Pioneering Heart Surgeon Joins Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC to Establish Center for Valve Therapy

March 16, 2016

The Heart Institute at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC has recruited an internationally renowned cardiac surgeon, Jose Pedro da Silva, M.D., who will join the team to serve both children and adults with complex congenital heart issues.

Dr. da Silva, who developed a technique to repair defective heart valves that is now the standard of care around the world, is founding the Center for Valve Therapy at Children’s and will serve as its surgical director.

In 1989, Dr. da Silva and his team developed a procedure for repair of Ebstein’s anomaly, a congenital heart defect of one of the heart’s valves. This surgical technique, known as the cone procedure, reconstructs the tricuspid valve and the right ventricle. In this procedure, the extra tissue on the overgrown right side of the heart is folded up, and the defective valve is then reshaped into a cone.

As part of the Heart Institute, the Center for Valve Therapy is dedicated to the care of children and adults with congenital heart defects that involve absent or poorly functioning heart valves.

“Dr. da Silva pioneered a novel way to repair Ebstein’s anomaly that is now the worldwide surgical standard of care, and with his recruitment to Children’s Hospital, he will educate our team and offer care for patients from around the world with the most complex cardiac conditions,” said Victor Morell, M.D., co-director of the Heart Institute at Children's and chief of the Division of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery. “The Heart Institute has become one of the leading centers in the world for the diagnosis and treatment of patients of all ages with congenital heart disease, and we welcome Dr. da Silva to our team.”

Dr. da Silva comes to Children’s from Hospital Beneficencia Portuguesa de Sao Paulo, Brazil.  He completed his residency training in general surgery and thoracic and cardiovascular surgery at Instituto de Assistência Médica ao Servidor Público Estadual, Sao Paulo, Brazil. He also completed a fellowship in cardiovascular surgery at Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Dr. da Silva is a member of the Brazilian Society of Cardiovascular Surgery, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, and the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland.

The pediatric cardiovascular surgery program at Children’s is tied with one other institution on having the lowest overall four-year surgical mortality rate among all high-volume programs with a rate of 1.5 percent, according to the latest data compiled by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (2011-2015). Nationally, the average mortality rate for all pediatric cardiovascular programs was 3.4 percent during the same reporting period.

For more information about Dr. da Silva and the Heart Institute, visit