Peter D. Wearden, MD

Cardiothoracic Surgery

Primary Office

Nemours Children's Hospital, Florida Nemours Children's Hospital, Florida 6535 Nemours Parkway Orlando, FL 32827 Appointment: (407) 650-7715

Other Offices

Get to Know Me

My interest in medicine began at college with a summer job in a hospital supply room. I changed to pre-med and that was it. I’ve been a pediatric cardiac surgeon for more than 15 years, and I appreciate the relationships with my patients and their parents. Every year they send me photos of their growing kids; it’s exciting to see them doing well — going to school, playing sports, living full lives. It’s very rewarding.

Why I Treat Children

The ability of kids’ hearts to recover is truly amazing. I am here to help them along by performing the surgery, getting things how they are supposed to be — then their bodies do the rest. Their ability to heal, their resilience, is just fantastic. They are really champions.

What I'm Passionate About

I’m always looking for ways to do what we do better, and I’m learning all the time — I learn from colleagues, from nurses and from parents. The nurses are with patients so much, and of course parents know their children better than anyone else, so when a parent says “something’s different,” or “I’ve noticed something,” my ears perk up. Nobody knows what’s normal for their child better than they do.That’s why it’s important to look at the care of kids with heart disease as truly a team effort. It has to be integrated from beginning to end. The best outcomes depend on everyone performing at their best, so that’s what we do. Most of our patients can’t talk yet, but parents, nurses, staff and doctors — every bit of input matters — and a big part of my job is listening.

How I Try to Make A Difference

We’re dedicated to the quality, safety and outcomes of what we do, and that can’t be compromised. We’re dedicated to caring for parents as well as children. That’s our promise.Many heart defects are discovered during prenatal ultrasounds, so it’s my goal to talk with parents before their child is born. I can’t take away all of their anxiety, but I can let them know that we can fix almost all heart problems, and there’s a really good chance their child is going to be okay. It’s a huge event in their lives, and it can be beyond heart-wrenching to deal with. The more they understand that this is what we do every day — and we do it well — it doesn’t make it easy, but it can make it better.

Education & Training


  • Cardiovascular Surgery - Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, 2005


  • Cardiothoracic Surgery - University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 2003

Internship Residency

  • Surgery - West Virginia University School of Medicine, 2001

Medical/Dental School

  • MD - West Virginia University School of Medicine, 1993
  • Doctor of Philosophy - West Virginia University School of Medicine, 1999

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Thoracic Surgery/Congenital Cardiac Surgery
  • American Board of Thoracic Surgery/Thoracic & Cardiac Surgery-Gen

Awards & Recognition

  • 2015 Best Doctor, Pittsburgh Magazine
  • 2015 Best Doctor® designation, U.S. News & World Report
  • 2014 Best Doctor, Pittsburgh Magazine
  • 2014 Best Doctor® designation, U.S. News & World Report
  • 2013 Best Doctor, Pittsburgh Magazine
  • 2013 Best Doctor® designation, U.S. News & World Report
  • 2012 Best Doctor, Pittsburgh Magazine
  • 2012 Best Doctor® designation, U.S. News & World Report
  • 2011 Best Doctor® designation, U.S. News & World Report

Insurance Accepted

  • Aetna Better Health FL Medicaid and Healthy Kids
  • Aetna HMO
  • Alabama Medicaid/Patient First
  • AmeriHealth Caritas Florida (FKA Prestige Health Choice)
  • AvMed
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield HMO
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield Non HMO
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Florida Blue Select
  • Cigna & Great West HMO/POS Open Access
  • Cigna & Great West PPO/EPO
  • Community Care Plan Medicaid
  • Employers Health Network PPO
  • Evolutions Healthcare
  • First Health Aetna PPO/EPO
  • Florida Medicaid
  • Florida Medicare
  • Geisinger Health Plan Commercial
  • Health First Health Plans
  • HealthSmart Health Plans PPO
  • Humana HMO/POS
  • Humana PPO/EPO
  • Independance Blue Cross/Amerihealth/Keystone Health Plan
  • Molina Healthcare Medicaid
  • Multiplan PPO
  • Olympus Managed Healthcare PPO ORL
  • Prime Health Services PPO Specialty Florida
  • Seminole Tribe of Florida
  • Simply Healthcare Healthy Kids
  • Simply Healthcare Medicaid HMO
  • Star Healthcare Network
  • Sunshine SMI/CMS 19 & 21
  • Sunshine State Health Plan Medicaid
  • Three Rivers Provider Network
  • Tricare/Humana Military Health Services
  • United Healthcare Commercial Products
  • United Healthcare Community Plan Medicaid
  • Volusia Health Network PPO/EPO

  • Chest Wall Disorders

Research Activities

  • Aortic translocation technique 
  • Artificial hearts and lungs 
  • Pediatric medical device development 
  • Pediatric ECMO support 
  • Tissue engineering in congenital heart surgery 
  • Neonatal heart surgery

Medical Interests

  • Congenital heart surgery
  • Heart transplantation
  • Pediatric mechanical cardiopulmonary support

  • Nelson, J. S., Fuller, S., Kim, Y. Y., Maul, T. M., Najm, H. K., Scholl, F. G., & Karamlou, T. (2022). Capturing Adult Congenital Heart Disease: Framework for Development of an Adult Congenital Heart Disease Mortality Risk Model. Annals of Thoracic Surgery. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2021.09.063

