Dr. Russell “Rusty” Jennings is a pediatric surgeon who specializes in pediatric thoracic surgery with a focus on esophagus, airway, vascular and chest wall treatments at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. He joined the medical staff in 2022.
Dr. Jennings founded and directed the world’s first Esophageal and Airway Treatment (EAT) Center at Boston Children’s Hospital. He led a multidisciplinary team that worked on solving unsolved problems, and developed innovative techniques for evaluation, diagnosis and successful treatment of:
- complex esophageal strictures
- esophageal atresia
- “long gap” esophageal atresia
- esophageal replacement
- tracheo-esophageal fistulas
- recurrent tracheo-esophageal fistulas
- laryngo-tracheo-esophageal clefts
- tracheal reconstruction
- aberrant subclavian artery
- vascular compression syndromes
- vascular rings
- pectus excavatum
- chest wall deformities
- asphyxiating thoracic dystrophies
- recurrent laryngeal nerve monitoring during thoracic surgery
Dr. Jennings has many publications on these topics including the largest series of successful treatment of complex recurrent tracheoesophageal fistulas in the literature with excellent outcomes, techniques to grow patients’ tissues to allow repair and connection of the esophagus in cases of esophageal atresia and esophageal injury, esophageal replacement with jejunum, and treatment of tracheomalacia.
Dr. Jennings’ prior work includes establishing the first fetal surgery center in New England; Dr. Jennings developed the first successful fetal cardiac surgery program in the world treating HLHS before birth.
Dr. Jennings earned his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco. His general surgery residency was done at the University of California, San Francisco. He was a postdoctoral research fellow for three years in the Fetal Treatment Center and Fetal Treatment Laboratory while completing the residency. He completed a pediatric surgery fellowship at Boston Children’s/Harvard Medical School.