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Title Director of Fetal Surgery
Department General Surgery
Primary Location Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Type of Doctor Children & Adolescents Only
Languages English
Surgeon Yes
Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Primary Location

Cleveland Clinic Main Campus


Additional Locations

Specialties & Treatments

Treatment & Services

  • Department of Pediatric Surgery
  • Evaluation/Treatment of Antenatally Diagnosed Congenital Anomalies
  • Evaluation/Treatment of Pulmonary Sequestration / CCAM
  • Fetal Surgery
  • Fundoplication Procedure for Children
  • GERD Surgery
  • High Risk Pregnancy Care
  • Laparoscopic Antireflux Surgery
  • Mediastinal Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgeries
  • Nissen Fundoplication
  • Nuss Procedure / Minimally Invasive Repair of Pectus Excavatum
  • Video-Assisted Thoracic Surgery (VATS)
View all 13 Treatment & Services +

Specialty in Diseases & Conditions

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Antenatally Diagnosed Anomalies
  • Appendicitis
  • Birth Defects
  • Chiari Malformation
  • Congenital Anomalies
  • Congenital Cystic Adenomatoid Malformation of the Lung (CCAM)
  • Duodenal Atresia
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD)
  • Gastrointestinal Tract
  • Gastroschisis
  • Germ Cell Tumors
  • Hernias
  • Hiatal Hernia
  • Hirschsprung's Disease
  • Lungs
  • Malrotation of Intestine
  • Mediastinal Tumor
  • Necrotizing Enterocolitis
  • Omphalocele
  • Ovarian Cysts
  • Pectus Carinatum
  • Pectus Excavatum
  • Pediatric Neonatal Disorders
  • Pediatric Rare Cancer and Blood Disease Program
  • Pheochromocytoma
  • Pulmonary Nodules
  • Pulmonary Sequestration
  • Short Bowel Syndrome
  • Short Bowel Syndrome in Children
  • Testicular Torsion
  • Thyroid Nodule
  • Tracheoesophageal Fistula
  • Undescended Testicles
  • Vascular Malformations
  • Von Hippel-Lindau Disease (VHL)
  • Wilms' Tumor
View all 37 Specialties +


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About Darrell Cass, MD

Dr. Cass serves as Director of Fetal Surgery. He was former faculty in the Departments of Surgery, Pediatrics, and Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.  Dr. Cass was Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Texas Children's Fetal Center; one of only 3 centers in the world to perform successful open fetal surgery for life-threatening fetal malformations (CCAM and sacrococcygeal teratoma).  Dr. Cass is a pediatric general and thoracic surgeon with particular expertise in fetal treatments and the surgical care and management of congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), lung malformations (CCAM, CPAM, sequestration), esophageal atresia, ECMO, omphalocele, chest wall deformities (i.e. pectus excavatum), minimally invasive surgery, newborn surgical conditions, and ovarian disorders.  Dr. Cass is a former NIH-funded research investigator for study of scarless fetal tissue repair and fetal vascular wall healing.

Education & Professional Highlights

Education & Professional Highlights


Education & Fellowships

Fellowship - Baylor College of Medicine
Pediatric Surgery
Houston, TX USA

Fellowship - Texas Children's Hospital
Pediatric Surgery
Houston, TX USA

Residency - University of California San Francisco Medical Center
General Surgery
San Francisco, CA USA

Medical Education - David Geffen School of Medicine @ UCLA
Los Angeles, CA USA

Additional Training

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Fetal Surgery and Fetal Wound Healing Research: University of California, San Francisco 1994-1994, and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia 1995-1997

Professional Highlights

  • Executive Board, North American Fetal Treatment Network
  • Surgical Director of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Texas Children's Hospital
  • Chair, Program Committee, International Fetal Medicine and Surgery Society


  • Surgery - Pediatric Surgery
  • Surgery - General Surgery

Specialty Interests

Fetal Surgery, Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia, CCAM, Congenital Lung Malformations

Awards & Honors

  • Valedictorian, Agoura High School, Agoura Hills, CA, 1982
  • Los Angeles County Medical Association Scholarship, Los Angeles, CA, 1982
  • Varsity Letterman Stanford University Baseball Team, 1982-1986
  • Borun and Church Scholarships, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, 1986-1991
  • Alpha Omega Alpha, UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, 1990
  • Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship Award, 1995
  • Best paper, American College of Surgeons, South Texas Chapter, 2000, 2001
  • Vandenberge-Storz Award for best paper by a young investigator, International Fetal Medicine and SurgerySociety, 2001
  • Lyndon Baines Johnson Research Award, American Heart Association, Texas Affiliate, 2003
  • Molecular Surgeon Research Achievement Award, Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery, Baylor College ofMedicine, 2003
  • H Magazine, 2009, 2015
  • "Our Best Doctors,” Houstonia Magazine, 2013
  • Best Doctor in America, 2006-2018
  • "Year Best", Houston Medical Journal, 2008
  • "Top Doctor,” US News and World Report, 2012
  • "Top Doctor," Houstonia Magazine 2017
  • "Best of the Best," Houston Chronicle, 2016 (awardedto small number of doctors and 2 pediatric surgeons in Houston)


  • Fellow, American College of Surgeons
  • Fellow, Surgical Section, American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Member, International Fetal Medicine and Surgery Society
  • Member, American Pediatric Surgical Association
  • Member, Society of University Surgeons
  • Member, Association for Academic Surgery
Research & Publications

Research & Publications

See publications for Darrell Cass, MD.

