Timothy John Pirolli, M.D. for UC Davis Health

Timothy John Pirolli, M.D.

Associate Professor of Surgery, Division of Congenital Heart Surgery

To see if Timothy John Pirolli is accepting new patients, or for assistance finding a UC Davis doctor, please call 800-2-UCDAVIS (800-282-3284).



Heart Failure Surgery

Congenital Heart Surgery

Pediatric Cardiac Surgery

Pediatric Surgery



Locations and Contact

Glassrock Building

Glassrock Building
2521 Stockton Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95817

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Additional Numbers

Clinic Phone


Clinic Fax


Clinic Referral Phone


Physician Referrals

800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)

Philosophy of Care

As a father of four young children, I understand that a parent wants their surgeon to be skilled and do what's best for their child. However, it is just as important for the surgeon to communicate clearly, honestly and with empathy with the patient's family about the care of their child. Surgical care is more than just performing a procedure. Our team's goal is to perform excellent surgery with the best possible outcomes and ensure that the family is comfortable with the complex, multi-disciplinary care of their child's congenital heart disease.

Clinical Interests

Dr. Pirolli is a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon with a background of cardiac surgery training at Stanford University Hospital and Clinics and pediatric cardiac surgery training at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He has special interests in treating patients of all ages with complex congenital heart disease, especially those with complex newborn lesions. Dr. Pirolli has a particular interest in performing some surgical repairs through a mini-sternotomy, which shortens the post-operative recovery time for the patient and limits the size of the surgical scar.

Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Pirolli has an interest in translational research using a balloon-expandable graft/conduit in animal models. His research was used for FDA approval of use of the graft in patients. Use of this graft material should delay and possibly prevent the need for future surgeries in select patients as the graft can be expanded in the cardiac catheterization lab without opening the chest.


Fetal Care and Treatment Center
Cardiac Surgery
Pediatric Surgery

Center/Program Affiliation

Pediatric Heart Center
Cardiovascular Services
UC Davis Children's Hospital

Undergraduate School

B.A., Molecular Biology, Paleobiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA 2004

Medical School

M.D., University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia PA 2008


Cardiothoracic Surgery, Stanford University Hospital and Clinics, Palo Alto CA 2008-2009


Cardiothoracic Surgery, Stanford University Hospital and Clinics, Palo Alto CA 2008-2014


Congenital Heart Surgery, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia PA 2014-2015

D Magazine Best Doctors, Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, 2021, 2022

Agnew Surgical Research Stipend, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 2005

Shober Scholarship, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008

Magna cum laude in Biology (Molecular Biology) and Geology (Paleobiology), 2004

Akam-Venkata J, Ikemba CM, Martinez J, Pruszynski J, Heistein L, Pirolli TJ, Forbess JM. Single-Stage Surgical Management of Atrioventricular Septal Defects with Coarctation of the Aorta. Pediatr Cardiol. 2022 Oct;43(7):1645-1652. doi:10.1007/s00246-022-02895-z. Epub 2022 May 30. PMID:35637360.

Pirolli TJ. Commentary: Why "tri" to repair the valve if it will just "lead" to recurrent regurgitation? J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2022 Jun;163(6):2196-2197. doi:10.1016/j.jtcvs.2021.12.002. Epub 2021 Dec 4. PMID:35012780.

Davies RR, Lantz Apn JL, Mullowney SK, Butts RJ, Pirolli T, Jaquiss RDB, Sutcliffe DL. Heart Failure After Cavopulmonary Connection: Conversion to Biventricular Circulatory Support. Ann Thorac Surg. 2021 Sep;112(3):e185-e188. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.12.042. Epub 2021 Jan 19. PMID:33482162.

Baez Hernandez N, Kirk R, Davies R, Bano M, Sutcliffe D, Pirolli T, Jaquiss R, Daneman S, Butts RJ. A comprehensive strategy in donor acceptance: Impact on pediatric waitlist and heart transplant outcomes. Pediatr Transplant. 2020 Sep;24(6):e13764. doi:10.1111/petr.13764. Epub 2020 Jun 14. PMID:32536034.

Bhattarai P, Zia A, Forbess JM, Guleserian KJ, Hupp SR, Pirolli T. Use of a Modified Classic BT Shunt in a Patient With Multiple Conduit Obstructions With Positive Lupus Anticoagulant. World J Pediatr Congenit Heart Surg. 2020 Jul;11(4):NP25-NP26. doi: 10.1177/2150135116688180. Epub 2017 Apr 19. PMID: 28421915.

Zahr RA, Gooty V, Tandon A, Greil G, Pirolli T, Davies R, Jaquiss R, Ramaciotti C, Hussain T. Feasibility of real-time cine magnetic resonance imaging to predict the presence of significant retrosternal adhesions prior to redo-sternotomy. J Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance. 2019 Oct 31;21(1):67. doi:10.1186/s12968-019-0576-x.

Geoffrion T, Pirolli TJ, Pruszynski J, Dyer AK, Davies RD, Forbess JM, Guleserian KJ. Outcomes of Mitral Valvuloplasty and Mitral Valve Replacement in Infants Less Than One Year Old. Pediatr Cardiol. 2019 Dec 21;144 (2_MeetingAbstract):330. doi:10.1542/peds.144.2MA4.330.

Wang J, Zhang QJ, Pirolli TJ, Liu ZP, Powell L, Thorp EB, Jessen M, Forbess JM. Cardio-omentopexy Reduces Cardiac Fibrosis and Heart Failure After Experimental Pressure Overload. Ann Thorac Surg. 2019 May;107(5):1448-1455. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2018.11.019. Epub 2018 Dec 12. PMID:30552887.

Engelhardt K, Pirolli T, Raman L, Abu-Hijleh M, Hupp S. Successful Use of Pulmonary Cryotherapy for Tracheobronchial Thrombus Extraction and Recanalization of the Tracheobronchial Tree During a Pediatric Venovenous Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Run. Pediatr Allergy Immunol Pulmonol. 2019 Mar 1;32(1):28-30. doi:10.1089/ped.2018.0911. Epub 2019 Mar 18. PMID:31508253.

Geoffrion TR, DeKeyzer L, Shah G, Nair SJ, Pirolli TJ, Kernstine K. Pulmonary paraganglioma in a 10-year-old: a case report and review of the literature. J Surg Case Rep. 2018 Apr 3;2018(4):rjy047. doi:10.1093/jscr/rjy047. PMID:29644036.