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Treating Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia

If your child has a congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), Seattle Children's team has the medical and surgical expertise to help your child not only survive, but thrive—from diagnosis through treatment and long-term follow-up care.

Read on to learn why U.S. News and World Report consistently ranks Seattle Children's as one of the top children's hospitals in the nation.


150+ Number of babies Seattle Children's has treated for a CDH (we are a high-volume center for this rare condition)
90% The average survival rate for children with a CDH at Seattle Children's, significantly higher than the national average.
150 Number of annual outpatient clinic visits with our dedicated CDH Follow-Up Clinic team


 

Summer, a patient treated for a CDH at Seattle Children's, with her mother

"Dr. Riehle was one of the first people to make me feel like a mom. She made me feel confident in my instincts, strong in my convictions, and reminded me that this is my child and I could absolutely handle anything for Summer."

— Cassie Fannin
Mother of Summer, who was diagnosed with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia when Cassie was 19 weeks pregnant

Emmett, a patient at Seattle Children's who was born with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia

"On the scariest day of our lives, Seattle Children's provided us with the hope and confidence we needed to keep going.

We feel very fortunate for Emmett’s exceptional continued care through the CDH clinic. We greatly appreciate that his team of providers has continued to hear our concerns, answer our questions and value our input through all of his hospital stays and at every appointment."

— Holly and Justin Maul
Parents of Emmett, who was born with a CDH


At Seattle Children's, the average survival rate for a child with a CDH is 90%, which is significantly better than the national average. Our rate for repeat hernia surgery for CDH patients is one of the lowest in the world.


 

Dr. Rebecca Stark, CDH Program director and a specialist in pediatric surgery

"CDH is a complex disease that affects many interconnected organ systems: lungs, heart, GI tract, brain, and others.

This is why having a multidisciplinary team of specialists working together leads to better patient outcomes. Our prenatal, inpatient and clinic teams bring together specialists from neonatology, surgery, cardiology, pulmonology, nutrition, neurodevelopmental, genetics, occupational therapy and others depending on the specific needs of our patients. This team cares for patients from before birth through their hospital stay and into adolescence; we get to know them very well."

— Dr. Rebecca Stark, CDH Program director and a specialist in pediatric surgery

Dr. Kimberly Riehle, surgical lead, Prenatal Diagnosis and Treatment Program

"Our prenatal clinic is a great opportunity to make a connection to a family and help them prepare.

So many emotions go into having even a healthy baby and throwing a CDH diagnosis on top of it all is really overwhelming. We educate parents about what the diagnosis will mean for the baby, make plans for the remainder of the pregnancy and delivery and do everything we can to help them to prepare for their baby who will need surgery and require care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)."

Dr. Kimberly Riehle, surgical lead, Prenatal Diagnosis and Treatment Program


Seattle Children's is a high-volume center for CDH. We have cared for hundreds of children with a CDH and our pediatric surgery team is one of the most experienced in the nation. National studies have shown that babies with a CDH have better outcomes at centers like Seattle Children's that treat many babies with this condition.


 

The foot of a small child receiving care at Seattle Children's

For high-risk babies with a CDH who require extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), Seattle Children's is home to the largest Extracorporeal Life Support Program for babies, children and teens in the Northwest. We are the only children's hospital on the West Coast to offer mobile ECMO.

Members of the CDH team at Seattle Children's with a patient and her mother

Seattle Children’s is leading research to improve care and quality of life for children born with a CDH. Our CDH Program has multiple active research studies and participates in the CDH Study Group, a national registry of more than 80 hospitals collecting data about CDH outcomes.

A badge showing Seattle Children's award from U.S. News & World Report for 2020-21

U.S. News & World Report ranks Seattle Children's top in the Northwest and among the nation's best in key CDH specialties, including neonatology, cardiology and pulmonology.

Summer, a patient treated for a CDH at Seattle Children's, with her mother

Seattle Children's multidisciplinary CDH follow-up clinic provides ongoing evaluation and comprehensive care for children with a CDH. After your child's CDH repair, our clinic will help prevent long-term complications and keep your child healthy.

Many children and families travel to Seattle Children's for CDH treatment and follow-up care.
You can stay focused on your child while we help coordinate transportation and housing.
We have lots of experience helping families make the transition back home safely.

 

Find your hope. Get in touch today.

Email our team at cdhprogram@seattlechildrens.org

Or, give us a call at 206-987-2794.

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