(Disclaimer: This search is powered by PubMed, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. PubMed is a third-party website with no affiliation with Cleveland Clinic.)

Industry Relationships

Industry Relationships

Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists may collaborate with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries to help develop medical breakthroughs or provide medical expertise or education. Cleveland Clinic strives to make scientific advances that will benefit patient care and support outside relationships that promise public benefit. In order for the discoveries of Cleveland Clinic physicians' and scientists' laboratories and investigations to benefit the public, these discoveries must be commercialized in partnership with industry. As experts in their fields, Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists are often sought after by industry to consult, provide expertise and education.

To assure professional and commercial integrity in such matters, Cleveland Clinic maintains a program that reviews these collaborations and, when appropriate, puts measures in place to minimize bias that may result from ties to industry. Cleveland Clinic publicly discloses the names of companies when (i) its physicians/scientists receive $5,000 or more per year (or, in rare cases, equity or stock options) for speaking and consulting, (ii) its physicians/scientists serve as a fiduciary, (iii) its physicians/scientists receive or have the right to receive royalties or (iv) its physicians/ scientists hold any equity interest for the physician's/scientist's role as inventor, discoverer, developer, founder or consultant.* In publicly disclosing this information, Cleveland Clinic tries to provide information as accurately as possible about its physicians' and scientists' connections with industry.

As of 12/20/2022, Dr. Cass has reported no financial relationship with industry that is applicable to this listing. In general, patients should feel free to contact their doctor about any of the relationships and how the relationships are overseen by Cleveland Clinic. To learn more about Cleveland Clinic's policies on collaborations with industry and innovation management, go to our Integrity in Innovation page.

Public Health Service-Reportable Financial Conflicts of Interest. Cleveland Clinic scientists and physicians engage in basic, translational and clinical research activities, working to solve health problems, enhance patient care and improve quality of life for patients. Interactions with industry are essential to bringing the researchers' discoveries to the public, but can present the potential for conflicts of interest related to their research activities. Click here to view a listing of instances where Cleveland Clinic has identified a Public Health Service (PHS)-Reportable Financial Conflict of Interest and has put measures in place to ensure that, to the extent possible, the design, conduct and reporting of the research is free from bias.

* Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists subscribe to the guidance presented in the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals and the AdvaMed Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals. As such, gifts of substantial value are generally prohibited.

Patient Satisfaction Reviews

42 Patient Satisfaction Reviews

The Patient Satisfaction Rating is an average of all responses to the care provider related questions shown below from our nationally-recognized Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey. Patients that are treated in outpatient or hospital environments may receive different surveys, and the volume of responses will vary by question.

Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best score.

The comments are submitted by patients and reflect their views and opinions. The comments are not endorsed by and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cleveland Clinic.

Overall Star Ratings
4.9 out of 5
Explains 4.9
Listens 5
Courtesy, Respect & Concern 4.9
Time Spent with Patient 4.6
Patient Rating of Doctor 5

11 Patient Comments

Reviewed on Jul 12, 2023

Dr. Cass will forever be a hero in our eyes. He saved our sons life and always makes sure we understand everything going on. I recommend CCF to everyone I know, especially Cass.

Reviewed on Apr 28, 2023

Dr. Cass was amazing. He included his cell phone on his card in case we needed it. We ended up needing to text him and he responded quickly and with reassurance. He is wonderful.

Reviewed on Mar 22, 2023

Dr. Cass was amazing and very informative

Reviewed on Mar 17, 2023

Doctor Cass provided a crucial moment in our pregnancy. He explained things clearly, looked us in the eyes, cared about how we were reacting, and made sure we left feeling perfectly confident. I can't express just how much this interaction meant to us.

Reviewed on Mar 17, 2023

Dr. Cass is an extraordinary doctor!

Reviewed on Jan 30, 2023

Dr Cass was very kind and explained all the possibilities and options very well!!

Reviewed on Jan 13, 2023

Dr. Cass and his team were thorough and very knowledgeable! Excellent care to our son

Reviewed on Jan 13, 2023

Very well the nurses the Dr explained all to me in detail

Reviewed on Jan 13, 2023

Very good the DR EVEN SPOKE SPANISH to us he explained in detail all the procedure

Reviewed on Jan 12, 2023

Great staff, and Dr. Cass is a great doctor! I have no complaints but continue to supply the same service to all patients!!

Reviewed on Oct 5, 2022

Dr. Cass and his team were exceptional during our consultation. He explained every step of the surgery in a clear, straightforward, and detailed manner that allowed us to visualize and understand exactly how the process would work from preparation to recovery. He answered all of our questions honestly and thoroughly. Overall, he instilled great confidence and alleviated our worries.

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