From its inception at Texas Children’s Hospital in 1954 as one of the first of its kind, the Division of Congenital Heart Surgery has become a world leader in pediatric congenital heart surgery. Under the direction of Charles D. Fraser Jr., M.D., who is also surgeon-in-chief of Texas Children’s, the division pursues its mission to provide the very best possible surgical care for children and adults with congenital and acquired cardiovascular disease in an environment that fosters cutting-edge research and educates tomorrow’s leaders in children’s cardiac surgery.
The Division of Congenital Heart Surgery offers a Congenital Cardiac Surgery Fellowship one of only 11 national fellowships in congenital cardiac surgery recognized by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Participants in the fellowship program receive intense training in pediatric congenital heart disease, including heart and lung transplantation, in one of the world’s largest pediatric heart failure/ventricular assist device (VAD) programs. The programs at Texas Children’s, which are among the largest and most successful programs in the nation, also offer training in fetal surgery and adult congenital heart disease. This fellowship program has produced graduates that have taken leadership positions at prestigious institutions all over the world.
The division is a key part of Texas Children’s Heart Center, which is ranked number three nationally by U.S. News & World Report. One of the largest pediatric congenital heart programs in the country, the Heart Center includes five attending cardiac surgeons who perform over 800 operations annually. Surgeons team with dedicated pediatric cardiologists, cardiovascular anesthesiologists, perfusionists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, pharmacists, and cardiovascular-specific OR and ICU nurses to provide treatment for all known congenital heart defects in patients of all ages, while responding to the individual needs of each of their patients.
The Division of Congenital Heart Surgery maintains an active research program across a broad spectrum. The division focuses specifically on congenital heart surgical outcomes and quality, pediatric heart and lung transplantation, mechanical circulatory support, neurodevelopmental protection, minimally invasive repair of congenital heart defects, aortic reconstruction, surgical repair of congenital coronary anomalies, and, in collaboration with Rice University, pediatric bioengineering. Dr. Fraser and his team at Texas Children’s were the lead institution for the 17-center Berlin Heart study and implanted more Berlin Heart devices than any other center during the study. Dr. Fraser and his team were instrumental in the FDA approval process for the Berlin Heart EXCOR® device.