Bret Allen Mettler, M.D.

Headshot of Bret Allen Mettler
  • Director, Pediatric Cardiac Surgery
  • Associate Professor (PAR) of Surgery


Aortic Coarctation, Atrial Septal Defects (ASD), Cardiothoracic Surgery, Congenital Heart Disease, Mechanical Circulatory Support, Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA), Pediatric Aortic Stenosis, Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, Pediatric Congenital Heart Disease, Pediatric Heart Transplant, Pediatric Thoracic Surgery, Single Ventricle Heart Defect, Tricuspid Atresia, Ventricular Septal Defect more

Research Interests

supravalvular aortic stenosis, congenital heart disease, translational clinical research more

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Outside of Maryland & Washington D.C.

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The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Main Entrance)

Appointment Phone: 443-287-1262
1800 Orleans St.
The Charlotte R. Bloomberg Children's Center Building, Pediatric Cardiology, M2201
Baltimore, MD 21287
Phone: 443-287-1262
The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Main Entrance) - Google Maps


Bret Mettler, M.D., is a pediatric cardiac surgeon in Baltimore, Maryland, caring for infants and children with a variety of heart conditions and congenital heart defects. He also serves as director of pediatric cardiac surgery and co-director of the Blalock–Taussig–Thomas Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center at Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

Dr. Mettler came to Johns Hopkins from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he served as the director of pediatric cardiac transplantation and mechanical support since 2010. A native of South Dakota, where he was a magna cum laude undergraduate and medical student at the University of South Dakota, Dr. Mettler has had extensive and impressive surgical training at leading centers throughout the country. He completed his surgical residency training at the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Michigan. He completed a research fellowship in cardiac tissue engineering at Boston Children’s Hospital, followed by a cardiothoracic surgical residency at the University of Virginia and a congenital cardiac surgery fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Mettler has distinguished himself as a gifted and accomplished pediatric and congenital heart surgeon. He has also held numerous academic and leadership appointments in national associations including the Joint Council on Thoracic Surgery Education, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the Thoracic Surgery Directors Association and the Thoracic Surgery Residents Association, of which he was president. more


  • Director, Pediatric Cardiac Surgery
  • Co-Director, Blalock-Taussig-Thomas Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center
  • Associate Professor (PAR) of Surgery

Departments / Divisions

  • Cardiac Surgery
  • Surgery - Pediatric Cardiac Surgery

Centers & Institutes





  • Congenital Cardiac Surgery; Boston Children's Hospital (2010)
  • General Surgery; University of Michigan Health System (2007)
  • General Surgery; University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (2003)
  • Thoracic Surgery; University of Virginia School of Medicine (2009)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Thoracic Surgery (Congenital Cardiac Surgery) (2013)
  • American Board of Thoracic Surgery (Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery) (2010)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Mettler's research efforts focus on four areas: 

  • Translational clinical research pediatric heart and diagnostic studies.
  • CSF production and volume changes after a cavopulmonary anastomosis.
  • Translational model of mass spectroscopic protein expression in normal and semilunar valves with congenital heart disease.
  • Pediatric translational clinical research. 

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Menachem JN, Schlendorf KH, Mazurek JA, Bichell DP, Brinkley DM, Frischhertz BP, Mettler BA, Shah AS, Zalawadiya S, Book W, Lindenfeld J. “Advanced Heart Failure in Adults With Congenital Heart Disease.” JACC Heart Fail. 2019 Dec 3. pii: S2213-1779(19)30729-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jchf.2019.08.012.

Diaz I, Thurm C, Hall M, Auerbach S, Bearl DW, Dodd DA, Mettler BA, Smith AH, Fuchs DC, Godown J. “Disorders of Adjustment, Mood, and Anxiety in Children and Adolescents Undergoing Heart Transplantation and the Association of Ventricular Assist Device Support.” J Pediatr. 2019 Nov 12. pii: S0022-3476(19)31350-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2019.10.022.

Godown J, Bearl DW, Thurm C, Hall M, Feingold B, Soslow JH, Mettler BA, Smith AH, Profita EL, Singh TP, Dodd DA. “Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation use in the first 24 hours following pediatric heart transplantation: Incidence, risk factors, and outcomes.” Pediatr Transplant. 2019 Jun;23(4):e13414. doi: 10.1111/petr.13414. Epub 2019 Apr 11.

Weiner JG, Chew JD, Doyle TP, Mettler BA, Frischhertz BP, Janssen DR, Nicholson GT. “Left main coronary artery stent placement in a 7.0 kg infant with Williams Syndrome.” J Struct Heart Dis. 2018 Dec;4(6):246-250. doi: 10.12945/j.jshd.2019.001.18.

Godown J, Thurm C, Hall M, Dodd DA, Feingold B, Soslow JH, Mettler BA, Smith AH, Bearl DW, Schumacher KR. Pediatr Cardiol. 2019 Feb;40(2):357-365. doi: 10.1007/s00246-018-2011-8. Epub 2018 Oct 20.

Activities & Honors


  • Alpha Omega Alpha Award for Distinguished Alumnus, 2013
  • Thoracic Surgery Residents Association Service Award, 2010
  • Thoracic Surgery Directors Association Award, Society of Thoracic Surgeons, 2007
  • Alexander J. Walt Award, Michigan Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, 2007
  • Best Paper, Michigan Chapter of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons, 2006
  • Frederick A. Coller Award, Michigan Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, 2006
  • National Research Service Award - “Tissue Engineering of Pulmonary Valves”, National Institutes of Health, 2003
  • General Surgery Intern of the Year, 2001
  • Chester B. McVay Award for Surgical Honors, 2000
  • North Central Heart Award for Surgical Achievement, 1999


  • American College of Surgeons


  • Southern Thoracic Surgical Association


  • American College of Cardiology


  • Coller Society, University of Michigan Surgical Alumni


  • European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgeons


  • International Society of Applied Cardiovascular Biologists


  • Tissue Engineering Society International


  • American Heart Association


  • Member

    South Dakota State Medical Association

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