Ryan Davies, M.D., is an Associate Professor in the UT Southwestern Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery and the Surgical Director for Heart Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support at Children's Health.

After earning his medical degree at Yale University School of Medicine, Dr. Davies completed residencies in general and cardiothoracic surgery at NewYork-Presbyerian Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center and a fellowship in pediatric cardiac surgery at Stanford University/Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital. Prior to joining the UT Southwestern faculty, he served as a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon at and Director of Mechanical Circulatory Support and Cardiac ECLS at Nemours Cardiac Center/A.I. duPont Hospital for Children and as a faculty member at Thomas Jefferson University

Dr. Davies focuses on surgical management of complex congenital heart problems in neonates, children, and adults. He specializes in caring for patients with aortic disease, heart failure, and other congenital issues, including hypoplastic left heart syndrome and transposition of the great arteries. He also conducts research on long-term neurologic outcomes and implications for children who undergo heart surgery.

A prolific scientific author, presenter, and lecturer, Dr. Davies is also a reviewer for a wide range of medical journals. He is a member of the Congenital Heart Surgeon’s Society, the American College of Surgeons, the American Heart Association, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, and the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. 

Meet Dr. Davies

Heart Disease Specialist in Dallas

As a cardiothoracic surgeon and the Surgical Director for Heart Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support at Children's Health, Ryan Davies, M.D., is an expert at healing the youngest of hearts. He specializes in treating congenital heart defects in newborns, infants, and children.

“I like having the opportunity to take care of kids,” he says, “and especially to give a child the rest of his or her life with a healthy heart.”

Dr. Davies treats a wide range of heart problems <link to Q&A>, from aortic disease to pediatric heart failure. In every case, he works in collaboration with his patient’s cardiologist to determine the best treatment for that child.

“Our goal is to provide not only the best survival but also the best quality of life for each infant or child. That can mean different things for different patients. Sometimes it means doing nothing for a while, sometimes it means surgery or a nonsurgical intervention, and sometimes it’s a combination of those things.”

While heart disease in infants and children can be challenging to treat and frightening for parents and children alike, Dr. Davies says that many aspects of caring for children with heart problems have improved in the past 10 years. “We’re now able to diagnose problems with fewer invasive tests,” he says, noting that many heart problems can be identified before a child is born.

Researching Long-Term Implications

Children today are also much more likely to survive heart surgeries and to spend less time in the hospital. “That means that we've also started to think more about the long-term implications of heart surgery for these children,” says Dr. Davies, who also conducts research on the brain and neurodevelopment after heart surgery.

“Kids who need heart surgery early in life tend, on average, not to do as well in school compared to kids who don't need heart surgery,” he says. “We want to figure out why that is and what we can do to mitigate those effects.”

Dr. Davies has a grant from the American Heart Association to explore such questions. He says research is an important part of his work because it’s an opportunity to improve the care of all children with heart problems.

“In surgery, I get to help one kid a lot; in research, I have the opportunity to give a little help to a lot of kids.”

Offering the Best Options for Each Patient

At UT Southwestern and Children’s Health, Dr. Davies says a team approach is at the heart of the care strategy.

“We all discuss each patient and figure out, as a team, the best way to take care of each child,” he says. “And we have all of the tools and expertise available to treat any heart problem that comes our way. We can offer our patients whatever treatment they need, rather than trying to fit our patients into the options that we have available.

“From diagnostic testing all the way to a heart transplant, we provide all the services a family could need,” Dr. Davies says. “It’s exciting to be part of a team that can always offer the best option for each of our patients.”

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Education & Training
  • Medical School - Yale University School of Medicine (1996-2001)
  • Residency - New York Presbyterian Hospital (2001-2007), General Surgery
  • Fellowship - New York Presbyterian Hospital (2007-2008), Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery
  • Residency - New York University Medical Center (2008-2009), Thoracic Surgery
Books & Publications