your or your child’s specific situation. Your options may include cardiothoracic surgery and services such as:

  • Congenital cardiac surgery and congenital coronary anomaly repair
  • Neonatal and infant cardiac surgery
  • Single ventricle three-stage cardiac surgeries, including Norwood (Stage 1), Glenn (Stage 2) and Fontan (Stage 3) procedures
  • Adult congenital cardiac surgery
  • Mononuclear cell therapy for hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS)
  • Pediatric thoracic surgery for chest wall abnormalities

Thanks to support from generous benefactors, parents of all children in the single ventricle surgery process receive a digital scale and an oxygen saturation monitor.

Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesia

Cardiac surgery typically requires anesthesia or specialized sedation services to provide a pain-free, safe and stable experience through the course of every procedure.

When you choose The Children’s Hospital for pediatric heart surgery, you’ll work with the region’s only fellowship-trained pediatric anesthesiologists who provide services for more children’s surgeries than any other anesthesiologists in Oklahoma and who serve as part of the state’s only Level I trauma team nationally verified by the American College of Surgeons (ACoS). You can rely on their expertise to address complexities often associated with pediatric surgery, including neonatal and pediatric cardiac anesthesiology.

Expect to meet with your child’s anesthesiologist before the procedure to gather information, discuss what to expect, answer your questions and help calm any fears.

Your child’s anesthesia team monitors all vital functions during the procedure and follows through until your child moves into the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU), step-down recovery room or cardiac-specific nursing unit. They also work closely with other members of your child’s multidisciplinary care team to provide post-operative pain management and assure your child remains as comfortable and pain-free as possible.

Specialized Cardiac Surgery Support

At The Children’s Hospital, you gain access to highly specialized cardiac surgery support staff, including cardiovascular perfusionists who provide mechanical replacement for heart and lung function during all types of bypass operations.

Our skilled perfusionists also deliver extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) – a nationally designated Center of Excellence program at OU Health – to assist the tiniest hearts undergoing complex surgical procedures.

Pediatric Critical Care

Following surgery, your child needs the lifesaving intensive cardiac critical care that fosters excellent outcomes and helps speed healing. At The Children’s Hospital’s Children’s Heart Center, you’ll find Oklahoma’s only pediatric cardiac intensive care unit providing an extraordinarily high level of care for newborns, infants and children with congenital and acquired heart conditions. Your child benefits from expert care delivered by an experienced, multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses and specialists who provide care rated as some of the best in the nation.

Everything about critical care at Children’s Heart Center puts your child and family at the center of services. Equipped with the most advanced technology and designed as a comfortable, parent-centered environment, you’ll find the pediatric intensive care unit centrally located in The Children’s Hospital at OU Health. Just a short elevator ride away from surgical services and other important diagnostic testing and procedural care areas, this location assures you of convenient access to support services throughout the hospital. You can remain in or close to your child’s room at all times or stay only a few steps away in a comfortably furnished waiting area.

Pediatric Cardiac Nursing

As your child receives care at the Children’s Heart Center pediatric intensive care unit, neonatal intensive care unit, emergency department, medical-surgical unit or any of several other care locations, you’ll encounter The Children’s Hospital’s nurses who possess the knowledge, skills, abilities and expertise to provide developmentally appropriate, personalized care for your child.

You’ll work with a cardiac nursing team that includes staff nurses, nurse educators, clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners who collaborate with professionals from a variety of healthcare disciplines. Using evidence-based practices and nursing research, they welcome open discussions with you and your family to foster an effective healing environment that meets your child’s specific physical and emotional needs.

Innovative Pediatric Heart Care Facilities & Staff Available 24/7

You’ll find us ready to care for you or your child around the clock. In any of three fully integrated operating rooms equipped with advanced surgical technology designed just for cardiac kids, as well as the latest video recording and conferencing services, you’re assured of receiving the best care in the region for your or your child’s surgical procedure.

Child Life specialists on staff at Children’s help you and your family stay as comfortable and informed as possible, share feelings and emotions, and learn as much as you can about medical care. As you and your child prepare for surgery, you may want to schedule a guided tour of Children’s Heart Center to help everyone understand what to expect.

Related Services at Children’s Heart Center

Learn more about children’s heart and vascular conditions treated at The Children’s Hospital, as well as extensive diagnostic tests and visits, heart programs and treatments, and special heart patient and family support services.

Your Pediatric Heart & Vascular Care Team

Your or your child’s heart, vascular and cardiothoracic care team may include pediatric cardiologists, pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons, pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists, pediatric critical care specialists and pediatric cardiac nurses, as well as child life specialists, social workers, therapists and healthcare professionals from many disciplines.

You benefit from collaborating with an experienced pediatric cardiovascular team that directly involves you and your family in treatment decisions, also pays close attention to your family’s nonmedical needs and:

  • Brings together specialists from all departments to coordinate and implement new and innovative treatments for children’s heart and vascular conditions
  • Conducts groundbreaking research on hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) with nationally renowned colleagues from across the United States and brings new methods for prevention, diagnosis and treatment to your care through participation in locally available clinical trials
  • Teaches the physicians of tomorrow for the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, which also gives you access to benchmark practice standards, innovative care and treatment methods, advanced technology and world-class research
  • Puts smiles on the faces of children and families during more than 10,000 outpatient visits each year