Pediatric Heart Surgery in Los Angeles, CA 

When your child needs care for a pediatric congenital heart condition, only the very best will do. The Bethencourt Group’s renowned heart surgery specialists deliver expert care for every pediatric congenital heart condition – from before your little one is even born to when they reach adulthood.

What Are the Different Types of Pediatric Heart Surgery?

Heart surgery performed on a child is typically done to repair heart defects that have been present since birth (congenital heart defects) or to treat heart diseases the child may encounter after early on in life that require surgical repair for the child’s future well-being. There are three different techniques for fixing congenital defects of the heart in children. These include:

  • Open heart surgery using a heart-lung bypass machine
  • Closed heart surgery or a thoracotomy
  • Inserting small tubes into an artery in the leg and then guiding them up to the heart

Open Heart Surgery in Children

Open-heart surgery refers to operations performed on the heart that require a patient being placed on the heart-lung bypass machine. The heart-lung bypass machine takes over the function of the heart and lungs to provide oxygenated blood to the body. The heart itself can then be opened and Dr. Bethencourt can repair the tissue in a bloodless, still environment. In some situations, when on the cardiopulmonary bypass machine, the heart can be operated upon while it is still beating, but emptied of blood. This usually occurs when the repair is on the right side and there are no holes between the left and right sides of the heart.

Closed Heart Surgery for Children

A thoracotomy is a surgery to open the chest wall. The surgery allows access to the lungs, aorta, heart, diaphragm, and spine. Depending on the particular location of the child’s heart disease and damage it has caused, a thoracotomy may be done in the center, on the right, or on the left side of the chest.

From your first visit, you and your child work with a team of experienced professionals who are committed to supporting all of your family’s medical needs. Each step our team of cardiothoracic surgery specilaists take is focused on making your family’s experience as positive as possible.

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