As a pediatric heart surgeon, I specialize in operations involving congenital malformations of the heart. I have a special interest in children with vascular rings, where the aorta or its branches form a compressing ring around the trachea and the esophagus. This condition often requires surgery to treat breathing and swallowing issues.

I’m also the Chief of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at Kentucky Children’s Hospital, which is part of the Joint Heart Program. The Joint Heart Program is a collaboration between Cincinnati Children’s and Kentucky Children’s Hospital, and our goal is to make sure children have access to the best possible heart care, close to home.

I was initially inspired to pursue a career in medicine by my father, who was an eye surgeon. I was further motivated to be a heart surgeon by my experience at the Mayo Clinic, when I was a medical student.

I take care of each patient as if they were my own son or daughter, and by following the motto of the Mayo brothers: “The best interest of the patient is the only interest to be followed.”

With over 35 years of experience, I have performed over 6,000 congenital heart procedures. I pay very close attention to every detail of each operation. Regarding vascular ring patients I have personally operated on more than 300 children, written over 30 book chapters and scientific articles, and presented over 50 invited presentations and guest lectures.

I am currently President of the Mayo Alumni Association (2019 to 2023), Director on the American Board of Thoracic Surgery (2017 to 2024), and co-editor of the textbook Pediatric Cardiac Surgery. I also served as President of the Congenital Heart Surgeons Society from 2016 to 2018.

When I am not working, I spend several weeks each year with my family in Telluride, Colorado. We ski in the winter and hike, jeep and golf in the summer. We also enjoy time in the summer with extended family on the island of Nantucket.

MD: Mayo Medical School, Rochester, MN, 1980.

Residency: General Surgery, Northwestern University- McGraw Medical Center, Chicago, IL, 1985.

Residency: Cardiothoracic Surgery, Northwestern University- McGraw Medical Center, Chicago, IL, 1987.

Fellowship: Pediatric Cardiovascular Thoracic Surgery, Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL, 1988.


Pediatric cardiology; cardiothoracic surgery; heart transplant; heart-lung transplant; vascular ring and aortic uncrossing

Services and Specialties

Heart Institute, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Heart Failure and Transplant Program, Fetal Heart Program

Insurance Information

Cincinnati Children's strives to accept a wide variety of health plans. Please contact your health insurance carrier to verify coverage for your specific benefit plan.

View Insurance Information



Long-Term Outcomes of Coarctation Repair Through Left Thoracotomy. Gropler, MR F; Marino, BS; Carr, MR; Russell, WW; Gu, H; Eltayeb, OM; Monge, MC; Backer, CL. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2019; 107:157-164.


Experience with an Acuity Adaptable Care Model for Pediatric Cardiac Surgery. Costello, JM; Preze, E; Nguyen, N; McBride, ME; Collins, JW; Eltayeb, OM; Monge, MC; Deal, BJ; Stephenson, MM; Backer, CL. World Journal for Pediatric and Congenital Hearth Surgery. 2017; 8:665-671.


Successful Bridge-to-Transplant of Functionally Univentricular Patients With a Modified Continuous-Flow Ventricular Assist Device. Monge, MC; Kulat, BT; Eltayeb, O; Zingle, NR; Moss, ST; Gossett, JG; Pahl, E; Costello, JM; Backer, CL. Artificial Organs: replacement, recovery, and regeneration. 2017; 41:25-31.


Repair of Partial Atrioventricular Septal Defect: Age and Outcomes. Devlin, PJ; Backer, CL; Eltayeb, O; Monge, MC; Hauck, AL; Costello, JM. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2016; 102:170-177.


Vascular rings. Backer, CL; Monge, MC; Popescu, AR; Eltayeb, OM; Rastatter, JC; Rigsby, CK. Seminars in Pediatric Surgery. 2016; 25:165-175.


Congenital cardiac surgery fellowship training: A status update. Kogon, B; Karamlou, T; Baumgartner, W; Merrill, W; Backer, C. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. 2016; 151:1488-1495.


Aortic Implantation of Anomalous Origin of the Left Coronary Artery From the Pulmonary Artery: Long-Term Outcomes. Monge, MC; Eltayeb, O; Costello, JM; Sarwark, AE; Carr, MR; Backer, CL. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2015; 100:154-160.


Doubly committed and juxtaarterial ventricular septal defect: outcomes of the aortic and pulmonary valves. Devlin, PJ; Russell, HM; Monge, MC; Patel, A; Costello, JM; Spicer, DE; Anderson, RH; Backer, CL. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2014; 97:2134-2140.


Heart transplantation for the failing Fontan. Backer, CL; Russell, HM; Pahl, E; Monge, MC; Gambetta, K; Kindel, SJ; Gossett, JG; Hardy, C; Costello, JM; Deal, BJ. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2013; 96:1413-1419.


The Aortic Uncrossing Procedure for Circumflex Aorta. Russell, HM; Rastatter, JC; Backer, CL. Operative Techniques in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. 2013; 18:15-31.

Patient Ratings and Comments

All patient satisfaction ratings and comments are submitted by actual patients and verified by a leading independent patient satisfaction company, NRC Health. Patient identities are withheld to ensure confidentiality and privacy. Only those providers whose satisfaction surveys are administered through Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center are displayed. Click here to learn more about our survey

Overall Patient Rating