Departmental Highlights & News

Drs. Norman Shumway, left, and Donald C. Harrison meet the press after they perform the first adult human transplant in the United States in January 1968.

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. 

Dr. Bruce Reitz and his surgical team perform the world’s first successful combined adult human heart-lung transplant in 1981

Highly specialized: Stanford leads in en-bloc heart-liver transplantations

On July 16, members of Christopher's team performed a rare en-bloc heart and liver transplant with a pulmonary artery reconstruction. The surgical team included cardiac transplant surgeon John W. MacArthur, MD, and liver transplant surgeons Clark Bonham, MD, and Carlos Esquivel, MD, PhD.

March 22, 2023

Resident Dr. Tomi Obafemi establishes Cardiothoracic Surgery Diversifying Pipeline Award

To improve the pipeline of underrepresented minority (URM) researchers in cardiothoracic surgery, Oluwatomisin "Tomi" Obafemi, MD, received departmental funding to establish the Cardiothoracic Surgery Diversifying Pipeline Award program. He worked with the CVI Summer Research Program to fund three summer research interns interested in cardiovascular medicine and surgery.

March 15, 2023

Dr. William Hiesinger receives Stanford Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence Seed Research Grant

Dr. William Hiesinger was awarded the 2022 Stanford Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI) Seed Research Grant to support a project on developing SuTr, a foundational vision model for artificial intelligence in surgery.

March 9, 2023

The kids fighting back against rare diseases

Millions of children in the U.S. with rare diseases struggle to find treatment. But at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, they’re getting the innovative care they deserve from health specialists and surgeons, including Dr. Elisabeth Martin, and paving the way for others.

March 1, 2023

Transplant Patients Honored at Golden State Warriors’ Game

During the national anthem, two Stanford Medicine Children’s Health patients stood on the floor of Chase Center next to their favorite NBA players during the Golden State Warriors vs. Portland Trailblazers game. The patient families were being celebrated as they all went through a transplant journey. In conjunction with African American Heritage Night at the game, the aim is to raise awareness for the importance of organ donation.

February 28, 2023

Healthier Hawaii: Kapiolani’s new pediatric heart center

Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children recently opened its new pediatric heart center. Dr. Louis Capecci, Kapiolani’s first full-time pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon, talks about his role in cardiac care and the new center.

February 22, 2023

Heart Transplant Program Earns National Recognition for Outcomes and Decreased Wait Times

The Heart Transplant Program at Stanford Health Care remains a national leader. In 2022, the number of adult heart transplants performed by the Stanford Medicine team was 74 in addition to the 11 heart-lung transplant, with a calendar year total of 85 transplants. At Stanford Health Care, approximately 75% of patients on the waiting list for a heart transplant received a heart within one year as compared with the national average of approximately 58%.

February 27, 2023

Podcast: The Role of the Thoracic Surgeon in Lung Cancer Care

On this Consultant 360 podcast, Dr. Leah Backhus talks about the role of the thoracic surgeon in lung cancer care, including how the screening environment and the advances in surgical techniques, especially bronchoscopy and minimally invasive techniques, have impacted patient outcomes.

February 22, 2023

58 hospitals and health systems with heart programs to watch in 2023

The hospitals and health systems featured have earned national recognition for their excellent heart care, outcomes and cutting edge technology. Many are also involved in research to push forward the field and discover new treatments. 

February 21, 2023

Baby With Challenging Tetralogy of Fallot Grows Into Healthy Toddler

If you watched 2-year-old Hayden Stevens throwing balls and climbing on the equipment at his favorite play place, you would never guess that he was born with a serious heart defect that demanded two surgeries and several procedures all before his first birthday. 

February 14, 2023

Three Innovations Shorten Heart Transplant Patient’s Wait Time

Child-sized hearts are hard to come by and often mean that kids in heart failure have to wait many months for a donor match. Some children, sadly, don’t survive. It’s what drove Stanford Medicine Children’s Health’s Betty Irene Moore Children’s Heart Center to begin researching ways to shorten wait times for pediatric heart transplants nearly 10 years ago. 

February 8, 2023

Dr. Leah Backhus receives inaugural Extraordinary Women of Cardiothoracic Surgery Award

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) and Women in Thoracic Surgery (WTS) awarded its inaugural 2023 Extraordinary Women of Cardiothoracic Surgery Award to Leah Backhus, MD, MPH, FACS, associate professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the Stanford University School of Medicine. She received the award on Saturday, January 21, during STS's 59th annual meeting in San Diego, California.

February 7, 2023

A joyful pause for premature baby on heart transplant list

Sky wasn’t big enough or well enough yet for heart surgery, a decision made after a thoughtful conversation with Frank Hanley, MD. But he turned out to be a miracle baby, going from needing a heart transplant to near-normal heart function in just a few months—without heart surgery.

February 2, 2023

Department research and prestigious awards presented at the 2023 Society of Thoracic Surgeons Annual Meeting

The Stanford Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery presented the latest research at the Society of Thoracic Surgeons 59th Annual Meeting from January 21 to 23, 2023 in San Diego, Calif. The three-day STS Annual Meeting featured interactive learning on hot topics, including thought-provoking lectures from renowned faculty and guests, exciting hands-on sessions, and breakthrough poster presentations.

February 1, 2023

Celebrate February Heart Month with food

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. and worldwide. This February, Stanford Health Care celebrates Heart Month at every meal with small, easy changes to advocate cardiovascular health and raise awareness about heart disease.

February 1, 2023

StanfordMed Pulse: Celebrating American Heart Month

As we begin American Heart Month this week, we want to thank the clinicians, scientists, trainees, and staff across Stanford Medicine who work tirelessly to prevent, treat, and research heart disease. The innovative research you conduct and the compassionate care you provide are saving lives and driving new advances in heart health.

January 31, 2023

Dr. Jack Boyd accepted into American Association for Thoracic Surgery membership

Jack Boyd, MD, has been accepted into membership for the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, the premier association for cardiothoracic surgeons around the world.

January 31, 2023

At Stanford Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, we extend a heartfelt affirmation of our commitment to fostering a positive, encouraging, inclusive environment where faculty, residents, students, and staff of multiple, different backgrounds and perspectives are respected, valued, and appreciated.  We celebrate the many accomplishments of our diverse team in advancing the missions of excellence in clinical care, novel discovery and innovation, and training and mentorship of the next generation of leaders.

Addressing global health and surgical care disparities

Access to safe and affordable surgical care is a challenge worldwide, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. An estimated six billion people - about 75% of the world’s population - have no access to cardiac surgical care, due to the short supply of surgeons, equipment, and facilities in many under-resourced communities.

January 24, 2023

Stanford Health Care named among Best Hospitals for Patient Experience

The Women's Choice Award has released its hospital rankings for 2023, spotlighting thousands of hospitals nationwide for exceptional women's healthcare. Stanford Health Care was named among Best Hospitals for Patient Experience.

January 17, 2023

Stanford Health Care is first in the western U.S. to complete transapical off-pump mitral valve repair

Jack Boyd, MD, a nationally recognized cardiothoracic surgeon, is the first surgeon in the western United States to use a minimally invasive, off-pump surgical technique to treat degenerative mitral valve regurgitation due to prolapse.

January 9, 2023