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Cardiothoracic Surgery Program

The Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery Program offers expert surgical care for children's heart conditions, including rare and complex disorders.

U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UCSF among the nation's best for pediatric cardiology and heart surgery. Our surgeons are renowned for repairing complicated heart birth defects and have expertise in unifocalization, Norwood, arterial switch and Ross procedures. Many of our providers are considered leaders in their field, and some of the treatments we use were developed here at UCSF.

Whenever possible, we make surgery easier on our young patients by using minimally invasive techniques. Compared with open heart surgery, these approaches mean less postoperative pain, shorter hospital stays and faster recoveries. We're also the only program in the West that creates detailed 3D replicas of our patients' unique hearts to help surgeons plan complex repairs.

Our surgeons are highly skilled at treating the smallest and most vulnerable patients, including premature infants and low-birth-weight newborns. And as part of the Fetal Cardiovascular Program, we begin caring for some of our patients before they're born.

In addition to our main locations in San Francisco and Oakland, our experts provide consultations and care at the Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center.

We're also part of the Neonatal Cardiovascular Center of Excellence, which cares for premature and critically ill infants born with heart birth defects. Together with colleagues from other pediatric specialties, we work to maximize these patients' long-term heart health and neurological development.

What sets us apart

Cutting-edge care in pediatric cardiology

At UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, we harness 3D technology to devise treatment solutions for heart conditions from every angle.

Our locations (3)

    Special programs

    3D+ Program

    The 3D+ Program provides cardiac surgeons with highly detailed 3D replicas of patients' hearts, which they use in planning surgeries.

    Neonatal Cardiovascular Center of Excellence

    The Neonatal Cardiovascular Center of Excellence at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals cares for premature and critically ill newborns with complex heart conditions.

    Awards & recognition

    • Ranked among the nation's best in 10 specialties

    • Best in Northern California for cardiology & heart surgery

    Plan your visit

    Preparing for your appointment

    What to Bring

    • Photo I.D.
    • Health insurance card
    • Insurance authorization, if required
    • Doctor's referral, if required
    • Recent test results related to your child's condition
    • List of medications, including dosages, plus any your child is allergic to
    • List of questions you may have
    • Device or paper for taking notes

    For visitors

    Before you head to the hospital, check out our guidelines for visitors and caregivers.


    Your Stay

    We offer valuable information to help you plan for your child's upcoming hospital stay. Find out about food services, family accommodations and more.

    Learn more

    Preparing for Your Child's Surgery

    If your child is having surgery, there are many details about how to prepare, what to bring, and what to expect during and after surgery. Learn more.

    Learn more

    Interpreter Services & Communication Assistance

    Interpreter services in many languages and TDDs are available for families that need help communicating with care teams. Here's how to access them.

    Learn more

    Related clinics (13)

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    Arrhythmia Center

    Arrhythmia Center

    San Francisco / Oakland

    cardiac-mri-and-ct-imaging-service-320x320-2x 3

    Cardiac MRI & CT Imaging Program

    Cardiac MRI & CT Imaging Program

    San Franciso / Oakland / Walnut Creek

    cardiology-clinic-320x320-2x 20

    Cardiology Clinic

    Cardiology Clinic

    San Francisco / Oakland / Berkeley / Brentwood / Eureka / Fairfield / Fr...

    cardiopulmonary-exercise-lab-320x320-2x 2

    Cardiopulmonary Exercise Lab

    Cardiopulmonary Exercise Lab

    San Francisco / Oakland


    Congenital Heart Disease (Fontan) Liver Clinic

    Congenital Heart Disease (Fontan) Liver Clinic

    San Francisco / Oakland

    fetal-cardiovascular-program-320x320-2x 14

    Fetal Cardiovascular Program

    Fetal Cardiovascular Program

    San Francisco / Oakland / Berkeley / Brentwood / Fairfield / Fremont / G...

    Healthy Hearts & Minds Program

    Healthy Hearts & Minds Program

    675 18th St, Second Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94107


    Heart Failure & Transplant Program

    Heart Failure & Transplant Program

    San Francisco / Oakland / Modesto


    Interventional Cardiology Program

    Interventional Cardiology Program

    San Francisco / Oakland

    pediatric-cardiac-intensive-care-unit-320x320-2x 2

    Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit

    Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit

    San Francisco / Oakland

    pulmonary-hypertension-program-320x320-2x 4

    Pulmonary Hypertension Program

    Pulmonary Hypertension Program

    San Francisco / Modesto / Oakland

    Single Ventricle Comprehensive Program

    Single Ventricle Comprehensive Program

    744 52nd St., Third Floor
    Oakland, CA 94609


    Single Ventricle Home Monitoring Program

    Single Ventricle Home Monitoring Program

    San Francisco / Oakland

    Support services

    Child Life Services

    Activity rooms, pet therapy and more to help kids feel at home.

    Child Life

    Certified child life specialists ease the stress and anxiety of childhood illness through therapeutic play, schooling and family-focused support.

    Family Amenities

    Family-friendly amenities help you relax and take care of yourself while staying close to your child. We offer lounges, kitchens, showers, breastfeeding rooms and more.


    Social Services

    Social workers ease the effect of illness, injury and hospitalization on your family with counseling and assistance to help you navigate the challenges.


    Activity Rooms

    Activity rooms offer a relaxed environment for children of all ages. Features include a playroom, digital arts studio and teen lounge. Find out more.


    Art Therapy

    Art therapy helps kids and families express themselves, making it easier to cope with pediatric health issues. Group and bedside services are available.


    Music Therapy Program

    Board-certified music therapists help kids cope with illness and the feelings that come with it. Find out about group activities and bedside therapy.


    School Program

    Our schoolroom services and individual learning programs help children hospitalized at UCSF continue their education and get ready to return to school.


    School Re-Entry Program

    We help kids return to school after hospitalization by educating staff and students about their needs and recommending needed accommodations. Read more.


    Individual Playtime & Instruction

    If your child can't be around other kids for medical reasons, you can sign up for private sessions in our activity and school rooms. Find out how.


    Interpreter Services & Communication Assistance

    Interpreter services in many languages and TDDs are available for families that need help communicating with care teams. Here's how to access them.

    Family Resource Center

    We help families cope with the challenges of childhood illness and hospitalization in a relaxing environment where parents can get a much-needed break.


    Parent Support Program

    Weekly activities, including knitting, scrapbooking, chair massage and more, help family caregivers get a much-needed break. Find out more.


    Patient Relations

    Patient relations reps and nursing supervisors are here to answer questions and address concerns. Learn about your rights, how to reach us and more.


    Spiritual Care

    Chaplains help UCSF patients, families and staff cope with the spiritual and emotional challenges of childhood illness. Learn more.


    International Services

    If you're coming to UCSF from outside the U.S., we coordinate your child's appointments and provide other helpful services. Here's how to get started.

    Our research initiatives

    Translation, please

    We have interpreters for Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, Russian, American Sign Language and more.

    Request an interpreter