Department of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery @ Policlinico San Donato

IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, named among the world's best hospitals in Cardiology, is the leading center in Italy for the treatment of congenital heart disease, thanks to more than 20 years of experience and a high number of patients treated each year.

The Pediatric Cardiac Surgery unit performs neonatal cardiac surgery to treat all congenital heart diseases, from the most complex forms that need to be operated on immediately in the first month of life, referred to as neonatal emergencies, to the simplest ones. These include: hypoplastic left heart syndrome, transposition of the great arteries, aortic arch interruption, truncus arteriosus, Fallot tetralogy, Fontan surgery, congenital coronary artery anomalies, interatrial defect, interventricular defect.

They also deal with adult congenital heart disease, arrhythmia surgery, valve reconstructions (Ebstein's anomaly, Tricuspid dysplasia, aortic plasticity, Ross surgery, congenital mitral anomaly plasticity).

The department offers young patients a full course of care, from diagnosis to postoperative recovery. The ward accommodates 32 pediatric patients, who spend the inpatient period in the presence of a family member, 24 hours a day. One section of the ward is reserved for newborns, who require more intensive monitoring. The teams' goal is to optimize the length of stay in the hospital. Preoperative hospital stay is reduced to 1 day, entirely devoted to routine examinations: blood tests, chest X-ray, cardiac ultrasound.

IRCCS Policlinico San Donato's strength in the field of congenital heart disease lies in its multidisciplinary approach and team synergy: cardiac surgeons and cardiologists work side by side to identify the best therapies for the patient and to optimize the course of treatment and follow-up.

Collaboration with the Pediatric and Adult Congenital Cardiology teams is critical to identifying the best treatments for patients. Congenital heart disease, in fact, can be treated with interventional cardiology, the first choice, or with cardiac surgery when a minimally invasive approach is not possible.

The collegial evaluation of all cases, daily sharing of patients' progress, and working side by side within the inpatient ward make it possible to solve any pathology, even the most complex one, in the best possible way. Sharing of methods, comparison, hybrid approaches and new technologies have enabled extraordinary interventions.

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Our excellence in numbers


cardiac surgeries


interventions carried out by the team abroad per year


Children operated on in 20 years of activity

Conditions we take care of at this Department

Top procedures performed

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Meet our team

Head physicians

Alessandro Frigiola

Cardiac Surgeon
Alessandro Frigiola

Alessandro Giamberti

Cardiac Surgeon
Alessandro Giamberti

Featured physicians

Policlinico San Donato

The Policlinico San Donato Research Hospital is the largest and most renowned Italian center specialized in the field of cardiovascular treatments. The hospital is accredited by the Italian National Health Service (SSN) and is home to the Degree Course in Medicine and Surgery, in collaboration with the Università degli Studi di Milano.

Founded in 1969 and extending over 50,000 square meters in the south-eastern part of Milan, the multi-specialty healthcare institution is a leader in Italy and among best centers in Europe as for the amount as well as for the complexity of performed cardiac surgery and interventional cardiology procedures in children (>1,000 procedures per year) and adult patients (>1,000 surgical interventions and 6,000 interventional cardiology procedures). The San Donato’s Arrhythmology and Electrophysiology Unit delivers one of the highest numbers of cardiac ablations in the world (>1,400 per year). San Donato has a research center aimed at studying of the heart and blood vessels in adults and children and searching of new prevention and treatment methods that has been recognized by the Italian Ministry of Health as a Scientific Institute for Research, Hospitalization and Health Care (IRCCS).

San Donato is a pioneer of international cooperation and a founder of charity missions for the treatment of children with congenital heart diseases that are run in collaboration with the association “Bambini Cardiopatici nel Mondo”. Thanks to this project more than 3,000 children all over the world have received their treatment.

Since 2019, Policlinico San Donato has become home to the National Institute for Obesity Cure (INCO), a national reference center with a multidisciplinary approach for the diagnosis and treatment of obesity. Thanks to the INCO, dietary, psycho-behavioral and surgical treatments are carried out together with the most innovative video-assisted laparoscopic and mini-invasive techniques.