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Meet the Heart Center Team

Cardiology Team

The Heart Center at Arkansas Children's Hospital takes a comprehensive, team approach customized to treating your child's heart care. A large team of some of the best pediatric cardiologists and intensivists provides excellent diagnostic, interventional treatment and post-operative care to complete the world-class spectrum of support provided in the Heart Center. With tight collaboration between surgeons and cardiologists, the Heart Center at ACH is able to provide patients and families a seamless continuum of care.

The Heart Center at ACH functions as a cohesive team to provide cardiac surgical patients unparalleled care. You'll find its pediatric Heart Center is state-of-the-art, staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week with in-house cardiac-level intensivists. Our center is backed by a team that is totally committed to cardiac care-and our outcomes prove it.

Choose the Heart Center at Arkansas Children's Hospital, where you'll be treated by some of the best pediatric cardiologists and intensivists available:

Cardiothoracic Surgery Team

The cardiothoracic surgery team at the Heart Center at Arkansas Children's Hospital strives for early and complete repair of congenital heart malformations with the latest technological advances with some of the best pediatric cardiovascular surgeons available anywhere. Our family-centered care environment is the foundation of the personal, human relationships with our patients and families.

The pediatric cardiothoracic surgical program features state-of-the-art surgical care for children and adults with congenital heart disease, balanced with utmost compassion and hope. Although our focus is on patients from the south central United States, our pediatric cardiothoracic services reach beyond those boundaries to a nationwide and even international level. From the tiniest of neonates with the most complex cardiac malformations, to continuing-care adults with conditions present since birth, our outcomes and results are unexcelled anywhere.

Leading our team in compassion and care since 2010, Michiaki Imamura, MD, PhD, was is the chief of Pediatric and Congenital Cardiothoracic Surgery. Dr. Imamura joined the ACH Heart Team in 2001 and has been a leader in ACH's first use of the DeBakey VAD and the Berlin Heart Pediatric - two pediatric assist devices that used to support a failing heart. Thanks to Dr. Imamura's success with this device, ACH has used the Berlin Heart technology to sustain the lives of more pediatric patients (30+) than any other hospital in North America.

Arkansas Cardiology Care For Every Child and Every Age

Caring for patients with congenital heart defects means caring for people of all ages. In fact, our successes mean there are many more adults living with congenital heart disease. This has led us to develop a new field of practice focusing on those adult survivors. Our practice includes:

Cardiac Care for the Unborn Child - It is not uncommon to find cardiac defects before a baby is born. A detailed ultrasound of an unborn baby may reveal a heart problem. The only specially trained fetal echocardiographers in Arkansas are at Arkansas Children's Hospital. A variety of defects and rhythm problems can be identified ahead of time so that high-risk deliveries may be anticipated.

Arkansas Cardiology Care for Newborn Infants - Some newborns have defects in heart valves, holes in the walls of the heart (septal defects) or abnormal connection of large blood vessels from the heart (patent ductus arteriosus). Others have weaknesses in heart muscle, coronary arteries, and heart chambers. Still others have lung artery abnormalities and heart murmurs. Sometimes these problems only require medication for treatment. In more severe cases, surgical intervention is necessary.

Cardiac Care for Infants and Children - Older children can have many of the same problems as infants. Some need a follow-up visit with a cardiologist after having a heart operation or to correct a cardiac defect. Rarer afflictions include rheumatic fever, Kawasaki's Disease, Down's Syndrome, Marfan Syndrome or DiGeorge Syndrome. Rhythm problems, dizziness or syncope (fainting or losing consciousness) are common within this age group.

Arkansas Cardiology Care for Adolescent and Adults - Heart defect cases originating in childhood are followed and cared for by pediatric cardiology doctors. This unique group of patients requires specialized knowledge of childhood heart disease as it affects them with age. This is particularly important if surgery may be needed or rhythm problems develop.

Cardiothoracic Surgeons

Cardiothoracic Anesthesia Team

The Arkansas Children's Hospital's Cardiothoracic Anesthesia team has the training and experience to focus on the specific needs of patients and manage a range of complex cardiac issues. For patients with heart disease, the pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist has a central role in coordinating team-based surgical care.

The cardiac anesthesiologist:

  • monitors physiologic parameters;
  • protects vital organ function;
  • controls blood coagulation;
  • and reduces the inflammatory response to cardiopulmonary bypass.

Each part of the surgical procedure requires specific attention, including poor heart function before transplantation, the monitoring during cardiopulmonary bypass, or assisting the patient's heart in separating from cardiopulmonary bypass. The cardiac anesthesiologist has the ability to monitor the patient's overall well-being, thereby helping to create the optimal environment for a successful cardiac repair procedure, or any other type of procedure on a cardiac patient.

At the Arkansas Children's Hospital Heart Center, your child will be treated by a team of well-respected, and caring Pediatric Cardiothoracic Anesthesiologists.

Pediatric Cardiothoracic Anesthesiologists

Michael L. Schmitz, MD, Chief of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology
Rahul Dasgupta, MD
Jennifer Hamrick, MD
Justin Hamrick, MD
Lorraine Thompson, MD
W. Bryan Watkins, MD
Michael W. White, MD

For more information, call 501-364-5725.

Arkansas Children's Hospital
1 Children's Way
Little Rock, AR 72202-3591

Daytime: 501-364-1479
After Hours: 501-364-1100

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