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Congenital Heart

Tim cherishing family time

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Accredited, Collaborative Care Across the Life Continuum

The Smidt Heart Institute’s Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) Program is one of only 50 programs in the nation to achieve the prestigious ACHD Accredited Comprehensive Care Center designation. Our philosophy: one-stop care from intrauterine life through adulthood, even for the most complex congenital heart disorders.

Tim cherishing family time

Tim cherishing family time


  • Seamless, comprehensive congenital cardiac care, from conception to advanced age
  • One of only a handful of centers around the world to offer minimally invasive valve reconstruction for any of the four cardiac valves to patients of all ages
  • First institution to develop a bedside technique for minimally invasive patent ductus arteriosus closure in severely premature infants
  • First-in-man novel percutaneous pulmonic valve replacement
  • Multispecialty maternal-fetal care for ACHD patients through our collaborative High-Risk Pregnancy Program
  • Expertise in highly complex and challenging congenital heart care, including advanced electrophysiology, interventional catheterization, cardiac surgery, and heart and multiorgan transplantation
  • Advanced testing, including multiplanar 3D imaging to visualize complex congenital anatomy, exercise testing, cardiac nuclear studies, fetal cardiac evaluation and cardiogenetic counseling


  • Identify and manage congenital heart valve disorders
  • Expertise in complex structural heart defects, including hypoplastic left heart syndrome, tetralogy of Fallot, transposition of the great arteries and coronary artery fistula
  • Multidisciplinary care for adult conditions complicated by ACHD
  • Monitor and treat arrhythmias associated with congenital heart disease

3 days to 77 years
youngest and oldest patients to date

Provider Satisfaction Score

30-day mortality for >3 years

consecutive cases (and counting) with no 30-day surgical mortalities

"I went from feeling that I was going to die—leaving my wife as a widow and my kids without a father—to having a rich, full life with decades of hope and expectations."

– Tim Fitzgerald
Ross procedure patient
Riverside, California

the case

Tim Fitzgerald (37) was referred to the Smidt Heart Institute after an attempt to address congenital aortic valve stenosis at another hospital failed due to a hostile chest cavity.

the care

Preoperative imaging confirmed Tim was not a candidate for transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). He underwent a Ross procedure to replace his diseased aortic valve with his own pulmonary valve, which was, in turn, replaced with a pulmonary allograft. He did well intraoperatively and recovered quickly.

the conclusion

The care team expects Tim’s successful surgery to provide him with a future free from open-heart surgery, unlike alternative treatments often used for congenital aortic valve stenosis, which typically require lifelong anticoagulation or reoperation in 10-25 years. One year after the procedure, Tim is healthy, thriving and enjoying his time as an active and engaged husband and father of three young children.