The Department of Surgery Announces New Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery Division

Lauren Hooker
January 30, 2023
Dr Kavarana
Minoo Kavarana, M.D. serves as inaugural chief of the new division. 

The Department of Surgery formed a new division in Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery dedicated to treating all patients with congenital heart disease as well as other pediatric heart conditions to reflect its expert capacity to provide the highest level of care and achieve the best possible outcomes. Minoo Kavarana, M.D., who joined the department in 2010, was appointed the inaugural division chief by Chair Prabhakar Baliga, M.D. Dr. Kavarana also assumes the role of co-director of MUSC Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center and will continue to serve as the surgical director of Pediatric Heart Transplantation and Mechanical Support.   

“Our dedication to improving the lives of children in need of critical heart surgeries builds on the success of our outstanding team, led for more than 25 years by nationally-renowned pediatric and congenital heart surgeon Scott M. Bradley, M.D.,” said Dr. Kavarana. “It is under Dr. Bradley’s leadership that we built a truly multidisciplinary Pediatric Cardiac Team that produces congenital heart surgery outcomes equal to or better than those of the best centers in the world.”

The department recognizes Chair Emeritus Fred A. Crawford, Jr., M.D., who recruited Dr. Bradley, and Distinguished University Professor Emeritus Robert M. Sade, M.D., both of whom provided the vision and critical institutional support for Dr. Bradley to develop an exceptional congenital heart program.  “The strong foundation in pediatric cardiac surgery Dr. Bradley has helped develop will propel the expansion of our statewide enterprise into a regional referral center and an internationally recognized center of excellence offering and providing care to children and adults with the most complex forms of congenital heart disease,” said Dr. Kavarana.

Dr. Bradley will continue to support the program with his profound knowledge and rich skill set through this transition period. The new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital has created an amazing opportunity for growth and will provide the framework within which a patient and family-centered, streamlined, and efficient world-class congenital heart center will be developed.  

The Pediatric & Congenital Heart Center at the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital ranked No. 4 in the country in U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-2023 Best Children’s Hospitals survey. For the outcome component of this score, the MUSC Pediatric & Congenital Heart Center received the #1 spot. Additionally, the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Program was recognized as providing exceptional care by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Public Reporting. Their overall 4-year observed mortality is 1.28% (expected 2.45%), almost 50% less than expected. In addition, the patient’s length of stay is lower than the national average for all ten benchmark operations. 

“We owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Bradley for his exceptional surgical expertise, leadership and vision that has built the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Program to be a nationally-recognized center of excellence,” said Prabhakar Baliga, M.D. “There are now even more opportunities to expand and grow these programs in areas of services that include pediatric ventricular assist devices, heart transplantation, and the adult congenital heart program. We are grateful Dr. Kavarana has accepted the new role.”