Departmental Highlights & News
Stanford is able to leverage a series of "firsts," including the first heart transplant in the US, the first heart-lung transplant in the world, and one of the first left ventricular assist device (LVAD) procedures in the world. Stanford dominates the market in programs involving a high percentage of complex procedures. Several of Stanford's most successful cardiac programs have a broad geographical base, with over 20% of the volume for heart transplants, aorta and valve procedures coming from outside the Bay Area. Stanford also has a strong international cardiac market with cardiac patients representing more than 50% of overall international business.
In this episode, Dr. David Tom Cooke interviews STS Director-at-Large Dr. Leah Backhus from Stanford Health Care. Listeners will learn how positive labels “slapped on” Dr. Backhus at a young age help buoy her throughout her journey, but she cautions that such labels can be good and bad and explains why. Dr. Backhus also shares that after an “unwelcoming reception” into neurosurgery, she chose a career in cardiothoracic surgery. This experience helped her realize that mentors “do not have to look like you, they just need to get you.” “Same Surgeon, Different Light” is a program from the Society designed to demystify cardiothoracic surgery, revealing the men and women behind their surgical masks.
Department research and clinical expertise showcased at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2020
The American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2020 was undoubtedly a unique one. Although physicians, healthcare professionals, and scientists were unable to gather physically together, the virtual platform still served as one of the world's largest forums for the presentation and discussion of clinical innovations and research breakthroughs in cardiovascular medicine. At the 2020 virtual conference, the Stanford Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery was prominently featured in 11 talks and poster presentations, showcasing a diverse spectrum of the department's clinical expertise and research accomplishments.
Biomimetic six-axis robots replicate human cardiac papillary muscle motion: pioneering the next generation of biomechanical heart simulator technology
The complex motion of papillary muscles plays an important role in mitral valve kinematics. However, current ex vivo heart simulators—crucial tools used to optimize surgical techniques and devices—do not include this motion, thus presenting a significant limitation on the translatability of the surgical optimizations. Our novel six-axis image-guided papillary muscle robotic system incorporates the complex motion of the papillary muscles and represents a significant advancement in ex vivo simulation. The system can be integrated in all future heart simulator experimentation to more accurately replicate the in vivo environment, thus enabling reliable analysis and optimization of valve repair techniques.
Stanford University Medical Center became the first heart transplant center on the West Coast of the United States to adopt a new Cardiac Transport System (CTS) for standard-of-care in donor heart preservation and transport. The Stanford program has pioneered heart transplantation since they performed the first adult heart transplantation in the United States fifty years ago. Today, as one of the highest volume heart transplant programs in the nation, that tradition continues as they adopt new technologies to advance patient-centered care.
Stanford Cardiothoracic Surgery Department and "The Heart Center at Mercy Redding" Join Together to Transform Greater Redding, CA Heart Care
Stanford Cardiothoracic Surgery makes movement to advance heart care in the northern territory of California state, providing a comprehensive range of heart care services to the Mercy Medical Center Redding, in Redding, CA. The new partnership with Stanford Health Care and Mercy Medical Center Redding further advances the Stanford Cardiac Surgery Affiliate Hospital Program. The combination of Mercy Medical Center Redding's more than 70 years of healthcare services and Stanford's leadership in academic medicine is expected to significantly advance healthcare in this region.
Dr. Ngan Huang and Dr. Alex Chan, a postdoctoral research fellow at VA Palo Alto, are studying the effects of nicotine on therapeutic stem cells. The two co-authored a review article on the effects of nicotine on stem cell therapy that appeared online earlier this year in the journal Regenerative Medicine.
(Photo by Adan Pulido)
Ngan Huang discusses generational differences in parenting in the COVID-19 era.
Excerpt: "I definitely get the sense that, compared to the family structure in which I grew up, the structure we have established is more resilient during the COVID-19 crisis because of the blending of parental roles."
Dr. Leah Backhus was the 2019 recipient is the first woman to receive the award in fourteen years, the first African American recipient, and the first recipient from Stanford.
Dr. Natalie Lui is the 2020 recipient and is the second woman to receive the award in fourteen years.
Stanford is one of only two institutions to recieve this award twice.
The TSDA Benson R. Wilcox Award was established in 2010 to acknowledge the best scientific abstract submitted by a cardiothoracic surgery resident to The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Annual Meeting. This annual award honors Dr. Wilcox’s many contributions to the TSDA and thoracic surgery education.
Dr. Zhu recieved the award for Bilateral versus Single Internal Mammary Artery Grafts for Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery in the United States – A Study of Over One Million Patients
"This surgery went very smoothly, and the patient had a really good recovery," said MacArthur, who added that he loves doing this type of procedure because of the quick and dramatic improvement in his patients. "It’s challenging, but it’s very rewarding to see somebody who can’t breathe comfortably, or not well at all, go home and not need any supplemental oxygen."
Department research and clinical expertise showcased at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2019
At this year’s conference held in Philadelphia, PA, the Stanford Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery was prominently featured in 20 talks and poster presentations, showcasing a diverse spectrum of the department’s clinical expertise and research accomplishments.
Mark Berry, MD, professor of cardiothoracic surgery, was appointed the Mylavarapu Rogers Professor in Cardiothoracic Surgery. The professorship was established with a gift from Swati Mylavarapu and Matt Rogers to support a faculty member in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery.
Dr. Ioannis Karakikes's paper featured in Nature
Karakikes and other researcher's findings suggest that the activation of the platelet-derived growth factor pathway contributes to the pathogenesis of Lamin A/C-related dilated cardiomyopathy and point to platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β as a potential therapeutic target.
Drs. Natalie Lui and Jeffrey Yang Receive Awards at the 2019 Western Thoracic Surgical Association Annual Meeting
Dr. Lui received the 2019 Donald B. Doty Educational Award, the purpose of which is to foster innovative educational initiatives in cardiothoracic surgery by WTSA members, and provide an opportunity for the dissemination of this information to other training centers and academic institutions.
Dr. Yang received the Norman E. Shumway Award, which is awarded to the presenting author of the best podium presentation at the annual meeting.
Dr. Craig Miller recognized at the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, receives AATS Scientific Achievement Award
This award is one of the highest scientific recognition awards given by AATS, and recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary scientific contributions to the field of cardiothoracic surgery.
Bay Area sports personality and former Golden State Warrior Tom Tolbert suffered an aortic dissection in 2017. The documentary shows how Stanford Hospital treated the life-threatening tear near his heart. Dr. Joseph Woo, Chair of the Dept. of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Dr. Jason Lee, Director of Endovascular Surgery, and Dr. David Liang, professor of cardiovascular medicine, are interviewed for the story.
The Thoracic Surgery Foundation (TSF) has announced 24 new grants totaling $916,500 in support of research and education programs in cardiothoracic surgery. These grants will help advance treatment options for patients with heart and lung diseases and offer much-needed assistance to underserved patients in developing countries, including Kenya, Mongolia, Nepal, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Uganda.
Dr. Leah Backhus chosen for Thoracic Surgery Residents' Association's 2019 McGoon Teaching Award
The Dr. Dwight C. McGoon Award is an award given annually by the TSRA to an outstanding young faculty member in cardiothoracic surgery in recognition of his or her commitment to resident education and mentorship. Each year, cardiothoracic surgery residents in North America are eligible to nominate a faculty member within the first ten years of their attendingship who has demonstrated a remarkable interest in resident training -- inside or outside of the operating room.
Dr. Yasuhiro Shudo's paper featured in JAHA: Impact of Donor Obesity on Outcomes After Orthotopic Heart Transplantation.
Shudo Y, Cohen JE, Lingala B, He H, Woo YJ. J Am Heart Assoc. 2018 Dec 4;7(23):e010253. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.118.010253. PMID: 30511896
Department research, faculty prominently featured at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2018
The American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions brings together nearly 13,000 physicians, surgeons, researchers, and healthcare professionals each year, serving as one of the world’s largest forums for the presentation and discussion of clinical innovations and research breakthroughs in cardiovascular medicine. At this year’s conference held in Chicago, IL, the Stanford Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery was prominently featured in 19 talks and poster presentations, showcasing a diverse spectrum of the department’s clinical expertise and research accomplishments.
