Cardiovascular-Thoracic Surgery

Led by Division Head Carl L. Backer, MD, the Heart Center's renowned cardiovascular-thoracic surgery team provides comprehensive surgical care for all congenital and acquired cardiac defects.

The surgical team of Dr. Backer and Osama M. Eltayeb, MD, and Michael C. Mongé, MD, has particular expertise in neonatal repairs, coronary artery problems, vascular rings, tracheal abnormalities, mitral valve repair, arterial switch for transposition of the great arteries, tetralogy of Fallot, palliative and reparative operations, and the Fontan and Norwood procedures.

With high volumes and strong outcomes, the team leads the nation in arrhythmia surgery, integrating this technique into repair of congenital heart defects in infants and children as well as adults.

As the surgical core of the region's largest pediatric heart transplant program, the team collaborates closely with pediatric cardiologists.

Specialized Expertise

Advanced care for infants, children and teens includes specialization in areas including:

  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
  • Berlin Heart ventricular assist device
  • Post-Fontan procedure for complex single-ventricle patients, including assessment for Fontan conversion and arrhythmia surgery
  • Initial operation or reoperation for adolescents and adults with congenital heart disease
  • Arrhythmia surgery in conjunction with surgery for patients with a residual or recurrent congenital heart defect after previous repair
  • Congenital vascular rings/tracheal stenosis and associated pulmonary artery sling malformation
  • Coronary artery anomalies, including anomalies of origin and acquired disease as seen in some patients with Kawasaki disease

Surgeons are supported by a Heart Center team of specially trained pediatric caregivers with experience treating congenital heart disease in children. These specialists include anesthesiologists, intensivists, advanced practice nurses, perfusionists​ and technologists.