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What We Treat


Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Treatments

As a result of major advances in medical technology and surgical procedures, cutting-edge pediatric cardiac surgery treatments are successfully correcting a wider range of life-threatening acquired and congenital (present at birth) heart defects in babies, children and young adults.

The division of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center is one of the largest volume pediatric heart surgery programs in New York State, and the largest on Long Island. We are the primary center for pediatric cardiac surgery treatments and care within North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System. Our highly skilled cardiothoracic surgeons conduct over 300 cardiac and thoracic surgeries every year, including surgeries on some of the rarest heart disorders.

Our professional and caring cardiothoracic staff is experienced in treating congenital and acquired heart disease for pediatric patients, from newborns to adolescents, including:

  • Transposition of the great arteries
  • Ventricular septal defect
  • Atrial septal defect * Valve repair
  • Repair of a previous surgery
  • Adult congenital heart disease

Transposition of the Great Arteries
Transposition of the great arteries occurs when the aorta and pulmonary arteries are in the wrong position. This causes oxygen-rich blood to go back to the lungs and oxygen-deprived blood to go to the body. Since this disorder deprives the organs of much needed oxygen, it must be treated immediately. This pediatric cardiac surgery treatmentis usually done in steps, where first a surgeon opens up an area between the right and left ventricle to allow the blood to mix and become oxygen-rich so that it can be delivered to the organs. Most commonly, the two arteries are then switched to their proper positions on the heart, but other options for treatment are possible on a case-by-case basis.

Ventricular Septal Defects
A ventricle septal defect (VSD) is a hole on the septum between the right and left ventricles (lower chambers) of the heart. These are usually detected by a doctor hearing a heart murmur. Most of these VSDs will close up on their own and do not cause a problem, especially the small ones. Sometimes a baby is born with larger holes, which can cause symptoms of congestive heart failure. Depending on the child and their condition, the cardiologist may decide to treat with medication or surgery. Medium-sized holes are the most unpredictable, and sometimes medications are used as a wait-and-see approach. If the holes close on their own, the risks of pediatric heart surgery are avoided.

Atrial Septal Defects
An atrial septal defect (ASD) is similar to the VSD, but between the upper chambers of the heart. Again, the location and size of the ASD and the health of the child will determine the course of treatment. Most small ASDs will close on their own, but larger ones will need medical intervention and may need to be closed by pediatric heart surgery.

Heart Valve Repairs
Your heart has four valves: the tricuspid, pulmonary, mitral and aortic. Sometimes babies are born with congenital defects to the valves, and surgery is necessary to repair them to keep the blood flowing properly through the heart. There are various corrections that can be done that either open the valves, help the valves close tightly, reshape the valves so they work properly or change the structure of the valves. Your doctor will explain what repairs are necessary and how he or she plans on correcting the defect with the particular pediatric cardiac surgery treatment.

Making an Appointment for our Pediatric Cardiac Heart Surgery Services
The Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center makes it easy for you to take the first steps in ensuring your child is receiving the best pediatric cardiac surgery treatment possible. Simply click the "Request an Appointment" button, and we will help you set up an appointment with our caring and dedicated health professionals.

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