Children's Hospital Los Angeles

We were so grateful with the level of care and compassion that Sadie received from Dr. Starnes and all of the other surgeons, doctors, nurses, technicians and staff during her hospitalization, surgeries and follow up care that we decided as a family, to make a life long commitment to the Children's Hospital and the Heart Institute. The Heart Institute, a worldwide leader in the treatment of pediatric heart disease is co-directed by Dr. Vaughn A. Starnes, one of the world's foremost pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons and Dr. Michael Silka, a world renowned cardiologist and expert in electrophysiology.

The Heart Center carries out nearly 1000 cardiothoracic procedures every year and has performed 165 heart, lung and heart-lung transplants. The Division of Cardiology performs over 8,000 echocardiograms and 700 cardiac catheterizations annually, and the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery completes more than 600 open heart surgeries every year. Since the Heart Institute initiated the use of living donors for lung transplants in 1993, Dr. Starnes has performed more living-related lung transplants in children than any other surgeon nationwide. The Heart Center remains one of the very few centers in the country to perform these complicated transplants, but they are also able to provide options that other hospitals can not. Dr. Starnes and his team can execute exceptionally complex heart surgeries that often make alternative therapy possible for youngsters who, elsewhere, would be waitlisted for transplant and face the extreme difficulty of being matched with a donor heart.

A key element of the Heart Institute is that it provides state of the art evaluation, diagnosis and treatment for infants, children and adolescents with all forms of heart disease. It offers the most advanced care in Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Intensive Care, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Cardiothoracic Transplantation as well as innovations in Cardiac Research.

The Children's Hospital Los Angeles consistently ranks among the very best in the nation. In 2009 US News and World Report once again listed the hospital as among the best in pediatric medicine - one in only 10 children's hospitals in the US and the only children's hospital on the West Coast to be ranked in all 10 pediatric specialties.

Next year a new hospital building and Heart Center will open and be one of the finest pediatric medical and surgical environments in the United States. The Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit - already the largest of its kind on the West Coast - will expand to 24 beds with 20 private and two double rooms. The new facility will have two catheterization labs, doubling the space available for diagnosis and procedures such as eliminating arrhythmia or closing small holes inside the heart. An ambulatory care center for outpatient services, two heart- lung transplant rooms and a 21 bed cardiovascular acute care unit will also be a part of the new facilities.