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Cook Children's Heart Center
Cook Children's Heart Center - Because childhood should be simple

Levi was born with a severe combination of heart defects and has undergone 3 surgeries in his lifetime.

He will need another surgery in the next few years but until then, he is living life as a happy, energetic 4-year old.

Brinley was born with a rare congenital heart condition

See how the heart team at Cook Children's gave her a brighter future.

Giving feels good
From the Heart

Cardiac surgeryCook Children's

Cardiothoracic surgery

When it comes to your child, any kind of surgery is concerning. When that surgery is related to the heart, it can be a very frightening time. The cardiothoracic surgeons in the Cook Children's Heart Center are recognized for their skill and expertise.

And, because they perform an average of 400 surgeries each year, they know how challenging it is for you and your child, and they will work closely with you to ensure you understand all your child's surgery will entail and the risks involved in order to provide the best plan of treatment.

Dr. Nikaidoh of the Nikaidoh procedureThe aortic translocation surgery, also known as the Nikaidoh procedure, was developed by Hisashi Nikaidoh, M.D., a member of the Cook Children's surgical team. Children diagnosed with the rare triad of transposition of the great arteries, ventricular septal defect and pulmonary stenosis have a greatly improved prognosis after undergoing this procedure which involves aortic translocation with reconstruction of the right ventricular outflow tract.

Cook Children's cardiothoracic surgeons help diagnose and treat patients with difficult heart and cardiovascular defects. Our Cardiothoracic Surgery program provides complete care for newborns, infants and children with heart and cardiovascular defects. Cook Children's cardiothoracic surgeons also use their extensive experience to treat adults who were born with a heart disease.

Are you prepared for your child's heart surgery?
Knowing what to expect before the day of surgery can help to ease some of your anxiety. From scheduling a preoperative visit to talking to your child to what you need on the day of and the days following surgery, you'll find everything you need to be prepared, here.

What we treat

Our cardiothoracic surgery team's services include the diagnosis, treatment and repair of congenital heart defects, such as:

Our surgery services include:

Cardiothoracic surgical team
Did you know? Cook Children's cardiothoracic surgical team performs an average of 400 complex surgeries every year.

Cook Children's cardiothoracic surgery team

Tam, Vincent K.H. M.D. 

Tam, Vincent K.H. M.D.
Medical Director, Cardiothoracic Surgery
View physician biography

Nikaidoh, Hisashi M.D. 

Nikaidoh, Hisashi M.D.
View physician biography



Cook Children's congenital heart surgeons work closely with cardiology colleagues in the diagnosis of children with complex congenital heart defects. We use a multidisciplinary approach with a dedicated cardiac anesthesia team and cardiac intensivists. Under the leadership of Dr. Vincent Tam, our program provides comprehensive cardiac surgical care, encompassing all diagnoses, with low morbidity and mortality. We have participated in the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) national pediatric cardiac database and actively pursue continuous quality improvement.

Volumes and outcomes





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We're here to help.

If your child has been diagnosed, you probably have lots of questions. We can help. For resources, education or more information on support, click here. If you would like to schedule an appointment, refer a patient or speak to our staff, please call our offices at 682-885-2140.

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