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Meet Dr. Brian Kogon, new chief of congenital heart surgery at CHoR and congenital heart surgeon at UVA Health Children’s
February 12, 2024
Cardiac surgeon Dr. Brian Kogon fist bumps a patient in a CHoR PICU room

    UVA Health Children’s and CHoR have partnered to ensure kids can get the expert heart surgery they need, close to home. Dr. Brian Kogon recently joined the team in a dual role as a congenital heart surgeon at UVA Health Children’s and as chief of congenital heart surgery at CHoR. Dr. Kogon sees and operates on patients closer to home at CHoR while treating more complex patients at UVA Health Children’s in Charlottesville.

    Dr. Kogon has performed thousands of surgeries at large, nationally ranked hospitals throughout his career of more than 20 years. He’s also a husband and dad of three, so he understands the magnitude of the trust parents place in him to operate on their babies and kids.

    Learn more about Dr. Kogon, his path from growing up in Cincinnati, OH to becoming a heart surgeon, and what he wants families to know about his approach to care.

    6 questions with cardiac surgeon for kids, Dr. Brian Kogon

    When did you know you wanted to be a doctor?

    I started my undergraduate studies at Miami of Ohio in computer science. I pretty quickly decided I didn’t want an office job and wanted to be with people, which led me to switch to pre-med. Nobody in my family is in medicine, so it wasn’t until my third year of medical school that I realized exactly what that meant. Thankfully, it turned out to be the perfect fit.

    Why did you decide to specialize in congenital heart surgery?

    Going into that third year of medical school, I knew I wanted to focus on surgery or emergency medicine. I liked the excitement that came with them. I then realized I really enjoyed being in the operating room, so I went into general surgery with the intention of specializing in plastic or cardiac surgery.

    As I continued training and developed more experience, I knew cardiac surgery was for me. There is something special about operating on the heart. I really enjoy working with kids for a number of reasons. The variety of pathology in pediatrics is fascinating and surgery can have a positive impact on a child’s life for decades to come.

    You do all kinds of surgeries, from common to complex. What goes through your mind when you enter the operating room?

    By the time I make it to the OR, I’ve already done the operation in my mind 100 times the night before. I have plans A, B, C and D for any possible contingencies. I’d describe myself as meticulous, detail oriented and very consistent.

    Why is the team approach to care so important?

    I’m a very small part of a very big team. Many people are involved in getting the child to surgery, intraoperatively in the OR, then providing post-op care. This includes nurses, perfusionists, anesthesiologists, cardiologists and many others who do their jobs incredibly well. It takes everyone to make surgery successful.

    What do you want parents to know when their child is facing heart surgery?

    We’re going to take care of their baby as if it’s our own. Even though this may be the first time for them, it’s the 5,000th time for us. This is what we do, and we’re committed to providing the best care so their child can grow up and thrive.

    What’s your favorite movie, book or sport?

    My favorite movie is Shawshank Redemption. I don’t have much time to read for leisure, but I always have surgical textbooks and handbooks nearby. I’m a huge tennis fan. I’d have to say my favorite player is Rafael Nadal – he never gives up.

    Learn more about the congenital heart surgery collaboration between UVA Health Children’s and CHoR.

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