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.