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Surgeon Performs Team's 10,000th Congenital Heart Surgery

Tue, 02/19/2013 - 10:38am

Dr. Charles D. Fraser Jr., surgeon-in-chief at Texas Children's Hospital, performed the congenital heart team's 10,000th surgery since the renowned pediatric surgeon's arrival to Texas Children's in 1995. Fraser, also chief of congenital heart surgery at Texas Children's, performed the milestone procedure on patient Nathan Bryan , from Temple, Texas. For more information about the congenital heart surgery program at Texas Children's visit texaschildrens.org/heartcenter.

Shortly after his birth, Nathan, 2, was diagnosed with a ventricular septal defect (VSD). Nathan was eventually seen by Dr. John Pliska, pediatric cardiologist at McLane Children's Hospital Scott & White in Temple and was referred to Texas Children's Hospital in Houston.

"This is a great example of how the children of Central Texas have access to premier pediatric health care through the affiliation of Scott & White Healthcare and Texas Children's Hospital. Just as this case shows, by working closely with Texas Children's Hospital we have the opportunity to bring new levels of treatment to our patients. Our partnership with Texas Children's is helping to provide the right care in the right place at the right time," said Dr. Reddy Beeram , chairman of the pediatrics department at Scott & White Healthcare and physician-in-chief of McLane Children's Hospital.

A VSD is a condition which occurs when one or more holes are present in the wall separating the right and left ventricles of the heart. In Nathan's case, the hole in his heart was the size of a dime so repair was imminent. The toddler underwent a five-hour, open-heart surgery to repair this condition, which is among the most common heart defects treated by the team at Texas Children's.

"We learned about Nathan's heart defect the week he was born and the news that he needed open-heart surgery blindsided us," said mom, Katharine Bryan . "When my husband and I learned about Scott and White's relationship with Texas Children's and their excellent pediatric congenital heart surgery program we were very relieved. Though we were anxious about the long road before us, we knew that Nathan would receive the highest level of care from the excellent team led by Dr. Fraser. Every part of our experience at Texas Children's was wonderful, and we are so grateful to have Nathan's surgery close to home."

The congenital heart surgery team at Texas Children's is comprised of a comprehensive surgical program that performs every procedure available for the treatment of pediatric heart diseases and defects. The team, comprised of pediatric cardiologists, pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists, cardiac intensive care physicians, perfusionists, advanced practices nurses and a host of other cardiac specialists, cares for infants and children of every age, tailoring procedures and treatments to the needs of each individual family. During surgery, this individualized approach includes cardiopulmonary bypass and neuroprotection strategies customized to each patient's condition and needs, helping to ensure optimal outcomes are achieved.

"The 10,000th case is not only an exciting milestone for the congenital heart surgery team, but for Texas Children's Hospital," said Fraser who is also professor of surgery and pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. "The program has evolved immensely since 1995, but we are always striving to advance our care. The core of our mission has always remained the same: to provide unparalleled care to our patients and families at every point, from diagnosis through treatment and follow up."

As surgeon-in-chief at Texas Children's Hospital, Fraser oversees the entirety of the surgical enterprise, which includes more than 65 full time surgeons and is supported by more than 60 full time pediatric anesthesiologists. Fraser's focus is to develop programs to offer children in need of surgery the very best opportunity for a quality outcome, to promote cutting-edge research and to educate tomorrow's leaders in children's subspecialty surgery.

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