Dr. Elan Burton awarded funds from the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity to attend the 2018 AAMC Junior Minority Faculty Career Development Seminar in Phoenix, AZ
The three-day Minority Faculty Leadership Development Seminar brings together junior faculty from across the United States and provides participants with real-world guidance and tools for pursuing career advancement in academic medicine, developing key professional competencies, building skills in grant writing and communications, and expanding their network of colleagues and role models.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has invested in two projects for fundamental biomedical engineering research onboard the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory for the benefit of life on Earth, one being for Stanford CT Surgery's Ngan Huang, PhD: Tissue engineered muscle in microgravity as a novel platform to study sarcopenia
Hanjay Wang Awarded Resident Prize at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2018
Dr. Hanjay Wang, a 4th year resident in Stanford’s Integrated Cardiothoracic Surgery Training Program and a postdoctoral research fellow in Dr. Joseph Woo’s laboratory, was awarded the Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia (CVSA) Resident Prize at the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Scientific Sessions 2018 in Chicago, IL. Dr. Wang presented his research entitled “Computationally-Engineered Analog of Stromal Cell-Derived Factor 1α Preserves the Mechanical Properties of Infarcted Myocardium Under Planar Biaxial Tension” in an oral abstract competition for a panel of judges and received his award from AHA president Dr. Ivor J. Benjamin and CVSA chair Dr. Jennifer Lawton.
The American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions were recently held November 10–12 in Chicago, IL. The AHA yearly sessions provide the most up-to-date research and a new dimension of cardiovascular discovery and clinical practice for clinicians, basic scientists, and researchers. Over 12,600 professional attendees including physicians, cardiology professionals, research scientists and other non-healthcare professionals from more than 100 countries attended and presented at this year's sessions.
Dr. Arnar Ingason recieves Dr. Magnusson award for best oral presentation by a medical student or resident for his apical resection project at the National Surgery and Anesthesiology Conference of Iceland
The conference is an annual national conference for surgeons, anethesiologists, and obs & gynecologists in Iceland. Each year an award is presented to the best oral presentation by a medical student or resident. The award is dedicated to Dr. Jonas Magnusson, former Professor of Surgery at the University of Iceland.
Meticulous planning and execution of the surgery, an arterial switch procedure, allowed the medical team to surmount daunting technical challenges of treating a 7-pound open-heart patient without giving her a blood transfusion.
A report last year from the Association of American Medical Colleges indicated that by 2013, black women 49 and younger made up a greater percentage of the U.S. physician workforce than black men in the same age group.
In recent years, women have gradually made up greater proportions of medical school classes, with most medical schools in the United States currently fairly balanced between male and female students. However, women continue to be underrepresented in certain specialties, particularly in surgery. Cardiothoracic (CT) surgery is a fairly extreme example, with women constituting approximately 5% of practicing surgeons.
The symposium, sponsored by the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, featured a who's who of some of the Stanford players who've contributed to the development of heart transplantation since Shumway began his research in the late 1950s.
As with other surgical specialties, Dr. Joseph Woo says the growing trend among heart surgeons is to try to recycle, reuse, rebuild and preserve as much of a patient’s own tissues as possible, as patients generally do better when they don’t have to rely on synthetic or animal parts.
Hoyt was born with cystic fibrosis, a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe. She grew up with a disorder that caused a chronic, severe cough, so it seemed ironic when she found her passion – swimming.
Department research, faculty prominently featured at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2017
Attracting nearly 20,000 attendees annually from around the world, the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions is one of the most prominent forums for disseminating the latest breakthroughs in cardiovascular surgery and medicine. The Stanford Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery was well-represented at this year’s conference. The event began with an early career session, which focused on providing guidance and mentorship to trainees and young surgeons.
The benefits of a mechanical valve compared with a biological valve persist until the age of 70 for mitral-valve replacement, according to a new Stanford study.
Dameron Hospital Partners with Stanford Health Care
Dameron Hospital has partnered with Stanford Health Care to bring its world-class cardiothoracic surgery program to Stockton, extending Stanford’s reach in Northern California while eliminating the inconvenience of travel to the Bay Area for residents of the region.
Former Lung Transplant Patient of Dr. Jack Boyd Competes in World Transplant Games
"It has been an honor to participate in Erinn’s care," said Jack Boyd, M.D., clinical assistant professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine and cardiothoracic surgeon at Stanford Health Care, who performed Hoyt’s transplant surgery. "Her strength and determination to do amazing things both before and after her lung transplant are an inspiration to others with cystic fibrosis and to the physicians and health care providers who work with patients with this condition."
Department research, faculty prominently featured at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2017
Attracting nearly 20,000 attendees annually from around the world, the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions is one of the most prominent forums for disseminating the latest breakthroughs in cardiovascular surgery and medicine. The Stanford Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery was well-represented at this year’s conference. The event began with an early career session, which focused on providing guidance and mentorship to trainees and young surgeons.
Dr. Mark Berry receives the 2017 Denise O’ Leary Award for Clinical Excellence
Dr. Mark Berry, Associate Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery, received the 2017 Denise O’ Leary Award for Clinical Excellence on September 19, 2017. This award was started eight years ago as a lasting tribute to Denise’s commitment to excellence at Stanford Hospital. This award is considered the highest honor for physicians conducting patient care at Stanford Hospital.
David Diaz, 9, who has cystic fibrosis, received a pair of new lungs three years after his sister, who also has CF, underwent a double-lung transplantation.
In the ongoing hunt to find better treatments for heart disease, the top cause of death globally, new research from Stanford shows promising results using an unusual strategy: photosynthetic bacteria and light.
Andrew Goldstone and Peter Chiu published in The New England Journal of Medicine
Article Title: "Prostheses for Aortic and Mitral Valve Replacement"
Valve replacement outcomes were examined with statewide data in California. Bioprostheses were associated with higher long-term mortality than mechanical valves among patients up to 55 years of age for aortic valve replacement and up to 70 years of age for mitralvalve replacement.
Ioannis Karakikes paper on genome editing of iPSCs featured on the cover of Circulation Research
Article Title: "Cardiomyopathy TALEN Knockout Library"
Karakikes and colleagues have now created a panel of gene editing constructs designed to target and disrupt 88 different genes associated with cardiovascular diseases. Introducing these individual constructs into human iPSCs and then differentiating the cells into cardiomyocytes should enable researchers to observe how a given mutation affects myocardial development.
Drs. Richard Ha and Joseph Woo use innovative method to keep teen alive for heart transplant
Abraham Maga's heart and lungs had failed and he would have died very quickly without an intervention. The traditional method of keeping Maga alive using a device called an ECMO (for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) would have required he stay in bed until a heart was available for transplantation. Instead Dr. Richard Ha figured out a way to connect the device directly to Maga's heart rather than through an artery, allowing the boy to leave his bed and even leave the hospital.
Stanford’s long-range planning process seeks broad input to collaboratively create a shared vision for the university that anticipates future trends and identifies key opportunities.
"For patients with very complex anatomy and a lot of variation from the normal cardiac structure, 3-D technologies are really helpful," said Maeda, a clinical associate professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the School of Medicine.
Ngan Huang, PhD, invited to participate in Biomedical Engineering Society's 2017 Young Innovator program
Dr. Leah Backhus featured in Winter 2016 Issue of Women in Thoracic Surgery Oracle
Leah Backhus, MD, MPH, FACS, talks about her journey as a thoracic surgeon.
Unroofing surgery relieves debilitating symptoms of heart anomaly, study finds
A Stanford study, lead by Jack Boyd, MD, shows that a type of surgery improves the quality of life for patients with myocardial bridging, a congenital condition caused by a major artery tunneling through heart muscle.
Dr. Leah Backhus Named to PCORI Advisory Panel
Leah Backhus, MD, MPH, FACS, was selected to serve on the Improving Healthcare Systems advisory panel for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Just over 5 percent of who those expressed interest in this prestigious, three-year position were selected.
Department Hosts Six Prominent Surgeons in 2015-2016 Visiting Professorship Series
Each academic year, the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery brings in highly regarded surgeons and researchers to give our faculty and residents the opportunity to meet, interact with and learn from exceptional surgeons from around the world.
Study shows nanofiber scaffolds could treat lymphedema by rerouting lymphatic system around blockages
The Ngan Huang Lab, in collaboration with the Union City, California-based company Fibralign, has been studying how nanofibers of collagen can be used in medicine. Collagen, the most abundant protein in the human body, acts as a structural support in a variety of tissues. The scientists have designed nanofibers, dubbed “BioBridge,” that mimic collagen's different arrangements.
Frank Hanley, MD, performs risky open-heart surgery on historically small baby
After Making Heart Surgery History at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford, 5-Month-Old Carmel Smith is Home for Good. Carmel is believed to be the smallest baby in Northern California — and perhaps the world — to successfully undergo the high-risk Norwood procedure for hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Initial surgery over the Thanksgiving holiday on her marble-sized heart was so high-risk that the statistical chance of survival could not even be predicted.
Drs. Woo, Boyd, and Fowler perform rare domino transplant procedure at Stanford Hospital saving two women's lives
Organs available for transplant are in short supply. Heart-lung combinations are even more rare because a set of heart and lungs is usually split up so that the organs can benefit two people instead of just one. Domino transplantation of a heart-lung and heart does, however, benefit two people. A highly unusual procedure, it has only been performed at Stanford eight times before, last in 1994.
