8 doctors weighed in:
What is open heart surgery like for an infant or a toddler?
8 doctors weighed in

Dr. Sarosh Batlivala
Pediatrics - Cardiology
3 doctors agree
In brief: Depends
This depends on the heart lesion.
Many forms of heart disease are now treated successfully with surgery. In those cases, the open heart surgery is very well tolerated with the child being home in 1-2 weeks and recovering well. If the heart lesion is very complicated, then the experience can be different. Please discuss this with your child's cardiologist to learn their specific issues.

In brief: Depends
This depends on the heart lesion.
Many forms of heart disease are now treated successfully with surgery. In those cases, the open heart surgery is very well tolerated with the child being home in 1-2 weeks and recovering well. If the heart lesion is very complicated, then the experience can be different. Please discuss this with your child's cardiologist to learn their specific issues.
Dr. Sarosh Batlivala
Dr. Sarosh Batlivala
Thank
Dr. Louis Grenzer
Internal Medicine - Cardiology
3 doctors agree
In brief: Rough
Well surgery on a small child is technically challenging to the surgeon.
It would ordinarily take several hours and the recovery several weeks or even months. That said, children and infants have a great ability to recuperate even from major surgery.

In brief: Rough
Well surgery on a small child is technically challenging to the surgeon.
It would ordinarily take several hours and the recovery several weeks or even months. That said, children and infants have a great ability to recuperate even from major surgery.
Dr. Louis Grenzer
Dr. Louis Grenzer
Thank
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Pediatrics - Developmental & Behavioral
In brief: If 9 mos or >
Parents can tour cardiac picu/ward pre-op & meet support staff, including play therapists.
At 9 mos. Developmental age & up, a child has " affect matching, " becoming more upset during painful procedures if parents look upset. Also, having implicit memory means a child can develop ptsd. Modify behavioral regression by maintaining discipline & routine. Bring familiar hard, washable toys & books.

In brief: If 9 mos or >
Parents can tour cardiac picu/ward pre-op & meet support staff, including play therapists.
At 9 mos. Developmental age & up, a child has " affect matching, " becoming more upset during painful procedures if parents look upset. Also, having implicit memory means a child can develop ptsd. Modify behavioral regression by maintaining discipline & routine. Bring familiar hard, washable toys & books.
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Arnon Rubin
Board Certified, Internal Medicine
20 years in practice
162K people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors