Congenital cardiothoracic surgery is based out of Children's Hospital Colorado, which is an affiliate hospital of the University of Colorado Health System. The faculty in the congenital program are members of the Division of Thoracic Surgery, in the Department of Surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Congenital cardiac surgery is primarily performed at Children's Colorado, while some surgery on adult patients is performed at University Hospital. The congenital cardiac surgery program is an integral part of the Heart Institute and the center for surgical services at Children's Hospital Colorado. The surgery program is led by Dr. James Jaggers who holds the Barton-Elliman Chair for Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, Dr. David Campbell, the Congenital Cardiac Surgery training program director, and Dr. Max Mitchell who is the Director of the Mechanical Assist program. The surgery program is also supported by Faith Fisher, AC-PNP and Esther Carpenter, nursing coordinator. All of our surgeons are very active in education and professional societies and have active research interests. The surgery program has superior clinical experience in surgical management of children with complex neonatal cardiac defects including HLHS, TGA, pulmonary atresia and AVSD. The group also has a special clinical interest in children with connective tissue disorders including Marfan, Loews Dietz and Ehlers Danlos syndromes. The surgical outcomes for the congenital cardiac surgery program are excellent and among the best in the country. The Heart Institute and the congenital cardiac surgery program serve a wide geographic area including the entire Denver metro area, as well as the state of Colorado and the entire Rocky Mountain region. In addition to caring for the local regional population, the program has a keen interest in humanitarian work for children throughout the developing world with congenital heart disease. More information about the involvement in humanitarian efforts can be found by visiting Surgeons of Hope.
The congenital cardiac surgery program promotes an interdisciplinary care approach with pediatric cardiology and cardiac anesthesia at Children's Colorado. This includes very active programs for Pediatric cardiac transplantation, mechanical assist devices, and adult congenital heart disease. The transplant program has continually been one of the busiest and most successful programs in the country. The surgery program utilizes two dedicated state of the art operating rooms and one hybrid operating suite. The Heart Institute has a dedicated group of four certified pediatric perfusionists who also administer the pediatric ECMO and VAD programs. The operating rooms are staffed by dedicated pediatric cardiovascular nurses and five full time pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists. Following surgery, patients are cared for in a state of the art, 16 bed cardiac intensive care unit with 24/7 coverage by cardiac intensivist physicians and a 16 bed step-down unit. All facilities are housed in the brand new east wing of Children's Hospital Colorado. There are nationally recognized training programs in pediatric cardiology and congenital cardiac surgery that consistently produce future leaders in their prospective fields.
The Heart Institute also utilizes the state of the art Colorado Institute for Maternal and Fetal Health in which mothers of children with known congenital heart defects can deliver their child right here at Children's Colorado, where the child can receive state of the art care immediately after birth. The center also has world renowned experts in the field of fetal surgery.