One Hundred Years of History at Stanford University: Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
The history of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery at Stanford spans a century long period, beginning not long after the founding of Stanford University. Pioneering Stanford surgeons have made landmark discoveries and innovations in pulmonary, transplantation, thoracic aortic, mechanical circulatory support, minimally invasive, valvular, and congenital heart surgery. Fundamental research formed the foundation underlying these and many other advances. Educating and training the subsequent leaders of cardiothoracic surgery has throughout this century-long history constituted a mission of the highest merit.
5 Questions: Bruce Reitz recalls first successful heart-lung transplant
Family Travels Coast-to-Coast for Child’s Lifesaving Heart Surgery From Dr. Frank Hanley at Stanford Children’s Health
This past fall, the Bracebridges traveled nearly 3,000 miles from their home in northern Virginia to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford so that Frank Hanley, MD, could perform a complex, 12-hour surgery on Alex. Hanley, chief of pediatric cardiac surgery at the hospital’s Children’s Heart Center, has helped Alex and thousands of other children with serious heart conditions lead normal lives.
D. Craig Miller, MD, Receives David J. Dugan Distinguished Service Award of the Western Thoracic Surgical Association
The David J. Dugan Distinguished Service Award of the Western Thoracic Surgical Association is presented to members of the association in recognition of distinguished achievement and outstanding contributions to the field of thoracic surgery in the areas of science or leadership over a sustained period of time. Nominations for this award are made by the Nominating Committee and are then presented to the Council for approval.
Teen Awaiting Heart-lung Transplant First in Western U.S. to Undergo Novel Therapy
Listing Oswaldo Jimenez for a transplant was just the beginning. His doctors needed to perform what is referred to as a "bridge-to-transplant" solution, one that would sustain his organs until transplant could be done.
Elan Burton, MD, Joins the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery
The Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery welcomes Elan Burton, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, as our newest faculty member in Stanford’s Division of Adult Cardiothoracic Surgery. She will work at our Stanford program at the VA Hospital, and at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose.
Dr. Burton obtained her undergraduate degree from Duke University and then went on to Morehouse School of Medicine to obtain her medical degree. She completed her residency training in general surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-Mercy. Dr. Burton then completed her cardiothoracic surgical training with Dr. Sarah Shumway at the University of Minnesota.
William Hiesinger, MD, Joins the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery
The Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery welcomes William Hiesinger, MD, who joins us as an Assistant Professor in Adult Cardiothoracic Surgery.
Dr. Hiesinger completed his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania and went on to conduct his general surgery and cardiothoracic surgery residency there. He has extensive surgical experience with thoracic transplantation, mechanical circulatory support, transcatheter aortic valve replacement, and endovascular thoracic aortic procedures.
Ioannis Karakikes, PhD, Joins the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Dr. Karakikes received his PhD from the University of Essex (UK) and completed his postdoctoral training at the Cardiovascular Research Center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. His research focuses on identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying cardiomyopathy using stem cells harvested from patients.
Adult Congenital Heart Program at Stanford Offers Unusual Level of Expertise in Caring for Adults Born With Heart Defects
The Adult Congenital Heart Program at Stanford Children’s Health and Stanford Health Care now has seven board-certified specialists in adult congenital heart disease, making it one of the largest groups of such doctors in the country. The seven physicians are among the caregivers who passed the first-ever board certification exam in their field, which is newly recognized as a subspecialty by the American Board of Internal Medicine.
Anson Lee Joins the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery
The Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery welcomes Anson Lee, MD, Assistant Professor, as the newest surgeon in Stanford's Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery.
Dr. Lee joins us from Washington University in St. Louis, where he completed his advanced training, specializing in complex cardiac arrhythmia surgery, transplants/VADs, and TAVR. He established a reputation there as an outstanding surgeon. Dr. Lee is a native of Southern California. He attended the University of California, San Diego as an undergraduate and Washington University for medical school, where he also conducted all of his residency training. Dr. Lee also completed a basic science postdoctoral research fellowship studying mechanisms of and therapies for cardiac arrhythmias in the world-renowned Washington University arrhythmia laboratory in which the original Cox Maze operation was invented.
Dr. Lee will be participating in multiple facets of adult cardiac surgery at Stanford. He will lead our Surgical Arrhythmia Program, working closely with the Stanford Electrophysiology Section. Dr. Lee will also develop a basic and translational research laboratory studying mechanisms underlying arrhythmia ablation and has already initiated collaborations in the Cardiovascular Institute and Stanford Electrical Engineering.
Leah Bachus Joins the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery
The Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery welcomes Leah Backhus, MD, as the newest surgeon in Stanford’s Division of Thoracic Surgery and Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery.
Leah comes to us from the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, where she had a very successful five years as Assistant and Associate Professor, working at both the University Hospital and the VA Puget Sound. She established a reputation there as an outstanding surgeon, teacher, and health services researcher.
Leah attended undergraduate school here at Stanford, trained in Surgery at USC, and trained in Thoracic Surgery at UCLA prior to moving to UW.
At Stanford, she will split her time between SUMC and the VA Palo Alto. She will serve as Associate Program Director for the Thoracic Track component of our CT Surgery residency and also as co-director, with Dr. Mark Berry, of a new Health Services Research Program within the Department.
The JCTSE TSDA Cardiothoracic Surgery Resident "Top Gun" Competition was held on April 25, 2015, in conjunction with the AATS 95th Annual Meeting. This year’s competition was supported in part by the AATS Graham Foundation and with an in-kind donation provided by Medtronic.
Jeff Cohen, Stanford Post doc in the Joseph Woo Lab receives AATS C. Walton Lillehei award for Stanford
Through a generous unrestricted educational grant from St. Jude Medical, Inc., the AATS C. Walton Lillehei Resident Forum recognizes the extraordinary contributions of to our specialty by Jeff Cohen, a great innovator in congenital and vascular disease. Selected by the Cardiothoracic Residents Committee, the recipient receives a $5,000 award.
Our department is the second highest program in the country for heart transplants, and also surpasses the 1,000 major case milestone for adult cardiac surgery volume in a year
Stanford handled more heart transplant surgeries in 2015 than any other hospital in the country except one, and our surgeons handled more than 1,000 major cases for the first time ever in a single year. With a larger department, we have nearly doubled the number of annual surgeries we perform since 2013.
Renowned heart surgeon Frank Hanley, MD, shares why patients around the country come to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, and what motivates him to provide care that doesn’t miss a beat.
But most adults with repaired congenital heart defects are not cured, doctors have learned. As their discipline has matured, cardiologists have honed their understanding of how to help patients like Yoon navigate the risks of living with lingering heart problems, as well as learned how congenital defects interact with cardiovascular problems people acquire with age.
Five Lifesaving Organ Transplants in 48 Hours Means a Very Busy Weekend at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford
Weekends at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford can be busy, but one recent weekend in July yielded a remarkable 48-hour whirlwind of multiple organ transplants.
Ngan F. Huang, PhD, Assistant Professor of CT Surgery, was selected to receive the 2015 McCormick-Gabilan Fellowship from the Provost. The Fellows represent a group of faculty that promotes the support of women in the sciences and engineering at Stanford. She intends to use this prestigious award for mentoring female trainees in cardiovascular tissue engineering research, as well as in career development towards research independence.
Jensen is one of 68 medical students from across the U.S. chosen to take part in the HHMI Medical Research Fellows Program. This program gives medical students a chance to try their hand at research by offering them funding, mentorship and a full year to explore the medical research project of their choice.
Five medical students at Stanford have been named Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Fellows. They are among 68 students from 37 schools who were selected for the program, which allows medical, dental and veterinary students to pursue biomedical research at academic or nonprofit research institutions anywhere in the United States, except at the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland, and other federal agencies.
Thirty years ago, most patients with congenital abnormalities of the coronary arteries were only diagnosed after collapsing from a heart attack in their teens or 20s. But in the past dozen years, advances in imaging technologies have made it easier to see minute details of the coronary arteries, and more cases are being identified before these young patients suffer severe consequences.
Cardiothoracic surgeon Frank Hanley corrected more than two dozen pulmonary artery narrowings in a 6-year-old patient during one marathon surgery.
The baby’s condition, tetralogy of Fallot, was complicated by the fact that he was also missing his pulmonary valve and one of his pulmonary arteries was detached. But a doctor gave the distraught parents a glimmer of hope.
Mechanical support for failing hearts is not a new idea. Size, however, matters. In 1966, Michael DeBakey, MD, successfully implanted the first device to replace the pumping action on the left side of the heart. Now, at medical centers like Stanford, the LVAD, or left ventricular assist device, about 3 inches long, is a workhorse that enables many people with heart disease to live a normal life. Sure, if you have an LVAD implanted in your chest, you have to wear a power pack and a reserve power pack outside your body, but most find that burden acceptable. Your heart also remains in your body. If the whole heart is failing, that’s another matter.
