Pediatric Cardiac Surgery

Dr. AzakieDr. Tony Azakie is  chief of the Division of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery. He serves as the codirector of the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital Pediatric Heart Center.

Dr. Azakie is a highly skilled and experienced pediatric heart surgeon. He is dedicated to building a world-class pediatric cardiovascular program, a cornerstone of the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.

Working with the Pediatric Heart Center and Adult Congenital Heart team, Dr. Azakie is expanding services to include surgery for cardiac lesions affecting neonates, children, and adults. He and his colleagues focus on complete neonatal care, repair of complex congenital heart defects, and off-pump and minimally invasive treatment of congenital heart disease. In addition to mechanical circulatory support and heart transplants for pediatric patients, Dr. Azakie  brings innovative approaches to neonatal heart problems including pulmonary venous diseases, ventricular rehabilitation for borderline ventricles, valve repair, and management of complex single ventricles.

Recent News

Excerpt from NBCNews, August 22nd--

Doctors are using VR to address some of the most challenging medical problems.

"The use of VR and 3D visualization technology in medicine isn’t brand-new. Medical researchers have been exploring ways to create 3D models of patients’ internal organs using VR since the 1990s. But advances in computing power have made simulated images much more realistic — and much faster to create.

“Recently, VR played a vital role in the successful separation of conjoined twins at Masonic Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. The three-month-old twins were joined far more extensively than some other conjoined twins, with intricate connections between their hearts and livers. That meant the surgery to separate the twins would be unusually complicated — and potentially very dangerous for the twins.

Before surgery, the surgical team took CT, ultrasound, and MRI scans and created a super-detailed virtual model of the twins’ bodies — and then ventured “inside” their organs to identify potential pitfalls and plan how these would be avoided during surgery.

You look through the 3D glasses, and you can basically walk through the structure, peeling apart parts so you can look at exactly what you want to,” said Dr. Anthony Azakie, one of the surgeons who separated the twins. He said the high-resolution visualization “helped minimize the number of surprises that we were potentially dealing with.”

Read the full story on

Two Lives, One ChanceImage of Conjoined Twins

July 17th, 2017 -

"When Paris Bryan had a routine ultrasound of her unborn daughters Paisleigh and Paislyn, the result was anything but routine. It showed the girls were conjoined twins, connected through the chest, liver, and heart. The news rocked Bryan and her fiancé, Ernesto Martinez."

"On May 25, the twins were wheeled into an operating room in the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, where a large team of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals waited. Nine hours later, the twins had been successfully separated. Thanks to a procedure a few days earlier, Paislyn’s heart could now work on its own, though further corrective surgery was needed. The twins currently remain hospitalized."

Click here for comprehensive coverage of this story

Bakken Symposium: Advances in Heart & Lung Transplantation

This course highlights the past, present, and future of heart and lung transplantation with a focus on optimizing outcomes through patient selection, procedural enhancements, and organ preservation. It discusses the role of technology in maximizing donor utilization and providing alternatives to transplantation. The breath of the course covers changes in therapies, shifts in practice, and emerging options for patients with organ failure.

See archived presentations and more

Contact us

Mailing Address

Pediatric Cardiac Surgery
2450 Riverside Ave S
East Building, MB544
Minneapolis, MN 55454

Our Faculty

Professor and Chief:
Anthony (Tony) Azakie, M.D.

Clinics & Patient Care

Useful links

Admin Contacts
  • Lisa Iverson
    Division Administrator

  • Danielle Arndt
    Executive Office and Administrative Assistant