Only a limited number of pediatric care sites in the United States are truly qualified to offer healthcare for people affected by heart conditions that appear at birth or those acquired later in life.
The Riley Cardiovascular and Cardiothoracic Surgery Program at IU Health has the expertise, experience and resources to meet these highly-specialized needs for even the most vulnerable patients.
Our board certified surgeons treat and manage the entire spectrum of heart defects—from the most common to the most rare and complex. They are responsible for developing many novel techniques that improve survival rates and quality of life for patients with heart defects that were once untreatable.
As one of the nation’s busiest pediatric heart centers, Riley at IU Health is equipped with the knowledge, personnel and technology necessary to care for adults, children and infants with acquired or congenital heart disease.
These assets keep us among the top 15 of high-volume heart programs in the nation for effective outcomes, drawing patients from Indiana, the United States and many parts of the world.
Why Riley Children's Health?
Whether we meet through diagnosis of your child’s heart defect at birth, or through a pediatrician, cardiologist or primary care referral, we are ready to serve your family’s healthcare needs for as long as you need us.
Heart defects come in so many shapes and sizes that no two patients are exactly the same. Your loved one’s condition may be very simple or it may require complex care performed in stages. Either way, we help parents and caregivers understand each step in a customized care plan, and we embrace each family as a valued part of the healthcare team.
Families affected by congenital heart disease linked to their genetic traits can also seek guidance from our Cardiovascular Genetic Counseling Program to determine whether future children or other family members may be at risk for the same disorder.
Riley at IU Health offers a fully-integrated program to care for children and adults with congenital heart disease. Our people and resources are organized and ready to provide a rare level of coordinated care at one of the nation’s top destinations for acute care.
Your child’s cardiac healthcare team has world-class specialists trained in cardiovascular and cardiothoracic surgery, cardiac anesthesiologists, imaging technicians, congenital cardiologists, cardiovascular intensive care specialists and many other who specialize in working with heart defects and thoracic conditions.
This includes a team of dedicated cardiovascular nurses that place Riley at IU Health among the top 5 percent of hospitals in the United States for nursing quality, safety and patient satisfaction as conferred by Magnet status.
As part of a comprehensive pediatric healthcare system for advanced care, our team collaborates with other highly skilled specialists to deliver the right care at the right time for your child or loved one. Riley at IU Health offers a wide range of support services designed to help families cope with the emotional, physical and financial strains of a healthcare challenge.
Riley at IU Health is a place where innovative treatments often begin. We are nationally known as a high-volume center for the Ross procedure, a surgery that uses a patient’s pulmonary valve to replace the aortic valve. Our specialists are recognized nationally and internationally as respected resources for procedures that repair undersized pulmonary arteries, remove cardiac tumors and rebuild complex heart anatomies. Ours was also one of the first pediatric heart programs in the nation to give a child a Berlin heart, now used worldwide to save children affected by heart conditions.
We provide every kind of life support, transport and assist device that could be needed for acute pediatric care. This includes ECMO technology (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), which oxygenates the blood after surgery. We also have a full complement of ventricular assist devices to support the function of a failing heart, including the total artificial heart. With our record of outstanding survival rates, the Riley Heart Center is one of 30+ heart programs in the United States certified to perform pediatric heart transplants.
Recognized Leaders Who Are Committed to Excellence
Learning to repair a faulty heart requires a level of education that surpasses what is required of most surgeons. Our heart surgeons have an extra tier of training and practice in congenital heart defects and thoracic disease. These credentials set them apart as a rare breed of surgeons who can offer a degree of expertise found only in the most advanced pediatric hospitals.
Their pursuit of excellence also keeps them invested in research to find new ways of resolving complex congenital heart defects and diseases of the lung, blood vessels and heart. They share their knowledge globally through lectures and humanitarian work that promotes children’s heart health. In parts of the world where there is little access to advanced healthcare, our surgeons are there to give hands-on training for physicians who treat heart defects.
Lifelong Care for Heart Defects
A growing number of children are living productive lives long after their congenital heart defects are repaired. Our Adults With Congenital Heart Disease Progam can manage your child’s condition into adulthood to promote optimal health through every stage of life.
Top Ranked Cardiac Care
Our pediatric cardiovascular program is ranked 5th in the nation by U.S.News & World Report and the Midwest's best hospital for children's heart care. We are also one of the highest volume pediatric cardiovascular centers in the country, and research shows higher volumes translates to better outcomes. Our overall survival rate for cardiovascular surgery is significantly better than the national average. Our team is the only group performing pediatric heart transplantation in Indiana and the pediatric cardiac critical care team is the only one of its kind in the state.