Stanford researchers find that genetic differences in mitochondria contained in egg cells used in a process known as nuclear transfer can prompt rejection by the immune system in mice.
An app used by resident surgeons helps them identify complications faster than standard instruments.
As part of a collaboration between Stanford Children’s Health and Lighthaus, Inc., a a 3-D interactive look at unifocalization, a 12-hour surgery performed on children born with a rare and deadly heart defect, is now available online. Surgeons at Stanford are directing parents of patients there and answering any remaining questions afterwards.
Australian doctors perform pioneering heart transplants (incl. commentary from Chairman Joseph Woo)
Pioneering heart transplant surgery announced Friday in Australia may lead to a new option for patients awaiting transplants by boosting the number of donor hearts available.
The LVAD’s history of clinical performance and evolving technology puts it in a special category of devices whose usefulness continues to develop over time.
A mechanical pump supported a failing heart, but did the job so well it eventually was no longer needed. Turning it off safely was the challenge.
A wireless system developed by Assistant Professor Ada Poon uses the same power as a cell phone to safely transmit energy to chips the size of a grain of rice. The technology paves the way for new "electroceutical" devices to treat illness or alleviate pain.
TAVR has emerged from the trend over the past three decades toward less invasive heart treatments — catheter-based procedures instead of open-chest surgery. The artificial tissue valve is a feat of engineering able to fold up into a fraction of its functional size.
The envelope was addressed in pencil, postmarked March 25, 1968, with 2 cents postage due, and was simply addressed: “Dr. Norman Shumway, Stanford, California.” For 45 years, it lay in the archives of Stanford medical center’s communications office, one document among thousands that intern Jerome Macalma was charged with scanning in the summer of 2013.
The challenge today is to ensure that post-surgical patients survive long enough to benefit from advances in care that are evolving as patients age. Surviving means receiving ongoing monitoring and care — which only about half of adolescent and adult patients currently receive — allowing doctors to intervene before patients suffer irreversible cardiac damage.
Dr. Shumway didn’t like the limelight, but as he and his team performed the first successful human heart transplant in the United States, journalists climbed the walls of Stanford Hospital to try to catch a glimpse of the historic operation.
With 19 heart transplants, 2013 was the busiest year ever for the Children’s Heart Center at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, home to the only pediatric heart transplant program in Northern California. This success offers hope for those still waiting for this lifesaving gift.
Joseph Woo, leading heart surgeon, appointed to head Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Joseph Woo, MD, a nationally recognized heart surgeon and leading researcher in new approaches to cardiovascular care, has been appointed chair of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He has led a successful career in the operating room, classroom and laboratory. As a surgeon who performs 350 to 400 heart surgeries a year, he has built a thriving clinical practice, pioneering multiple, innovative procedures, including minimally invasive techniques for mitral and aortic valve repair and reconstruction. His research encompasses basic, translational and clinical projects. His laboratory, funded by the National Institutes of Health, investigates new paths to myocardial repair through angiogenesis — the process through which new blood vessels form from pre-existing vessels — stem cells and tissue engineering. As an educator, he has mentored many future surgeons.
Stanford Heart Transplant Recipient Celebrates Historic 30-Year Anniversary
The Bay Area’s Lizzy Craze is America’s longest-living pediatric heart transplant recipient to survive with an original donor heart. She was the youngest successful heart transplant recipient in America at the time of her transplant in 1984.
Aortic Valve Replacement Without Open-Heart Surgery Gains Ground
TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) has emerged from the trend over the past three decades toward less invasive heart treatments — catheter-based procedures instead of open-chest surgery. The artificial tissue valve is a feat of engineering able to fold up into a fraction of its functional size. To get it inside the heart, it’s compressed and placed in the tip of a thin catheter, about as wide as a pen. This gets inserted into a blood vessel, usually an artery in the leg, then threaded up through the aorta and down into the heart. At the site of the diseased valve, the artificial valve is released from the delivery catheter and expanded with a balloon. This pushes open the damaged valve and lodges the bioprosthetic one within its cavity where it immediately starts opening and closing, allowing blood to leave the heart and preventing it from leaking back in.
Miller Receives Earl Bakken Scientific Achievement Award
"Dr. Miller was chosen for [the Earl Bakken Scientific Achievement Award] because of his enormous achievements in the understanding and pathophysiology of mitral valve disease, as well as aortic pathology. He has contributed endlessly to the science and understanding of both disease processes and their surgical repair," said 2012–2013 STS President Jeffrey B. Rich, MD. "Craig is a world-renowned expert in both areas and has taught countless cardiovascular surgeons on the appropriate diagnosis and treatment of these conditions."
It’s clear that advances in fetal imaging techniques have increased the discovery of abnormalities before birth, allowing care teams to prepare for the mother’s and baby’s needs before, during and after delivery.
Dr. Randy Martin and Drs. Craig Miller and Steve Bolling discuss the AATS 2013 Mitral Conclave, the issues in the field of mitral valve repair today, and the best ways to address the issues from the patients' perspective.
Thanks to risky heart repair technique and surgeon's skill, woman is now 'living to live' instead of fighting to survive
Surgeon Frank Hanley monitored Brooke Stone's congenital heart defect for years to make sure she was a perfect candidate for an otherwise risky surgery to fully correct her heart.
From video-assisted thoracic surgery to laparoscopic procedures and sleeve lobectomies, the Thoracic Surgery Division at Stanford has an overriding goal of imparting a cure with the least invasive procedure available.
Stanford Announces Transcatheter Heart Valve Program: A new therapeutic catheter-based technology for the treatment of valvular heart disease
Stanford has been performing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) for almost 4 years now and has treated nearly 200 patients as part of the PARTNER Trial using the Edwards balloon expandable SAPIEN valve. For the past number of months, Stanford has also been performing TAVR on a commercial basis in patients with symptomatic critical aortic stenosis who are deemed not to be candidates for open surgical aortic valve replacement (AVR). An FDA panel recommended approval of SAPIEN TAVR in high risk but operable (STS > 8%, PARTNER Cohort A) patients with critical aortic stenosis on June 13, 2012, and Stanford anticipates FDA release of SAPIEN for commercial TAVR use in this larger subset of patients in the Fall of 2012.
The day's events included meeting with alumni and current residents as well as Dr. Baumgartner's presentation at the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning & Knowledge, entitiled "Neurocognitive Dysfunction in Cardiac Surgery: Bench to Bedside.”
Stanford paper most downloaded in Circulation Research
A Stanford study that advances the understanding of the molecular and genetic mechanisms of aneurysm formation in patients with Marfan syndrome was the most downloaded article in the January issue of the journal Circulation Research. The study, which investigated the role of microRNA-29b in aneurysm formation, was downloaded and viewed more than 450 times, the editors of the journal reported. The senior author, Michael Fischbein, MD, PhD, is assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery at Stanford. Congratulations to him and to his collaborators.
Robert Robbins, MD, named President‐Elect of American Heart Association Western States Affiliate Board
Robert C. Robbins, MD, former chairman of the department of cardiothoracic surgery at the Stanford University School of Medicine and former director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute, was named president‐elect of the Board of Directors for the American Heart Association Western States Affiliate. The affiliate serves the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington.
Vincent DeFilippi receives honor from U.S. News & World Report
Vincent DeFilippi, MD, is the medical director of the Stanford Cardiac Surgery Program at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital. He was named "top doctor" based on nominations by other physicians.
Dr. Frank Hanley Successfully Performs One of His Most Complex Repairs Ever
In May 2010, Shawna Albright delivered baby Kennadee at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital so that Hanley and the hospital's expert neonatology and cardiology teams could care for her from birth. Hanley soon realized the tiny girl was one of the most complex patients he had ever seen. Some infants have serious defects inside the heart; others have a hard-to-repair malformation of the artery leading to the lungs. Kennadee's case was even worse.
The list of Kennadee’s diagnoses overwhelmed the Albrights: congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries, severe dextrocardia, pulmonary atresia, major aortopulmonary collateral arteries, an atrial septal defect and a ventricular septal defect.
Sara J. Shumway, MD, professor of surgery, vice-chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and surgical director of Lung Transplantation at the University of Minnesota, spoke at the fourth annual 2011 Norman E. Shumway, MD, Visiting Professorship Lecture on May 20, 2011. Dr. Sara J. Shumway's presentation: "VADS and Dads."
Elena Sharp had surgery at 5 months of age to correct a heart defect that affected her family.
Robert "Bobby" Robbins, MD, who has served as both chair of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery and as director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute since 2005, is heading to Houston as the new president and chief executive officer for Texas Medical Center.
