News | Congenital Heart | August 10, 2020

Smidt Heart Institute Enhances Congenital Heart Program to Follow Patients as Neonates Through Adulthood

The Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai is working with the Keck Medicine of USC heart surgery team to expand care for children and adults with congenital heart disease. An echocardiographer helps with cardiac ultrasound imaging in a hybrid OR during a congenital case using a Siemens SC2000 imaging system. Photo by Cedars-Sinai.

The Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai is working with the Keck Medicine of USC heart surgery team to expand care for children and adults with congenital heart disease. An echocardiographer helps with cardiac ultrasound imaging in a hybrid OR during a congenital case using a Siemens SC2000 imaging system. Photo by Cedars-Sinai.

August 10, 2020 - The Guerin Family Congenital Heart Program in the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai is expanding its surgical care for children and adult congenital heart disease patients by embarking on a new initiative that includes the expertise of the world-renowned Keck Medicine of USC heart surgery team.

"Our hope is for all children with congenital heart disease to live long and productive lives well into adulthood," said Evan Zahn, M.D., director of the Guerin Family Congenital Heart Program. "Unlike traditional congenital heart programs that treat either children or adults, our program treats patients from prenatal diagnosis, through childhood, and over the course of their entire adult lives." 

Cedars-Sinai's congenital heart program has an extensive outpatient network, fetal diagnostic services, noninvasive imaging, advanced catheter interventions and clinical research programs. Its physicians have pioneered hybrid procedures that combine surgery and cardiac catheterization, reducing the need for open-heart procedures, and combines pediatric care with expert maternal fetal medicine, and nation leading adult heart care and transplantation.

"We are delighted to work with the Smidt Heart Institute to create a new, world-class option for congenital heart patients and their families," said Vaughn Starnes, M.D., founding executive director of the Keck Medicine of USC Cardiovascular Thoracic Institute and H. Russell Smith Foundation Chair for Stem Cell and Cardiovascular Thoracic Research at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

The congenital heart surgery team at Cedars-Sinai will be directed by Richard Kim, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon with Keck Medicine of USC. "Our congenital heart surgeons have nationally recognized outcomes in complex heart operations and a wealth of experience in managing even the most difficult surgical cases," Kim said. "We are thrilled to join with the experts at Cedars-Sinai to form a truly comprehensive pediatric and adult congenital program for the city of Los Angeles. 

"The Keck Medicine of USC heart surgery team are recognized internationally as the best of the best in congenital heart surgery," said Eduardo Marbán, M.D., Ph.D., executive director of the Smidt Heart Institute. "This stellar team now performs all congenital heart surgeries not only at USC but also at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Bringing them onboard at the Smidt Heart Institute enables us to provide state-of-the art care for congenital heart patients and their families, from prenatal diagnosis through adulthood."

Joanna Chikwe, M.D., chair of the Department of Cardiac Surgery in the Smidt Heart Institute, anticipates that the pediatric heart surgery program will emulate the success of the Cedars-Sinai adult cardiac surgery program.

The Cedars-Sinai heart transplant and structural heart programs are the largest in the U.S. Recently, U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals rankings placed Cedars-Sinai at #3 in the nation for cardiology and heart surgery. Additionally, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons awarded its top three-star designation to Cedars-Sinai in recognition of the outstanding quality of patient care and outcomes in isolated mitral valve replacement and repair in 2018-2019. The mitral valve program is one of a handful in the United States routinely performing robotic mitral repair with a near 100% success rate for degenerative mitral disease. 

The Cedars-Sinai heart transplant and structural heart programs are the largest in the U.S. nd recently, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) awarded its top three-star designation to Cedars-Sinai in recognition of the outstanding quality of patient care and outcomes in isolated mitral valve replacement and repair in 2018-2019. The mitral valve program is one of a handful in the United States routinely performing robotic mitral repair with a near 100% success rate for degenerative mitral disease. 

"We are thrilled that Keck Medicine of USC heart surgeons are collaborating with Cedars-Sinai for the benefit of future generations and our community," said Chikwe. "Working together, we will bring the same excellence to pediatric heart surgery as we have in adult heart surgery."
 

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