Appointments (615) 936-5500
Pediatric Heart Institute
2200 Children-s Way
5143 Doctor's Office Tower
Nashville, TN 37232-9292
Adminstrative (615) 936-5500
Fax (615) 343-0042

Bret A. Mettler, M.D.

Assistant Professor
Division of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery
Department of Cardiac Surgery, VUMC

Dr. Mettler is the assistant professor of pediatric cardiac surgery, specializing in the surgical treatment of congenital heart disease in infants, children and adults. Clinically, his interests include novel approaches to the treatment of complex neonatal congenital heart disease, mechanical circulatory assistance, cardiac transplantation and repair of congenital valvar anomalies. His research is focused upon using engineered tissue in treating valvular heart disease, atrioventricular valve repair and surgical education utilizing high-fidelity simulation. He joined the Vanderbilt University Medical Center faculty in December 2010.

Dr. Mettler has specific interest in resident education and training, and served as the President of the Thoracic Surgery Residents Association. He has served on several prominent national committees and international committees, and is published in numerous peer-reviewed journals. He is certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.


  • 1996 – B.S., University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD
  • 2000 – M.D., Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota, Sioux Falls, SD

Post-graduate Training

  • 2002-03 – Internship, University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio, Texas
  • 2005-07 –General Surgery Residency, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI


  • 2003-05 – Research Fellowship – Tissue Engineering Pulmonary Valves, Children’s Hospital Boston/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • 2007-09 – Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
  •  2009-10 – Congenital Cardiac Surgery, Children’s Hospital Boston/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA


  • Board Certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery

Clinical Interests

  • Pediatric cardiac surgery
  • Neonatal cardiac surgery
  • Mechanical circulatory assistance and cardiac transplantation
  • Congenital malformations of cardiac valves
  • Minimally invasive pediatric cardiac surgery
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Surgery for Congenital heart disease in adults

Research Interests

  • Tissue engineering of pulmonary valve conduits
  • Atrioventricular valve repair
  • High Fidelity Simulation
Click here to view Dr. Mettler’s full Curriculum Vitae. 
Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
2200 Children’s Way, 5247 Doctor’s Office Tower
Nashville, TN 37232-9292
Phone: (615) 936-5500