Stanford University President John Hennessy today announced the launch of a campaign to transform health care at a local, national and global level. The $1 billion Campaign for Stanford Medicine will make investments in medical research and teaching, build a new Stanford hospital and accelerate the translation of new medical knowledge into leading-edge, coordinated patient care.
A team of doctors at Stanford University’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital determined the girl born nine weeks premature had only hours to live if they did not perform the surgery.
In May 2010, Shawna delivered baby Kennadee at Packard Children's so that Hanley and the hospital's expert neonatology and cardiology teams could care for her from birth. Hanley soon realized the tiny girl was one of the most complex patients he had ever seen. Some infants have serious defects inside the heart; others have a hard-to-repair malformation of the artery leading to the lungs. Kennadee's case was even worse.
Video-Assisted Lung Cancer Surgery: Small Incisions Translate Into Big Gains for Pain Reduction and Recovery Speed
The chest, said Stanford's Chief of Thoracic Surgery, Joseph Shrager, has been one of the last frontiers for minimally invasive surgery. The chest is filled with critical structures like each of the pulmonary arteries that carry half the body's blood flow.
Stanford participated in the PARTNER Trial, the first randomized clinical trial comparing the efficacy of using a transcatheter heart valve, called "TAVI"--implanted percutaneously through an artery in the groin directly into the beating heart--with routine medical therapy, which includes aortic balloon valvuloplasty to relieve symptoms.
New Treatment for Severe Aortic Stenosis Shown to Save Lives, Researchers Say
Implantation of a new bioprosthetic-tissue valve into the hearts of patients who have severe aortic stenosis and are too sick or too old for open-heart surgery has been found to both save lives and improve the quality of those lives, according to a new multicenter study, to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
2010 Norman E. Shumway, MD, Visiting Professorship Lecture Highlights
Dr. Michael Mack, Director of Cardiovascular Research and Cardiovascular Medicine of the Heart Hospital Baylor Plano and Director of Cardiovascular Surgery for the Baylor Healthcare System, was this year's speaker at the Third Annual 2010 Norman E. Shumway, MD, Visiting Professorship Lecture on May 14, 2010. Dr. Michael Macks presentation: "Cardiovascular Medicine: A Joint Mission"
Doctors Seek Heart Valve that Grows with Kids
Dr. Frank Hanley is a pioneer in an extraordinarily complex form of surgery to repair multiple defects in infant hearts - he saves their lives, giving his patients a chance to grow up and have a relatively normal childhood.
Growing Thoracic Surgery Program Emphasizes Minimally Invasive, Organ-Saving Procedures
From video-assisted thoracic surgery to laparoscopic procedures and sleeve lobectomies, the Thoracic Surgery Division at Stanford has an overriding goal of imparting a cure with the least invasive procedure available. Patients who come to Stanford have surgical options that are not widely available in the community, or even at many other academic centers, according to Joseph Shrager, MD, Chief of the division.
American Heart Association Academic Mentorship Award Goes to Dr. D. Craig Miller for His Exceptional Career Guidance Record
The American Heart Association presented one of its highest honors, the Eugene Braunwald Academic Mentorship Award, to D. Craig Miller, M.D., of Stanford University Medical Center, "for his exceptional 30-year record of training, mentoring and enriching the career development of emerging cardiovascular surgeons and researchers."
Robert Robbins and Three Other Scientists Receive Millions from New Federal Consortium to Study Progenitor Cells
Four research teams at the Stanford University School of Medicine have been tapped to join a new consortium funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to develop stem cell and regenerative medicine therapies.
Robert Robbins Briefs Senators on Cardiovascular Advances
Robert Robbins, MD, former director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute and former chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, spoke to the Senate Democratic Policy Committee July 9 about advances in cardiovascular science.
2009 Norman E. Shumway, MD, Visiting Professorship Lecture Highlights
Lawrence H. Cohn, MD, world-renowned expert in the field of valve repair and replacement surgery and minimally invasive heart valve surgery, spoke at the second annual 2009 Norman E. Shumway, MD, Visiting Professorship Lecture on June 19, 2009. Dr. Lawrence H. Cohn's presentation: "Surgery of the Mitral Valve: Conceptual and Technical Development 1902-2009."
Robert Robbins Appointed to Endowed Chair
Robert Robbins, MD, former professor and chair of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery and former director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute, was appointed the Thelma and Henry Doelger Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery II.
W. L. Gore & Associates Announced Dr. Michael Dake as "Pioneer in Performance" for Exceptional Work in the Field of Endovascular Therapy
Seven practitioners were recognized by Gore for their unrelenting dedication to advancing endovascular therapy and minimally invasive treatment options for patients worldwide.
In the United States, nearly one in every 100 children is born with a heart defect—a total of about 36,000 newborns this year alone. To help address the needs of this growing population, Packard launched the Children’s Heart Center in 2001 with the ambitious goal of creating a world-class cardiac program to provide comprehensive treatment and care for young patients at all stages of life, from infancy to adulthood.
Children's HeartLink will send a team of volunteers from Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford University on a seven-day medical mission to Hyderabad, India to perform lifesaving heart operations correcting congenital heart defects in children. The team of volunteer physicians, nurses and technicians, led by Mohan Reddy, M.D., will also provide training to local cardiac medical staff and provide patient screening and treatment.
Repeated open-heart surgeries are risky. Yet for infants born with severe heart defects, multiple surgeries may be the only shot at life.
Frank Hanley, MD, the pioneer of “unifocalization” surgery to repair complex cardiac defects in kids, is world-known for tackling cases that surgeons in places like Israel, Belgium and Australia would not touch. Now, the surgeon-researcher at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital is attacking the problem that troubles him most: How to grow durable replacement valves for tiny, defective hearts.
A 7-year-old boy who was brought to the United States to have his congenital heart defect repaired had successful open-heart surgery Thursday at the Children's Center at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento by pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon Teimour Nasirov, M.D., and assisted by Mohan Reddy, M.D., an internationally renowned pediatric heart surgeon from Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford.
The Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery congratulates Dr. Naoyuki Kimura, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Cardiothoracic Transplantation Lab, on being selected for the 2010 Dean’s Postdoctoral Fellowship.
For much of recorded history, many doctors saw the human heart as the inscrutable, throbbing seat of the soul, an agent too delicate to meddle with. After a few incremental advances, that changed on a wide scale with World War II, when massive carnage forced military doctors to experiment with anesthesia and the other elements of modern surgery.
The term heart failure is confusing in itself. It gives the impression that the heart stops entirely, but that’s not the case. It just doesn’t work as well as it should. About half the time, heart failure is due to coronary artery disease, a weakening of the arteries that has multiple causes including smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and lack of exercise. Often patients respond well to treatment with heart medications and diuretics for the water retention and can live fairly healthy lives with the disorder. Left uncontrolled it can be fatal.
Globs of human fat removed during liposuction conceal versatile cells that are more quickly and easily coaxed to become induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, than are the skin cells most often used by researchers, according to a new study from Stanford’s School of Medicine.
Tony Huesman, who survived with a single transplanted heart longer than any other transplant patient, died Aug. 9 at his home in Washington Township, Ohio. Huesman received his heart in August 1978 at Stanford Hospital & Clinics, one of the early beneficiaries of the hospital’s heart transplant program.
The longer a donor heart is kept on ice, the greater the damage to the heart. Joshua Troke, a second- year medical student, wondered what could be done during that time to boost the chances that the donor heart would thrive after the transplant.
The Stanford Cardiothoracic Surgery Program at Saint Agnes provides the depth and support of an academic medical center committed to the advancement of high quality medical care and treatment for cardiovascular disease. By bringing this elevated level of expertise to the Valley, local patients who might have had to travel to Stanford for treatment of complicated cases will not have to leave home to receive the very best in cardiovascular care.
After three years working with investigators from 10 different clinical trials around the world from Brazil to London to Pittsburgh, Stanford University School of Medicine researchers have pooled enough individual patient data to compare the effectiveness of coronary artery bypass surgery with the less-invasive angioplasty procedure on specific groups of patients for the first time.
Peer Portner, PhD, pioneer of the first implanted electric heart assist pump for patients with terminal heart failure, died Monday, Feb. 9, from cancer at his home in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was 69 years old.
Each spring, 40 finalists are selected from a nationwide pool of thousands to attend the week-long Science Talent Institute in Washington, D.C.
Four decades ago, years of research by Dr Norman Shumway and his colleagues culminated in the first successful human heart transplantation in the United States. In the years since that momentous surgery, Dr. Shumway's team conducted clinical and basic research that have made heart and lung transplantations relatively common procedures, providing decades of life to patients worldwide.
Legendary heart transplant surgeon Denton Cooley, MD, could easily just talk about his own achievements on June 20 as the debut speaker for the first annual lecture in honor of Stanford's own heart-transplant pioneer, Norman Shumway, MD, PhD.
