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Elizabeth (Tess) Saarel, MD

Elizabeth (Tess) Saarel, MD
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Department Pediatric Cardiology
Primary Location Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Type of Doctor Both Adults and Children & Adolescents
Languages English
Surgeon No
Locations Specialties & Treatments

Treatment & Services

  • Ablation in Pediatric Patients
  • Ablation of Atrial Arrhythmias
  • Ablation of Complex Arrhythmias
  • Ablation of Ventricular Arrhythmias
  • Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center
  • Catheter Ablation
  • Catheter Intervention For Congenital Heart Disease
  • Clinical Cardiology, Echocardiography, Cardiac Mri
  • Cryoablation
  • Department of Pediatric Cardiology & CT Surgery
  • ICD Implants
  • Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator
  • Implantable Loop Recorder
  • Non-Fluorscopic Cardiac Ablation
  • Pacemaker - Permanent
  • Pacemaker Follow-up
  • Pacemaker Implant
  • Pacemaker Lead Extraction
  • Pacemaker Lead Replacement
  • Pediatric Cardiac Catheterization
  • Pediatric Cardiology
  • Radiofrequency Ablation
  • Radiofrequency Catheter Ablation of Cardiac Arrhythmias
View all 23 Treatment & Services +

Specialty in Diseases & Conditions

  • Abnormal EKG
  • Abnormal Heart Beats - Women
  • Abnormal Heart Rhythms
  • Abnormal Rhythm Ablation
  • Aorta Disease
  • Aortic Aneurysms
  • Aortic Regurgitation
  • Aortic Stenosis
  • Aortic Valve Disease
  • Aortic Valve Regurgitation
  • Arrhythmia
  • Arrhythmia Surgery for Congenital Heart Disease
  • Arrhythmias in Children
  • Arrhythmias in Pediatric Patients
  • Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia
  • Atherosclerosis (vascular)
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Atrial Flutter
  • Atrial Septal Defects
  • Atrial Tachycardia
  • Atrioventricular Nodal Reentry Tachycardia (AVNRT)
  • Bradyarrhythmias
  • Cardiac Implantable Electronic Device Infection
  • Cardiac Problems in Athletes
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Coarctation Of The Aorta
  • Congenital Cardiomyopathy
  • Congenital Heart Disease
  • Congenital Valve Disease
  • Constrictive-Pericarditis
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy
  • Down Syndrome
  • Ebstein Anomaly
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
  • Eisenmenger Syndrome
  • Endocarditis
  • Familial Cardiomyopathy
  • Genetics of Arrhythmias
  • Heart Disease
  • Heart Failure
  • Heart Murmur
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Heart Related Illnesses
  • Heart Valve Disease
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
  • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
  • Infective Endocarditis
  • Long QT Syndrome (LQTS)
  • Marfan Syndrome
  • Mitochondrial Disease
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse
  • Mitral Valve Regurgitation
  • Mitral Valve Stenosis
  • Myocarditis
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus
  • Patent Foramen Ovale
  • Pediatric Stroke
  • Pulmonary Artery Stenosis
  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Pulmonary Valve Disease
  • Pulmonary Vein Stenosis
  • Pulmonic Regurgitation
  • Pulmonic Stenosis
  • Restrictive Cardiomyopathy
  • Rheumatic Heart Disease
  • Right Heart Failure
  • Sinus Node Dysfunction
  • Sports Cardiology
  • Stroke
  • Sudden Cardiac Death (Sudden Cardiac Arrest)
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Superior Vena Cava Syndrome
  • Supraventricular Tachycardia
  • Syncope
  • Takayasu's Arteritis
  • Tetralogy Of Fallot
  • Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm
  • Transposition Of The Great Vessels
  • Tricuspid Regurgitation
  • Tricuspid Stenosis
  • Tricuspid Valve Disease
  • Ventricular Fibrillation
  • Ventricular Septal Defects
  • Ventricular Tachycardia
  • Williams Syndrome
  • William's Syndrome
  • Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome (WPW)
View all 88 Specialties +


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About Elizabeth (Tess) Saarel, MD

Dr. Saarel is the Ronald and Helen Ross Distinguished Chair of Pediatric Cardiology at Cleveland Clinic Children’s.  Dr. Saarel is a national authority in pediatric and congenital cardiology, electrophysiology, and prevention of sudden cardiac death.  She performs electrophysiology procedures that include catheter ablation of abnormal heart rhythms and implanting cardiac rhythm devices such as pacemakers and internal cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) in children and in adults with congenital heart disease.

Dr. Saarel was drawn to pediatric cardiology due to her interest in treating children and adults with congenital heart disease or arrhythmias that have significant risk for mortality and morbidity.  Tess’ goal is to improve the quality and longevity of life for children and adults born with heart problems.

In addition to be an active clinician, mentor and lecturer, Dr. Saarel’s research and advocacy efforts focus on preventing sudden cardiac death, and diagnosing and treating arrhythmias in children and young adults with congenital heart disease.  A particular interest is in determining the safety of sports participation for young patients with arrhythmias.  Dr. Saarel has an active grant from the NIH sponsored Pediatric Heart Network for its Normal Electrocardiogram Project, for which she is the PI.  This project is to establish a database of ECGs in children with normal echocardiograms in order to better define normal ECG findings among US children. She is an author of more than 50 articles and book chapters.

Dr. Saarel travels extensively as a guest lecturer, panel participant and executive council advisor setting the standard of care for children with heart disease as it relates to health policy and quality outcomes.  She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Executive Committees for the Section on Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery and the Council on Quality Improvement and Patient Safety as well as a member of the American Board of Pediatrics Exam Development Team.  In addition she is a member of the leadership team for the Cardiac Safety Research Consortium Prevention of Sudden Death in the Young Initiative, the Pediatric Cardiac Implantable Electronic Device Advisory Panel, the ACC NCDR IMPACT Registry and Co-Chair of the Quality Committee for the Pediatric and Congenital Electrophysiology Society.  As an active Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society she currently serves on the Scientific Documents Committee and the History Committee.

Tess resides with her husband in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Education & Professional Highlights

Education & Professional Highlights


Education & Fellowships

Fellowship - University of Michigan Health System
Pediatric Cardiology
Ann Arbor, MI USA

Residency - University Hospitals of Cleveland
Cleveland, OH USA

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

Undergraduate - Princeton University
Princeton, NJ USA

Additional Training

  • Institution: University of Utah David Eccles School of Business, Salt Lake City, UT
    Degree: Certificate, Executive Healthcare Leadership
    Dates: 2012
  • Institution: Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake City, UT
    Degree: Certificate, Advanced Training Program Quality Improvement, Salt Lake City, UT
    Dates: 2007 - 2010
  • Institution: University of Utah and Primary Children's Hospital, Salt Lake City, UT
    Degree: Certificate, Clinical and Translational Research
    Dates: 2007 - 2010


  • Pediatrics
  • Pediatrics - Pediatric Cardiology (Archived)

Specialty Interests

pediatric cardiology, pediatric and congenital electrophysiology

Awards & Honors

  • America's Top Doctors (Pediatric Cardiology)
  • Alpha Omega Alpha, University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine
  • O'Malley Prize, History of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine
  • American Heart Association Merit Scholarship, University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine
  • Korenman Merit Scholarship, University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine
  • Cum Laude, Princeton University
Research & Publications

Research & Publications

See publications for Elizabeth (Tess) Saarel, 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 11/18/2019, Dr. Saarel 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.

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