Three-star Rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons
An Elite Program for Congenital Heart Surgery
Riley at IU Health is one of just 11 institutions in 2017 to earn the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) three-star rating, the highest category of quality. With data from 118 programs and more than 450,000 surgeries, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons hosts the largest pediatric and congenital heart database in North America. Its star rating system, based on five operative mortality categories, is one of the most sophisticated and highly regarded overall measures of quality in healthcare in the U.S. and Canada.
Conditions & Services
Our pediatric specialists provide patient- and family-centered care for most related conditions. The links below provide more specific information about some, but not all, of the conditions that we treat.
We offer a number of different Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery services. Below are some, but not all, of the services that we provide. If you have a question about a specific service that is not listed here, please contact our department.
Department Forms & Resources
Department Forms & Resources
The Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery at Riley at IU Health provides the following forms for parents, healthcare providers and personnel. We have also curated relevant resources from other websites and provided links with brief descriptions of the information that is available.
View our Guide to Surgery to ease anxiety and prepare you and your child before surgery.
Creamos esta guía como un recurso para ayudarlo a comprender mejor nuestro proceso y para aliviar un poco la ansiedad que pueda estar experimentando.
Access our guide to your child’s heart surgery at Riley Hospital for Children.
Related Programs & Departments
Related Programs & Departments
We provide multispecialty care for a number of conditions. Below are links to our related programs & departments.
These Carmel parents are counting their blessings today after their previously healthy 4-year-old daughter suffered sudden cardiac arrest at home. Her dad kept her alive long enough for paramedics to shock her heart back into a normal rhythm.Continue reading
As part of Riley’s cardiology home-monitoring program, 5-month-old Adriel Hernandez is able to be home with his family while a care team follows his progress virtually.Continue reading
So many times, someone could have said, “No, we can’t do that.” Instead, teams from three hospitals said “yes,” and a 15-year-old boy is alive because of it. Read how Riley and Methodist worked together to save a patient who was clinging to life at an Evansville hospital.Continue reading
Diagnosed with a rare heart condition as an infant, Keleigh Sims pours that same heart into her work as a nurse on the cardiac unit.Continue reading
Proclamations signed by the mayor designate Jan. 1, 2021 as Dr. John H. Brown Day and Dr. Randall L. Caldwell Day.Continue reading
After a 43-year career at Riley Hospital, this renowned heart surgeon is passing the scalpel.Continue reading
Interest in global humanitarian work began in the late 90s for Dr. Mark Turrentine, cardiothoracic surgeon and division chief at Riley Children's Health. In 2007, he and a team went to Amman, Jordan....Continue reading
Rankings success is a point of pride for many who contribute to the Riley cardiology and heart surgery team’s national stature, including the Congenital Cardiac Anesthesia Team.Continue reading
Allison Longest put her heart and soul into training for and running her first marathon to support children with congenital heart disease.Continue reading
Six-month-old James Guzman has never been outside the walls of a hospital. But after four major heart surgeries and another one to go, he’s impressing his medical team with his strength.Continue reading
Dr. John Brown first operated on Richard Aurs when Aurs was a little boy. Forty years later, they met again in an operating room.Continue reading
After Danielle Hendricks underwent surgery with Dr. John Brown, she decided she wanted to be part of Riley as an adult. Thanks to HANDS in Autism’s partnership with the hospital, she’s doing just that.Continue reading
A home-monitoring program for the littlest Riley Hospital heart patients is saving lives.Continue reading
The goal is to collect data locally and nationally that could help in developing support programsContinue reading
For Health Professionals
Specialists at the Riley Heart Center work with primary care physicians to provide advanced care for children and adults with congenital heart disease.
Refer A Patient
Riley Heart Center specialists are active researchers who improve care for congenital and acquired heart disease through innovation. Current research focuses on designing a new heart support system to help children with only one ventricle and babies with severely undersized pulmonary arteries. A team of physicians, researchers and coordinators at the Riley Heart Center collect outcome data for research purposes, working with multiple research partners, including the Indiana University School of Medicine. They also conduct research to support continuous process improvement at the Riley Heart Center. Bench researchers at the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research collaborate with our physicians on studies related to heart failure in children.
The Riley Heart Center offers formal fellowship training for physicians who want to advance their experience in pediatric cardiology, critical care and cardiac surgery. Visit the Indiana University School of Medicine website for details about our fellowship program.