Shumway and Cooley, along with heart surgeons Christian Barnard in South Africa and Micheal DeBakey at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, became household names in 1967 and 1968, when, one after another, they performed the first human heart transplants. Now, the procedure has become almost routine, thanks to solutions developed by Shumway at Stanford Hospital, Cooley and others to overcome crucial obstacles in diagnosis, tissue rejection, and donor heart preservation. The pair — and other physicians they trained — continued to break lifesaving ground over the decades in transplant technique and heart repair.
Cooley said he feels complimented that he will be the first to give a Shumway Lecture, but he will not give any great oration. "I don’t want to be one of those seniors who talks about the good old days," he said. "I'll talk more about personal matters and the accomplishments of Shumway."
Over the past several years, the specialty of cardiothoracic surgery has experienced a continued decline in enrollment in CT residency training programs. If left unchecked, the result of this decline in qualified residents, combined with the aging of the US population, will be a serious deficit of CT surgeons and restricted access for patients with cardiovascular and thoracic disease. In fact, demand for surgeons currently exceeds the supply, a trend which is predicted to worsen significantly over the next 15 years.
The leaders of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) (led by 2007-2008 President D. Craig Miller, MD), American Board of Thoracic Surgery (ABTS), Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), and Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education (TSFRE) are responding to this crisis by joining forces to create and fund a Joint Council on Thoracic Surgery Education (JCTSE) with the express purpose of changing the current training paradigm and coordinating all thoracic surgery education in the United States
Dr. Robert Robbins Helps Boost Interest in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine
On May 30, 2007, the Stanford University Medical Center hosted a program entitled "Harnessing the Power of Stem Cells: A New Medical Frontier" that was attended by over 200 members of the community. In addition to the keynote address by Dr. Irving Weissman, some of the most challenging and exciting areas of investigation were presented by a highly diversified and outstanding faculty group from across the university, including Robert Robbins, former professor and chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery and former director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute.
Stanford’s Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery welcomes Drs. Joseph Shrager, Robert Merritt, and Chuong Hoang to the Division of Thoracic Surgery.
Sonja Schrepfer, MD, PhD, Clinical Instructor in the Cardiothoracic Transplantation Laboratory in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, has been selected as a finalist for the award based on her research, entitled, "Cytokine enhancement with HGF or VEGF in the infarct border zone is key to attenuating the negative remodelling after myocardial infarction."
Tomasz Timek, MD, Stanford Cardiothoracic Surgery Resident, has been selected to receive the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) Resident Traveling Fellowship for 2008-2009.
CT Surgery Welcomes Dr. Vincent DeFilippi and Teams Up with Salinas Valley Memorial to Create New Stanford Cardiac Surgery Program
Key to the Stanford Cardiac Surgery Program at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital is the addition of Vincent DeFilippi, MD, as Medical Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Dr. DeFilippi has had an outstanding cardiovascular surgery career, performing over 3,000 open heart procedures and receiving numerous awards and recognition during his career, including being selected as a Top Doc in the state by New Jersey Monthly magazine and being listed among America’s Top Surgeons.
Dr. Tom C. Nguyen, Stanford General Surgery Resident, has been selected as the Associate Editor of the Residents Section of CTSNet, the leading online resource of educational and scientific research information for cardiothoracic surgeons. In 2010, his position will be elevated to that of Editor when Nguyen begins his cardiothoracic surgery fellowship.
When Bay Area natives Katie Ransohoff, 19, and her sister Julia Ransohoff, 17, realized that their far-reaching scientific aspirations were limited by the high school opportunities offered, they took it upon themselves to fill the gap by turning to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital (LPCH) and the Cardiothoracic Transplantation Laboratory (CT Lab) at the Stanford School of Medicine to further their educational goals.
Our outcome reports and evidence-based awards for cardiac care consistently reflect our dedication to exceeding national standards of excellence as well as our commitment to best serve our patients.
Using every weapon available, from surgery to less-invasive treatments, is the key to winning the battle against heart and vascular disease, said Michael Dake, MD. A pioneer in the development of endovascular treatments for aortic pathologies, Dake will return to Stanford in July as professor of cardiothoracic surgery.
While AATS President D. Craig Miller left off the signature Stetson for Monday’s Presidential Address, he didn’t forget the bullets. In his presentation “Anti-Memoirs of Rocinante,” Dr. Miller focused his sights, and a good helping of free-market philosophy, on the current ills infecting the health care system in the US, advocating a single-payer system, an overhaul of the current educational system for cardiothoracic surgeons and a move towards regionalization.
D. Craig Miller, MD, and the AATS Promote Leadership and Reinvention: Highlights of the 88th Annual AATS Meeting
May 10th through 14th, the San Diego Convention Center will host the 88th Annual American Association of Thoracic Surgery (AATS) Meeting. Featured at the meeting is a compelling video highlighting the mission and goals of the AATS.
Members of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Stanford University Medical Center are no strangers to soaring to new heights, as their rich tradition of excellence and pioneering firsts make the department one of the top cardiothoracic programs in the nation. But one doctor in particular also reaches new heights outside the office, quite literally. In his free time, Walter B. Cannon, MD, clinical professor of thoracic surgery, heads for the glider field, assembles his German-built fiberglass glider, launches behind a towing airplane, and heads for the puffy cumulus clouds.
A Change of Heart (Winter 2007 - Page 4 of the pdf)
Imagine a time when laboratories can grow healthy hearts for children in need of cardiac transplants. Or picture a future in which pediatricians treat severe skin diseases by graft ing genetically engineered skin cells onto the patient’s body. And what if doctors had the ability to prevent the formation of cleft palates and other birth defects while the baby is still in the womb.
Surgeons had feared that because the 2-year-old girls were attached at the heart and liver, separating them might prove very risky, or even fatal, for one or both girls. But splitting their shared liver was a smooth process, and both girls improved after their hearts were separated.
Kayla's story: An everyday miracle at Packard Children's (Spring 2007 - Page 6 of the pdf)
One-pound infant survives heart surgery. Doctors fix flaw in grape-sized heart. Baby awaiting transplant kept alive by mechanical heart.
Infant mortality in India is 54 per 1,000 live births, in contrast to 6 per 1,000 in the United States. About 10 percent of infant deaths are due to congenital heart disease, according to All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi.
Rishit, a three-month-old infant, was born again when Dr V Mohan Reddy, a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon, operated on his heart at the Asian Heart Institute, Bandra.
Berlin Heart keeps five-year-old alive for 234 days, longer than any other child in North America
On February 6, 2006, five-year-old Jason Zhao from Vallejo received the best Valentine's gift the boy could ask for — a healthy new heart. But Jason, whose own heart failed the previous June, wouldn't have lived long enough to accept the transplant without the assistance of a mechanical external pump known as the Berlin Heart. The device kept Jason alive for 234 days, longer than any other child in North America. Only three other children in the world have survived on the pump for longer than Jason.
Robbins' stem cell work featured on "60 Minutes"
The widely watched television news show, "60 Minutes," heralded the revolutionary healing potential of embryonic stem cells in a February 26, 2006, report — the night before a trial that could determine whether $3 billion would become available in California for stem cell research.
Kai Ihnken leads investigations into the potential benefits of beating-heart surgery
Despite its reputation as a technically tricky procedure, beating-heart surgery has garnered renewed attention recently as the trend toward less-invasive methods of heart surgery grows stronger.
Through a generous grant from Medtronic, the Western Thoracic Surgical Association (WTSA) has established the Donald B. Doty Educational Award. The purpose of the award is to foster innovative educational initiatives in cardiothoracic surgery by WTSA members and provide an opportunity for the dissemination of this information to other training centers and academic institutions. Active and senior members in good standing of the WTSA are eligible.
Dr. Robert C. Robbins named cardiothoracic surgery department chair
In his new position, the internationally known heart transplant expert who performs around 40 transplants each year, Dr. Robert C. Robbins, will oversee the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery's clinical and research programs. In addition to adult cardiac surgery, the department has a pediatric cardiac surgery program, which is one of the largest such programs in the country, and a thoracic surgery program, which treats patients suffering from lung and esophageal diseases.
Pediatric surgeon, Dr. V. Mohan Reddy performs an arterial switch procedure on the smallest baby ever to survive this type of open-heart surgery
The successful operation marked a dramatic turnaround for 1-week-old Jerrick De Leon, who was airlifted to the hospital after doctors in Southern California gave him a zero chance of survival. Barring unrelated complications from his prematurity, Jerrick is now expected to have a normal lifespan.
