Mayo Clinic has been at the forefront of pediatric heart (cardiac) surgery since the specialty began. In the 1950s, Mayo surgeons performed some of the world's first open-heart surgeries in children using a heart-lung machine developed here. This early success brought children from throughout the world to Mayo Clinic. This helped usher in the field of pediatric cardiac surgery.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, has been recognized as one of the top Cardiology & Heart Surgery hospitals in the nation for 2023-2024 by U.S. News & World Report.

To this day, pediatric cardiac surgeons at Mayo Clinic strive to provide the best care for children and develop the care of the future through research and innovation.

When your child needs cardiac surgery, you'll find the multidisciplinary team of experts you need at Mayo Clinic Children's Center in Rochester, Minnesota. The Pediatric Cardiac Surgery team and Pediatric Cardiology have extensive experience treating infants and children with serious, complex or rare heart conditions. Examples are tetralogy of Fallot, Ebstein anomaly, truncus arteriosus, tracheobronchial anomalies and conditions diagnosed during pregnancy. Mayo Clinic also is active in the emerging frontier of fetal intervention for heart defects.

Mayo Clinic surgeons have always been leaders in the specialty of cardiovascular surgery, including as presidents of the Congenital Heart Surgeons' Society, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the American Association for Thoracic Surgery.

Expertise and special programs

A pediatric cardiac surgeon operates. Teamwork in pediatric heart surgery

A pediatric cardiac surgeon at work with her team.

Mayo Clinic has long been a destination medical center for parents seeking the best treatment for their children with complex or serious heart disease. Its multidisciplinary medical and surgical teams review cases of people from all over the world who are seeking advice and recommendations. The clinic's pediatric cardiac surgeons treat many diseases and conditions. A few of the areas for which they have international renown and special programs include:

  • Structural heart disease and valve repair. Mayo Clinic surgeons are expert in evaluating and treating people with valve conditions. Examples include aortic valve defects, mitral valve regurgitation, tricuspid valve regurgitation and valve problems in a single-ventricle heart. They also do many surgeries on the aorta, especially in children and adults with aortic valve disease, Marfan syndrome and other connective tissue diseases. One technique in which Mayo Clinic has excelled for decades is called the Ross procedure, for aortic valve disease. More than 2,000 people have cardiac surgery for heart valve conditions at Mayo Clinic each year.
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and septal myectomy. Mayo Clinic surgeons have introduced new surgical techniques for both obstructive and nonobstructive cardiomyopathy. These innovations have helped countless people and changed the approach used by surgeons worldwide. Our physician-scientists continue to make advances in imaging, arrhythmia treatment and defibrillator strategies to prevent sudden death.
  • Ebstein anomaly. Mayo Clinic is widely respected for its expertise in Ebstein anomaly. Our heart surgeons have refined repair techniques, including the cone reconstruction. This repair has proved to be effective with a low incidence of a need for a second operation. It's now the standard of care for this rare condition. Primary tricuspid valve repair rates now exceed 98% for children and 90% for people of all ages. Mayo Clinic has the world's largest surgical experience in this procedure — more than 1,400 surgeries since 1972.
  • Fontan and heart failure procedures and Heart Transplant Program. Mayo Clinic is a leading institution for treating people with a single ventricle. Mayo surgeons helped develop and modify the Fontan procedure that was first used in the early 1970s. Our physician-scientists continue to advance the surgical treatment options for Fontan circulation.

    Mayo Clinic also has one of the largest and most successful heart and multiple organ transplant programs in the United States. It treats newborns, children and adults. The success of surgery for newborns and children is largely due to the long-standing collaboration between pediatric and adult heart specialists.

  • Minimally invasive and robot-assisted heart surgery. Technology for treating structural heart defects is advancing rapidly. For example, heart conditions can now often be treated through very small openings in the body or with robot-assisted techniques. Our surgeons are experts in these methods, which may result in less pain and shorter recovery time. The multidisciplinary team approach ensures that all options are considered so that each person gets the right care at the right time.
  • Fetal cardiac intervention. There is growing interest worldwide in fetal cardiac intervention for heart defects. Mayo Clinic is at the forefront of fetal surgery. Its maternal fetal medicine specialists and surgeons work together on complex surgery for heart defects found before birth. This results in optimal care for both mother and fetus and helps ensure a seamless transition from fetal life to birth.

Learn about some of the tests and procedures used to diagnose and treat heart conditions.

Team approach, tailored to your child's needs

The combination of focused expertise and strong cooperation among many specialties is a hallmark of Mayo Clinic. Surgeons, cardiologists and other specialists work together to diagnose and treat your child. The care team may include experts in radiology and imaging, critical care, fetal and maternal medicine, neonatology, infectious diseases, pulmonology, gastroenterology, and hematology, as needed.

Your care team works with you to make a treatment plan tailored to your child's needs. Your child's surgery is performed by a team of pediatric experts led by your pediatric cardiac surgeon. All neonatal and complex operations are often performed by two senior surgeons. The nursing team also is key to your child's care and is a link between you and the physician staff.

For children who need more than one procedure, the clinic strives to provide the same nurses, providing seamless care for you and your child. Care teams also might include dietitians, physical and occupational therapists, pharmacists, child life specialists, and others, as needed. Child life specialists help you and your child with concerns about illness, medical procedures and hospital care.

And if your child has a congenital (from birth) heart condition, the clinic is experienced in helping children receiving heart care make a smooth transition into their adult years and treatment for adult congenital heart disease.

Advanced surgical and critical care suites

At Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, cardiovascular pediatric surgery is performed at Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Marys Campus (including Mayo Eugenio Litta Children's Hospital) in highly advanced imaging facilities, operating rooms and catheterization laboratories designed for the needs of children.

Mayo Clinic has a dedicated congenital cardiovascular surgery unit that features private rooms and a 1-1 nursing staffing ratio. The nurses and advanced practitioners are specially trained in treating infants, children and adolescents with complex heart disease. Before surgery babies are cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit by specialists in neonatology and the surgical team until the day of surgery. As children heal after surgery, they are transitioned to the nearby progressive care unit until they go home.

A pediatric cardiovascular surgery collaboration that benefits children

Mayo Clinic and Children's Minnesota have established a unique pediatric cardiovascular surgery collaboration to share physician talent and resources. Mayo Clinic and Children's Minnesota each bring their own highly specialized team of experts to provide services at the other's sites. They also participate in joint quality review and shared education. Children with congenital heart disease benefit from the doctors of both institutions sharing talent and resources in order to provide the highest quality pediatric cardiovascular surgery.

Nationally recognized expertise

Mayo Clinic campuses are nationally recognized for expertise in cardiology and cardiovascular surgery:

  • Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, are ranked among the Best Hospitals for heart and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Mayo Clinic Children's Center in Rochester is ranked the No. 1 hospital in Minnesota, and the five-state region of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2023-2024 "Best Children's Hospitals" rankings.
  • Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., and Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz., are ranked as high performing for aortic valve replacement and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedures by U.S. News & World Report. "High performing" is a designation given to the top 16% of TAVR programs across the nation (600+ programs). U.S News & World Report ranked hospitals for this procedure for the first time in 2022-2023.

Mayo Clinic is top-ranked in more specialties than any other hospital and has been recognized as an Honor Roll member according to the U.S. News & World Report's 2023-2024 "Best Hospitals" rankings.


  • Mayo Clinic Pediatric Cardiac Surgery
  • 200 First St. SW
    Rochester, MN 55905
  • Phone: 507-255-2000
June 23, 2023