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  • Frankel, W. C., Maul, T. M., Chrysostomou, C., Wearden, P. D., Lowry, A. W., Baker, K. N., & Nelson, J. S. (2021). A Minimal Opioid Postoperative Management Protocol in Congenital Cardiac Surgery: Safe and Effective. Seminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. doi:10.1053/j.semtcvs.2020.12.001

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  • Nelson, J. S., Maul, T. M., Wearden, P. D., Najm, H. K., Baloglu, O., Johnston, D. R., & Karamlou, T. (2021). Aortic Valve Replacement in Young and Middle-Aged Adults: Current and Potential Roles of TAVR. Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 112(1), 132-138. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.05.180

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  • Lorts, A., Conway, J., Schweiger, M., Adachi, I., Amdani, S., Auerbach, S. R., & Amodeo, A. (2021). ISHLT consensus statement for the selection and management of pediatric and congenital heart disease patients on ventricular assist devices Endorsed by the American Heart Association. Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, 40(8), 709-732. doi:10.1016/j.healun.2021.04.015

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  • Nelson, J. S., Maul, T. M., Aughtman, S. L., Hurtado, C. G., & Wearden, P. D. (2021). A shifting landscape: Practice patterns and outcomes of cystic fibrosis and non-cystic fibrosis pediatric lung transplantation. Pediatric Transplantation, 25(7). doi:10.1111/petr.14086

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  • Dadlani, G. H., Srivastava, S., Wearden, P., & Pizarro, C. (2020). Introduction. Progress in Pediatric Cardiology, 58. doi:10.1016/j.ppedcard.2020.101293

  • Kennedy, J. T., III, Braley, K. T., Wearden, P. D., & Nelson, J. S. (2020). A 22-Month-Old Girl With 3 Weeks of Dyspnea. Chest, 158(3), e107-e110. doi:10.1016/j.chest.2020.05.543

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  • Nelson, J. S., Matoq, A., Dadlani, G., Wearden, P. D., & Bender, K. (2020). Intraoperative echocardiography in congenital heart surgery: What the surgeon wants to know. Progress in Pediatric Cardiology, 58. doi:10.1016/j.ppedcard.2020.101258

  • Nelson, J. S., Hurtado, C. G., & Wearden, P. D. (2020). Surgery for Dysphagia Lusoria in Children. Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 109(2), e131-e133. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2019.05.058

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  • Maul, T. M., Aspenleiter, M., Palmer, D., Sharma, M. S., Viegas, M. L., & Wearden, P. D. (2020). Impact of circuit size on coagulation and hemolysis complications in pediatric extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. ASAIO Journal, 1048-1053. doi:10.1097/MAT.0000000000001121

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  • Nelson, J. S., Maul, T. M., Wearden, P. D., Pasquali, S. K., & Romano, J. C. (2019). National Practice Patterns and Early Outcomes of Aortic Valve Replacement in Children and Teens. Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 108(2), 544-551. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2019.03.098

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  • Kennedy, J. T., Wearden, P. D., & Nelson, J. S. (2019). Cardiac venous malformation in a teenager. Cardiology in the Young, 29(6), 833-834. doi:10.1017/S1047951119000878

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  • May, A. G., Orizondo, R. A., Frankowski, B. J., Wearden, P. D., & Federspiel, W. J. (2019). Acute in vivo evaluation of the Pittsburgh pediatric ambulatory lung. ASAIO Journal, 65(4), 395-400. doi:10.1097/MAT.0000000000000918

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  • Chrysostomou, C., Maul, T., Istvanic, F., & Wearden, P. (2019). Surfactant administration during pediatric cardiac extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. ASAIO Journal, 65(4), 367-370. doi:10.1097/MAT.0000000000000825

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  • Nelson, J. S., Longani, N., Sigurdardottir, L. Y., Maul, T. M., Wearden, P. D., & Chrysostomou, C. (2018). Pediatric ECMO after drowning: Neuroprotective strategies. Progress in Pediatric Cardiology, 50, 34-38. doi:10.1016/j.ppedcard.2018.05.004

  • Magnetta, D. A., Kang, J. H., Wearden, P. D., Smith, K. J., & Feingold, B. (2018). Cost-Effectiveness of Ventricular Assist Device Destination Therapy for Advanced Heart Failure in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Pediatric Cardiology, 39(6), 1242-1248. doi:10.1007/s00246-018-1889-5

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  • Maul, T., Lorts, A., Wearden, P., & Conway, J. L. (2018). Principles of Mechanical Cardiopulmonary Support. In Heart Failure in the Child and Young Adult: From Bench to Bedside (bll 675-682). doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-802393-8.00050-8

  • Maul, T. M., Nelson, J. S., & Wearden, P. D. (2018). Paracorporeal lung devices: Thinking outside the box. Frontiers in Pediatrics, 6. doi:10.3389/fped.2018.00243

  • Orizondo, R. A., May, A. G., Madhani, S. P., Frankowski, B. J., Burgreen, G. W., Wearden, P. D., & Federspiel, W. J. (2018). In vitro characterization of the Pittsburgh pediatric ambulatory lung. ASAIO Journal, 64(6), 806-811. doi:10.1097/MAT.0000000000000711

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  • Wearden, P. D. (2016). Invited Commentary. Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 101(6), 2327-2328. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2016.01.011

  • Wearden, P. D., & Maul, T. M. (2016). Adversity in Neonates and Children with Pulmonary Artery Hypertension: The Role of ECMO. ASAIO Journal, 62(6), 637-638. doi:10.1097/MAT.0000000000000459

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