Dr. Peter Fitzgerald, associate professor of cardiovascular medicine, and his colleagues Dr. Scott Mitchell, professor of cardiothoracic surgery, and assistant professor Dr. Marc Pelletier use laser-based imaging system during open-heart surgery for the first time in the United States
Up until this technology became available, doctors usually were not able to confirm whether a coronary bypass surgery had been successful while the patient was still on the operating table. In most cases, only after the chest had been closed could doctors get an image of the heart and see whether blood was flowing through the newly created vessels.
Dr. Leora Balsam Receives Outstanding Woman Resident Award
The prize honors her "exceptional leadership abilities" and "excellent technical and patient management skills" as well as recognizing her as a role model for other surgeons and those who aspire to join the profession.
Dr. Stephen Hendry, II Receives AHA Vivien Thomas Young Investigator Award
This is the tenth anniversary of this award, and Hendry’s manuscript, "Myocardial Restoration with Embryonic Stem Cell Transplantation in a Murine Myocardial Infarction Model," is the first-ever entry from a member of the Robbins Lab.
Dr. Frank L. Hanley Appointed First Holder of the Lawrence Crowley, MD, Endowed Professorship in Child Health
His research and clinical work focuses on the development of interventional techniques for fetal and neonatal treatment of congenital heart disease, pulmonary, vascular physiology, and the neurologic impact of open-heart surgery. He developed and pioneered the "unifocalization" procedure, in which a single procedure is used to repair a complex and life-threatening congenital heart defect rather than several staged open-heart surgeries as performed by other surgeons.
Hoxworth is believed to be the fifth-longest survivor in the world of a combined heart and lung transplant, a procedure that is rarely performed anymore. He has lived more than 20 years with the transplanted organs.
Saint Agnes Medical Center hopes a new affiliation with Stanford University Medical Center will provide a boost to its cardiac surgery program.
Doan Binh Vien, a Vietnamese soldier who took a bullet in his heart in the Vietnam War, carried it around for 35 years until Dr. Kai Ihnken was able to remove it.
Entitled, "In Critical Condition," R. Scott Mitchell , MD, delivered the presidential address at the 32nd annual of the Western Thoracic Surgical Association in Sun Valley, Idaho, on June 22nd, 2006. His address discussed the perilous state of our national healthcare system and the need to move toward a system of universal coverage, likely based on a single risk pool.
Part of a new trend in cardiac medicine, Kai Ihnken does bypass procedures while heart continues to pump.
Standing at an imposing six feet, eight inches, you wouldn’t think that Grant Hoyt’s expertise would be in microsurgery, surgery performed under magnification using delicate instruments and precise techniques. But that’s exactly what he does at the Laboratory of Cardiothoracic Transplantation (also known as the Robbins Lab), Grant’s place of work for the last thirty years.
Norman E. Shumway, MD, PhD, the father of heart transplantation and one of the pre-eminent heart surgeons of his time, died Feb. 10 at his Palo Alto home of complications from cancer, the Stanford University School of Medicine announced. He celebrated his 83rd birthday the previous day on Feb. 9.
Both the European Society for Artificial Organs (ESAO) and the Deutsches Herzzentrum Berlin (German Heart Center of Berlin) have honored Dr. Peer M. Portner with awards coincidentally dedicated to Professor Emil Sebastian Bücherl, cardiac surgeon and artificial heart pioneer. Portner has been a consulting professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the Stanford University School of Medicine since 1989 and previously consulting associate professor of cardiovascular surgery since 1977.
D. Craig Miller, MD, the Thelma and Henry Doelger Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery, was elected as the 2005-06 vice president of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, the oldest cardiac surgical association in the world. He will ascend to president of the AATS in 2007-08.
Every February 9th, the smell of decadent Mexican food wafts throughout the Cardiothoracic Surgery department, and all gather around to listen while Dr. Norman Shumway is serenaded by Guillermo “Bill” Muniz, the man who provides the yearly feast. The celebration is twofold, a party for Shumway’s 82nd birthday and Guillermo’s annual gift to him for elongating his son’s life.
For the first time in the United States, doctors use laser-based imaging system during open-heart surgery
Sebastian Metz, founder of the Denver chapter of the Guardian Angels, holds 4-month-old son Rooks as his wife, Shauna, looks on. Metz suffered from a brain injury from lack of oxygen after a 24-hour operation to correct a heart defect that nearly killed him.
Bruce Reitz, MD, who devoted the last 12 years to sustaining and enhancing the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery's international reputation of excellence, stepped down last month as the department's chair.
Drs. Bruce Reitz and Robert Robbins successfully install a Berlin Heart in the smallest and youngest baby to ever receive the pump
Five-month-old Miles Coulson is a bit of a technological wonder, for he would not be alive today without the benefit of a German heart pump that's been used only three times before in this country. The pump, a fist-sized piece of polyurethane shaped like a diaphragm, thumps quietly at the baby's side, collecting the blood from the left side of Miles' failing heart and directing it back to the body via the aorta.
Dr. Bruce Reitz performs a rare surgical approach known as heterotopic transplantation on Camila Gonzalez, the youngest child in the country to benefit from the procedure
On September 16, 2004, cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Bruce Reitz implanted a new heart alongside her own to help improve the heart's output and lower the blood pressure in her lungs. Miles Coulson, his heart failing, was the youngest child — and one of only four in the country — to have a device implanted known as the Berlin Heart, which kept his blood flowing until a new organ could be found.
Dr. V. Mohan Reddy provides the surgical expertise required to fashion a stent/valve combination for the youngest patient ever to benefit from non-surgical heart valve replacement at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital
Doctors at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford have replaced a heart valve in a 9-month-old girl without opening her chest or placing her on a heart-lung machine. Developed two years ago by a British physician, the procedure has never before been done on a child under age 7. It has been performed only once in the United States, and in that case on an adult.
Stanford's heart-lung transplantation team becomes the longest continually-active team performing heart-lung transplantation in the world
The Stanford team is the longest continually active team performing lung transplantation, and new advances continue to be made in our research laboratories. At Stanford, more than 210 patients have received a heart-lung transplant, and recently, more than 200 patients have received either a single lung or double lung transplant.
People who survive a heart attack carry a permanent reminder of their ordeal. Where heart cells die from the lack of oxygen, scar tissue fills the gaps and leaves the heart weaker and less able to pump blood. Knowing this, Robert Robbins, MD, director of Stanford's Institute for Cardiovascular Medicine, took note when researchers from New York Medical College published a 2001 study showing that blood-forming stem cells from bone marrow had repaired damaged heart muscle in mice.
Youngest Patient Ever Benefits From Non-Surgical Heart Valve Replacement at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital
Doctors at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford have replaced a heart valve in a 9-month-old girl without opening her chest or putting her on a heart-lung machine.
Twins born with cystic fibrosis now focus on staying physically fit
Since 1970, Dr. Peer Portner, currently a consulting professor of cardiothoracic surgery at Stanford, led the LVAD's research and progression. Originally, he and Dr. Philip Oyer worked together toward the goal of a permanent implant. Prior
Annual event brings survivors together for a heart-to-heart
Twenty years ago, Robert St. Laurent, then 51, arrived at Stanford Hospital with a rapidly failing heart and no available donor for transplant. A team of cardiologists decided his desperate condition warranted a procedure that, up until then, had been tried only in animals: mechanically removing the workload from his heart by implanting a left ventricular assist device, or LVAD, to buy time until a suitable heart for transplant became available.
A new study adds a twist to the ongoing debate over using blood-forming stem cells to repair heart muscle. In the March 21 online issue of Nature, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine report that the cells are unable to replace heart muscle after a heart attack, which refutes earlier findings.
Founded in 1988 by cardiovascular surgeon D. Craig Miller, MD, the center is one of only about five other comprehensive centers in the nation specializing in what is a surprisingly common disorder. The Stanford center brings together an unprecedented number of physicians and disciplines to treat every aspect of pediatric and adult Marfan cases.
Thirty years ago, researchers scooped some dirt on Easter Island and discovered bacteria that led to a potential anti-fungal drug. Little did they know that the drug - which languished on shelves after proving ineffective in early trials - would become popular in 1999 as a way to prevent rejection of transplanted organs.
Stanford Magazine: Heart Support
Among the first to successfully implant heart failure patients with life-extending mechanical pumps, Stanford surgeons commit to improving these machines
1995 - Dr. Bruce Reitz performs the first Heartport procedure, using a device that allows minimally invasive coronary bypass and valve operations
The Heartport Port Access system was a revolutionary technology for performing major heart surgeries with minimally invasive techniques via small incisions between the patient's ribs, eliminating the need for a sternotomy or cutting of the breastbone.
1993 - Dr. Norman Shumway retires as chair of the department but remains on active emeritus status
From The Stanford Daily, Volume 202, Issue 69, 25 January 1993
...Shumway, 69, left the post he had held for more than 30 years earlier this month. Mandatory retirement laws said his time was up, and he agreed. "We need someone else with different ideas," Shumway said. "Some people hang around much too long. That's bad for the school and bad especially for the person." In Shumway's case, it's hardly been bad for the school. Thanks to the doctor's work in developing heart transplant techniques, Stanford's cardiology department has gained widespread prominence. ...
