Complex Congenital Heart Disease Program

In the Complex Congenital Heart Disease Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, your child receives leading-edge care from world renowned specialists. With advances in medical technology, many children born with heart defects now live longer and healthier lives. Our expertise and innovative treatments give your child the best chance for a positive outcome.

Complex congenital heart disease refers to a group of heart defects present at birth. These defects occur when the heart doesn’t develop properly in the womb. Our surgeons have experience treating all types of congenital heart defects, from common and mild to rare and severe.

Complex Congenital Heart Disease: Why Choose Us

U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Children's Hospital Los Angeles among the top pediatric cardiology and heart surgery programs in the U.S. At the Heart Institute, your child gets excellent care from our renowned heart surgeons. Our Complex Congenital Heart Disease Program offers:

  • Unparalleled expertise: Our pediatric heart surgeons are among the best in the country. Your child’s heart is small, so it’s important to have a surgeon with experience operating on tiny hearts. Our surgeons regularly treat the most complex conditions in newborns, infants and children. Our surgeons have pioneered several surgeries for correcting complex congenital heart defects in children.
  • Exceptional outcomes: We successfully treat children with the most complex conditions. Our surgeons often come up with treatment plans for children whose previous doctors said there were no options. Doctors refer patients to us because we offer great outcomes that give your child the best possible quality of life. We are also known for shorter lengths of stay than the national average, so your child can return home sooner after receiving treatment.
  • Dedicated Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU): Your child recovers from surgery in the CTICU. This specialized unit offers advanced monitoring to track your child’s progress after surgery. CTICU staff members specialize in caring for critically ill children with heart disease and have experience treating many rare heart conditions.
  • Advanced mechanical support devices: Sometimes, the heart or lungs need extra support before or after surgery. At Children's Hospital Los Angeles, we have multiple mechanical support options, all sized appropriately for children. We have expertise in these advanced technologies, including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and ventricular assist devices (VADs).
  • Prenatal diagnosis and fetal care: We have advanced prenatal diagnostics, including fetal echocardiograms, to identify heart defects before birth. Early diagnosis means we can provide you and your baby with the best possible care, starting in pregnancy. We monitor your pregnancy, help you plan for a safe delivery, and create a care plan for your baby. The fetal-maternal team also coordinates with the cardiothoracic surgery team for a seamless treatment experience. Learn more about our Fetal Cardiology Program.
  • Child-friendly, family-focused approach: We designed everything at Children's Hospital Los Angeles—from pediatric blood pressure cuffs to our wheelchair-accessible playground—with your child’s comfort in mind. And we understand that when your child is sick, it affects your whole family. We partner with you to make your child as comfortable as possible. For example, our doctors explain procedures in age-appropriate language. We also make it easy for you to be with your child throughout treatment and recovery.

Congenital Heart Defects We Treat

We treat all types of congenital heart defects and conditions, including but not limited to:

  • Aortopathy
  • Aortopulmonary window
  • Atrial septal defect
  • Atrioventricular (AV) canal
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Coarctation of the aorta
  • Congenital heart block
  • Congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries
  • Constrictive pericarditis
  • Double outlet right ventricle
  • Ectopia cordis
  • Heterotaxy syndrome heart disease
  • Hypoplastic aortic arch
  • Interrupted aortic arch
  • Partial anomalous pulmonary venous return
  • Patent ductus arteriosus
  • Pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum (PAIVS)
  • Pulmonary atresia with ventricular septal defect (PAVSD)
  • Sinus of valsalva aneurysm and fistula
  • Subaortic membrane
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Total anomalous pulmonary venous return
  • Transposition of the great arteries
  • Truncus arteriosus
  • Ventricular septal defect
  • Williams syndrome associated supravalvar aortic stenosis

Related Programs and Services

Our experienced surgeons are experts at treating congenital heart defects. Our specialized heart surgery programs include: