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AUBMC and Legacy of Cardiac Surgery

Lebanon was the fourth country worldwide to perform open heart surgery. In April 1959, the first open-heart procedure was performed successfully at AUBMC on a patient with cyanotic heart disease which consisted of an atrial septal defect and stenotic pulmonary valve. In May 1960, a locally fabricated disc oxygenator was clinically introduced for the first time in the Arab world to operate on a five year old boy with a congenital pulmonary valve stenosis and an atrial septal defect.

AUBMC had maintained and nurtured this legacy over the years, and it established the Children’s Heart Center (referred to as CHC) with the aim of developing a comprehensive approach to the care of individuals born with congenital heart problems. Soon after its inception in the mid-1990s, the CHC organized a patient-registry named the Children Cardiac Registry Center (CCRC) which by now has acquired a full-profile database on thousands of patients, thus offering deep insight into demographics, predisposing factors, disease status, types of treatment and outcomes. Also, this registry has generated statistical data that is crucial for the productivity in the domain of clinical and basic research.


Children’s Heart Center - History

The CHC is located at AUBMC, a non-profit leading research, medical, and teaching institution in Lebanon and the MENA region. It has more than 20 years of experience in caring for children with congenital heart disease. Founded in 1995, Dr. Fadi Bitar and Dr. Mounir Obeid initiated diagnostic, interventional and surgical consultancy for fetal, neonatal and children with heart disease.

Since its inception, the CHC has served as a leading center in Lebanon and the region providing excellence in clinical care for pediatric CHD cases, pursuing innovation in research, and developing educational and training programs.

Accommodating more than 3,000 patients and performing 100’s of surgeries annually, the CHC provides diagnostic, interventional, and surgical treatment modalities to cover the vast array of congenital heart conditions, from the simplest heart defects involving one step interventional repair, to complex procedures which involve multiple-step interventions.​