1992 - Dr. Bruce Reitz is appointed Chair of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Reitz became department chair in 1992, succeeding his mentor Norman Shumway, MD, PhD, who in 1968 performed the nation's first heart transplant at Stanford. Reitz continued to build the department, bringing a number of the nation's foremost surgeons to Stanford, including Robbins. "I will always be grateful to him for recruiting me," Robbins said.
Reitz also played a major role in the resident education program at Stanford, which he reorganized and maintained as one of the top two or three programs in the country, Robbins said. In addition to all of his clinical and education work, Reitz has continued to do significant research, focusing on the mechanism of rejection for heart and lung transplants and ways to prevent it.
1990 - The first living lobar lung transplant is performed in the United States at Stanford
In 1990, Vaughn Starnes, MD performed the world's first lobar transplant using a lung segment from a living, related donor (the girl's mother). The next year, heart and lung transplant was performed on a one-month-old baby, the youngest heart-lung transplant patient ever.
1989 - Stanford clinicians first use the "domino" heart transplant procedure
From The Stanford Daily, Volume 197, Issue 12, 21 February 1990 — "Surgeon reuses heart to save another life"
... When patients with advanced lung disease, such as emphysema, require lung transplantation they usually receive a lung and a heart from the same donor. When lung transplantation is done without a matching heart, the patient's trachea often does not heal properly, blocking the air passages to the lungs. However, in many such patients, the heart which is removed along with the diseased lungs is actually healthy and strong. In fact, the hearts are exceptionally muscular because they have been pumping blood through vessels narrowed by disease. As an alternative to just throwing away the heart, in a procedure called a domino-donor transplant, surgeons can put the heart into another patient with a diseased heart. The domino-donor heart procedure was introduced to the United States in May 1987, and six operations had been performed in the U.S. by last June. Three of these operations took place at Stanford. Dr. Vaughn Starnes is head of the heart-lung transplant team at Stanford. He removes the diseased organs from the patient who is to receive the transplanted heart and lung. The replacement organs are brought in after being retrieved from a deceased donor at a community hospital, and Starnes sews them in. Meanwhile, the heart Starnes removes is taken to an adjacent room where one of Stanford's senior transplant surgeons heads another team responsible for implanting the heart in another patient. The heart-lung transplant and the heart transplant both take approximately three to four hours. ...
1984 - Falk Center dedication
The Falk Center dedicated its new headquarters in March of 1984, with a ceremony led by Dr. Norman Shumway, who performed the first heart transplant in the United States in 1968. Named after Dr. Ralph Falk--a physician who practiced in Boise, Idaho, for most of his career and founded Baxter Laboratories--and his widow, Marian C. Falk, the center comprises 52,000 square feet and is located just off Quarry Road on the Stanford campus, adjacent to Stanford University Hospital and Lucille Salter Packard Children’s Hospital. A large central atrium, with abundant ferns cascading down its walls and skylights overhead, makes the building bright, welcoming and airy. Staff and physicians occupy a mezzanine-style second floor around the atrium with research laboratories and other rooms occupying the lower floors. The Falk Center is one of the pre-eminent facilities in the world for cardiothoracic surgery and cardiovascular medicine.
1984 - Dr. Philip Oyer performs implantation of the world’s first successful use of a ventricular assist device as a bridge to transplantation
The Novacor, a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), was ready for patients in 1984. In August of that year, Philip Oyer implanted the device in a patient as part of the first success at using a mechanical device as a "bridge" to support a human in end-stage heart failure until a heart transplant was possible. The patient depended on the implanted pump for two weeks before transplant. He then survived in good health for more than 20 years, passing away in late 2004. Since that first surgery, more than 4,000 end-stage heart failure patients worldwide have received LVADs.
1981 - Dr. Bruce Reitz and his surgical team perform the world’s first successful combined adult human heart-lung transplant
In 1981, the first successful transplantation of the lung was performed at Stanford by Dr. Bruce Reitz and his colleagues as a heart-lung transplant. This was made possible by the use of the immunosuppressive drug, cyclosporine, and previous laboratory research performed at Stanford. Very often when people have heart problems the lungs are affected as well. Transplanting the heart and lungs together has become a very successful form of surgery for those patients who require it. The Stanford team is the longest continually active team performing lung transplantation, and new advances continue to be made in our research laboratories.
1974 - Dr. Norman Shumway helps create the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery and serves as its first chair
From The Stanford Daily, Volume 165, Issue 35, 10 April 1974:
...The new department, formerly a division in the Department of Surgery, is believed to be the first of its kind in the United States. "It is generally recognized that the Stanford program of cardiovascular surgery has for 15 years been among the most productive in the nation in research and education as well as patient care," Dr. [Clayton] Rich said. "Granting departmental status to cardiovascular surgery will serve to maintain at Stanford a distinguished program in a new discipline which has reached scientific and academic maturity," he concluded. ...
1968 - Dr. Norman Shumway and his surgical team perform the first successful adult human heart transplant in the United States
In early 1968, newspaper headlines around the world reported the news of a surgical team, led by Shumway, at Stanford that had successfully transplanted an adult human heart into another human.
Shumway, the Frances and Charles Field Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery, emeritus, is often regarded as the father of heart transplantation. The surgery that made the headlines on January 6, 1968, was the first successful procedure of its kind in the United States and only the fourth such attempt in the world. In the 1970s many medical centers abandoned transplantation because of high mortality and morbidity, but Dr. Shumway and his team persevered.
1961 - Dr. Norman Shumway designs and executes the operation to replace the aortic valve with the patient's own pulmonary valve in animals (known today as the Ross procedure)
In the early 1960s, the search continued for the ideal aortic valve replacement. Based on earlier experimental work of Ellison in 1955 and Fisher in 1959, pulmonic regurgitation was shown to be well tolerated by the human and canine heart. This finding led Lower, Stofer, and Shumway to challenge the notion whether an autologous pulmonary valve could survive as a graft within the aorta. These researchers carried out the first pulmonary valve autotransplantation in canine models in 1960. The canines were divided into three groups; Group 1, the pulmonary valve was removed and transplanted into the descending aorta and a homologous aorta was used in place of the excised native pulmonic valve. Group 2, the pulmonary valve was resected and replaced by a fresh homologous valve. Group 3, the native pulmonic valve was resected and returned to its normal position as an autologous graft.
There were high operative mortality rates as the techniques were being developed, but 12 dogs from Group 1 survived the operative procedures and five long-term survivors were studied for up to one year. This study demonstrated a free autologous pulmonic valve graft would survive in the aortic position. Shumway continued this research and in 1966 along with Pillsbury, performed the first excision of aortic valve leaflets and the suturing of the native pulmonic valve into the aortic annulus in eight dogs. Once the pulmonic valve was excised, the right ventricle was anastomosed directly with the pulmonary artery. Two of the dogs survived for twelve and fourteen months and Pillsbury and Shumway noted, although the dogs tolerated free pulmonic insufficiency well, replacement of the pulmonic valve in the human being with a homograft would protect right ventricular function long-term.
1960 - Dr. Norman Shumway performs the first human open-heart surgery at the Palo Alto-Stanford Hospital to correct atrial septal defect
An atrial septal defect is a "hole" in the wall that separates the top two chambers of the heart. This defect allows oxygen-rich blood to leak into the oxygen-poor blood chambers in the heart.
1960 - Drs. Norman Shumway and Richard Lower report the first successful orthotopic cardiac transplantation in a canine
The use of moderate hypothermia, cardiopulmonary bypass, and an atrial "cuff" anastomotic technique permitted Shumway and Lower at Stanford University to surmount the formidable barriers of orthotopic heart transplantation using the canine model in 1960.
1958 - Dr. Norman E. Shumway begins studying cardiac transplantation, building on his research in total body hypothermia
In 1949, as a resident at University of Minnesota, Shumway's doctoral research was on the effects of hypothermia on the heart. Specifically, Shumway studied the ventricular fibrillation threshold showing that as the temperature fell, less current was needed to cause the heart to fibrillate. In 1957, Shumway spent most of his time shuttling between his research at Stanford-Lane laboratories and his clinical cases at the Children’s Hospital, both in San Francisco. Stanford-Lane eventually moved to Palo Alto.
At this time, the key cardiac surgical question of the day was how to protect the heart during heart surgery. Drs. Shumway and Richard R. Lower, Shumway's first resident, tackled this problem in the laboratory, exploring an idea Shumway derived from his hypothermia experience. It was called "topical hypothermia"—a technique that builds on total body hypothermia by further reducing the temperature of only the heart via precisely routed ice-cold saline.