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Surgical Outcomes

Heart Center

Our Cardiothoracic (CT) Surgery Team is always striving to improve patient safety and outcomes. One way we have achieved this is by participating in the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) Congenital Heart Surgery Database which provides a detailed report of our Heart Surgery Program and compares our performance to other programs in North America.

We were one of the first participating programs in the STS public reporting initiative and were awarded with a 3-star rating, the highest rating, because the risk-adjusted mortality rate for CT operations performed from 2011-2014 was statistically lower than the STS expected mortality rate. We were one of six programs in North America to receive this rating out of 116 participating programs.

The volumes and outcomes reported below are from Spring 2015 and include all CT operations from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2014. Our data is reanalyzed every six months to allow for recent volumes and outcomes to be included and reported.

CT Surgery Total Volume by Operation Type

Our CT Surgery Program is considered a high-volume program since we perform more than 250 cardiac surgery operations each year. Research studies support there are less patient deaths following heart surgery in programs that perform higher numbers of operations on highly-complex patients as compared to low volume programs.

  • CPB: operations where cardiopulmonary bypass was used
  • Non-CPB CV: cardiac operations where cardiopulmonary bypass was not used
  • Thoracic: operations on the lungs or chest structures
  • VAD: ventricular assist device
  • ECMO: extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • Minor: operations not involving the major structures of the heart and lungs

CT Surgery Volume by Year

Volumes are based on the division administered database and data analyses of the STS Congenital Heart Surgery Database.

CT Surgery Total Volume by Age

Our CT Surgery Team operates on patients with congenital heart disease from birth through adulthood.

Age of patients at time of surgical procedure.

  • Neonate: 0 – 30 days
  • Infant: 1 month – 12 months
  • Child: 1 year – 18 years
  • Adult: 18 years and older

CT Surgery Survival Rate by Year

Our overall survival rate following CT surgery is statistically higher than the average survival rate reported by the STS Congenital Cardiothoracic Database.

Risk Adjusted Mortality Rates

The STS Congenital Heart Surgery Database analyzes reported operations, taking into account the complexity of the patients in a surgical program. This tells us how well we are performing as compared to other hospitals by reporting whether our patient survival is better or worse than expected given how complex the patients are at Phoenix Children's.

*Denotes statistically significant difference from the STS mortality rate.*

Our observed number of surgical mortalities is less than the expected number of mortalities given the complexity of our patients.

Survival Rates for Selected Procedures

The survival rate and number of operations we perform for selected congenital heart defects.

Survival Rates by STAT Mortality Category

The STS Congenital Heart Surgery Database, in collaboration with the European Association for CT Surgery (EACTS), developed a method to compare mortality rates between programs by the difficulty of the operation. The STAT Mortality Categories divide operations into five categories, one to five in order of increasing difficulty. The most technically difficult procedures (four and five) with the lowest survival rates are reported in the table below.

Post-Operative Median Length of Hospital Stay in Days by Procedure

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