Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery

girl patient with stethoscope

Children’s National Heart Institute provides specialized expertise across the full spectrum of congenital and acquired heart disease in children – from the most common to the most complex. In addition to general cardiac care, our renowned, multidisciplinary team offers state-of-the-art cardiac imaging and diagnostics, interventional cardiology and electrophysiology, heart surgery and cardiac intensive care. 

World Class Expertise

Thousands of families from around the world seek care at Children’s National Heart Institute from our team of internationally-respected pediatric cardiologists and cardiac surgeons. When you come to Children’s National, you are getting a team that includes pediatric experts from more than 40 subspecialties, ensuring your child has the best possible care.

Founded by congenital heart disease and pulse oximetry expert Gerard Martin, M.D., the Heart Institute is currently led by first-class doctors, including: 

  • Charles Berul, M.D., a renowned leader in pediatric electrophysiology, recognized for his extensive expertise in heart rhythm abnormalities and cardiac assessments in young athletes
  • Yves d’Udekem, M.D., Ph.D., a world-class pediatric cardiac surgeon who specializes in single ventricle congenital heart defects
  • Ricardo Muñoz, M.D., an international expert in cardiac intensive care and telemedicine

Pediatric Heart Care: Services We Provide

We offer a full range of heart care for your child, including:

  • Advanced Cardiac Therapies and Heart Transplant Program

    Heart failure is a serious condition that requires an experienced team performing advanced heart therapies. Our comprehensive Advanced Cardiac Therapies and Heart Transplant Program is dedicated to managing children and adolescents with heart failure. We use the latest treatments, including ventricular assist devices (VADs) and, in certain situations, heart transplantation. 

  • Cardiac Catheterization

    Cardiac catheterization is a medical procedure we use to diagnose and even treat some heart conditions. Using a catheter (a long, thin, flexible tube), we access your child’s heart and blood vessels. Our team of cardiac interventionists performs more than 600 procedures annually. 

    Our doctors possess special expertise with the use of intravascular stents in the treatment of severe pulmonary artery stenosis and other blood vessel abnormalities. We also offer minimally invasive closure of some types of congenital heart disease with outstanding outcomes and quick recovery – without the need for surgery. 

  • Cardiac Imaging

    We offer advanced imaging techniques to obtain highly detailed pictures of your child’s heart structure and function:

    • Echocardiography. This is an ultrasound of the heart. Our echocardiography program, led by Craig Sable, M.D., performs more than 20,000 echocardiograms per year, including nearly 3,000 fetal echocardiograms, making us one of the busiest echocardiography laboratories in the country. 
    • Cardiac MRI. A noninvasive imaging technique, cardiac MRI provides comprehensive evaluations for complex heart conditions, such as tetralogy of Fallot and cardiomyopathies
    • Interventional Cardiac MRI. This unique program allows us to perform MRI procedures and cardiac catheterization procedures on the same day, reducing the need for sedation and multiple procedures. 
  • Heart Surgery

    Our surgeons perform hundreds of procedures each year, the majority of which are on patients less than one year old. Procedures we perform include:

    • Aortic valve stenosis repair
    • Arterial switch operation (ASO)
    • Atrial septal defect and ventricular septal defect closures
    • Fontan procedure
    • Glenn procedure
    • Heart transplants
    • PAVC repair
    • Tetralogy of Fallot repair 
    • Transposition of great arteries repair
  • Electrophysiology

    Our expert pediatric electrophysiologists provide comprehensive heart rhythm management of arrhythmias and syncope in children. We offer the latest and safest technologies, including cryoablation therapy using 3-D mapping without X-ray radiation, and pediatric defibrillator and pacemaker implantation and management.

  • Intensive Cardiac Care

    Our Cardiac ICU provides advanced subspecialty care for severely ill patients suffering from congenital or acquired heart disease. Our state-of-the-art unit is a 34,000 square-foot space with 26 beds and private rooms. It includes a wi-fi-enabled tele-cardiac robot that aids in patient monitoring as well as a telehealth command center, overseen by Ricardo Muñoz, M.D., chief of Cardiac Critical Care and executive director of Telehealth, that allows us to keep constant watch over patients in the ICU. Each room has facilities suitable for families to stay, as well as other services that can reduce the stress of serious illness. 

  • Prenatal Cardiology Program

    Our innovative fetal cardiology program, led by Mary Donofrio, M.D., cares for your unborn child as a separate and individual patient. Comprehensive care begins in utero as our fetal heart experts – who will be with you throughout your experience – work hand-in-hand with surgeons to make a plan for your child. A unique feature of the program is that while our team cares for the fetal heart, we monitor brain function and other aspects of fetal development in coordination with experts from the Children's National Prenatal Pediatrics Institute to ensure the best outcomes. 

Choosing Children’s National for Cardiac Care

The Heart Institute’s mission is to be a leading center for congenital heart disease, providing optimal cardiac care in a safe, family-centered, state-of-the-art environment. Highlights of our program include:

  • A Highly-Skilled Surgical Team

    Our renowned pediatric cardiac surgeons conduct more than 600 cardiac procedures each year, and care for a range of cardiac anomalies from the very rare to the most common issues. We are also one of few programs in the United States that offers a team of anesthesiologists subspecialty trained and certified in pediatric cardiac anesthesia.

  • Developmental Experience

    The approach to cardiac care at Children’s National extends beyond traditional cardiac care to include a specialized focus on the developing brain and long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes with our Neuro-Cardiac Critical Care Program. Clinical care begins with a prenatal diagnosis in the Prenatal Cardiology Program and then continues through any needed surgical procedures. 

  • Pioneering Research

    At Children’s National, we are actively engaged in identifying and developing the next generation of procedures and technology, such as tiny pacemakers for infants, that will enable the safest and most effective care of children’s hearts.

  • Family-Centered Care

    We work closely with you and your child throughout every step of the care process, in order to support the physical and emotional needs of your family during your child’s treatment journey. Our team, including child life specialists, social workers, chaplains and behavioral health experts, offers the emotional support and resources parents and families need during this time.