Press Release

Cutting-edge Tech Propels Cardiac Surgery Forward

In a world-first preclinical study, Australian researchers have shown it could be possible to implant a potentially life-saving pump into the heart of those with heart failure, without leaving the Intensive Care Unit or breaking isolation restrictions for the sickest COVID-19 patients. With up to 40 percent of COVID-19 deaths attributed to heart failure, the work shows immense promise and the researchers are eager to see it progress to human studies.

The study, published in Nature Scientific Reports, details a method of implanting the assistive pump into the main heart chamber guided by three- dimensional wide-angle intracardiac ultrasound – used for the first time in Australia as part of the study.

It was made possible by the state-of-the-art facilities at the University of Sydney’s Hybrid Theatre, part of Sydney Imaging a Core Research Facility based at the Charles Perkins Centre and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

“This study provides a strong basis for researchers to progress to human studies implanting the mechanical pump inside the left ventricle of the heart using three-dimensional intracardiac ultrasonography as a guide, and without ever having to transport the patient,” said lead author Professor Paul Bannon, Professor and Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery in the Faculty of Medicine and Health, and Deputy Director of the Hybrid Theatre, Sydney Imaging and Head of Cardiac surgery at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

“As well as all critically ill and unstable patients, this has potential to benefit the sickest COVID-19 patients who may not be able to be moved to the catheterisation laboratory or operating theatre for the traditional procedure due to isolation requirements.”

Unlike traditional ultrasound where probes go onto the skin, three-dimensional intracardiac ultrasound goes inside the blood vessels and is navigated inside the heart.

“The 3D ultrasound images are taken from inside the heart and this results in much better-quality images that can assist in complex procedures such as this,” said Professor Bannon.

The mechanical pump used in the study is a left ventricular assist device currently in use in Australia. It is used for patients undergoing high-risk heart interventions through the skin or in instances where the heart is failing to pump enough blood to support the body.

The translational study was conducted with sheep to replicate heart anatomy similar to humans.

The Hybrid Theatre, a Core Research Facility based at the Charles Perkins Centre, combines a range of biomedical imaging technologies, artificial intelligence, robotics and pioneering surgical practice and training. Image-guided and robotic surgery are used to develop and perfect the complex surgical procedures of tomorrow, resulting in less invasive techniques and better outcomes.

Professor Bannon says the term ‘hybrid’ represented a new way of performing surgeries – a hybrid of traditional open surgeries in addition to the less invasive procedures the theatre supports.

“The Hybrid Theatre also represents a hybrid between the massive technological and academic strengths of the University of Sydney, and the drive for innovative and effective treatments from the hospitals we partner with,” he added.

Declaration: This work was supported by The Baird Institute (for applied heart and lung surgical research) and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. The Impella CP® pumps and Impella Automated Controller were provided by Abiomed. AcuNav Volume ICE catheters were provided by Siemens. Neither Abiomed or Siemens had any role in study design, data acquisition or the content of the manuscript. The authors declare no competing interests. Ethics approval was obtained (2019/1650 amendment) and guidelines and legislation governing animal studies were strictly adhered to.

The perfect, charitable present for those who are difficult to buy for

What do you give someone that doesn’t actually need anything?

What’s a Secret Santa present that will outdo all of your colleagues? These are now the dilemmas of Christmases past.

The Baird Institute, who specialises in applied heart and lung surgical research, has come up with the perfect solution.

It’s a gift voucher for ‘an unknown person’s heartbeat’.

It’s not your typical present, it sounds like a surrealist artwork, but there really aren’t words for how awesome this gift actually is.

(In case you’re wondering, no, it’s not literal; you won’t get a heart in a jar or any such thing.)

It’s giving made simple. You buy a Baird Institute Gift Voucher by donating the amount of your choice and writing “Gift Voucher” in the comments section. They post or email you the voucher. You hand it to your well-loved friend or colleague as their Christmas gift. The voucher explains what a difference your gift to them has made.

Your money helps improve the outcomes for patients facing heart or lung surgery.

You feel good that you may have saved a life and that it is not money wasted. The recipient feels good about it too (you’ve given them ‘someone’s heartbeat’ – how nice). You both have a great Christmas.

Heart disease is the number one killer in Australia. We lose roughly 48 people per day to the disease. That means on Christmas day it’s possible that 48 families and their extended communities may be impacted; not to mention the statistics for lung cancer.

The Baird Institute, named in honour of Professor Douglas Baird, is the only research group in Australia to focus entirely on clinical and surgical heart and lung conditions. They receive no government funding and rely solely on donations.

Here’s hoping you never have to “cash one in”.

Have a wonderful Christmas or holiday season!

The Baird Institute

P.S As a long established and reputable charitable not for profit organisation, The Baird Institute carries an Australian Tax Office approved DGR1 status, which means all donations in excess of $2 AUD can be claimed when submitting your annual personal or business taxation assessment.

For interviews and more information contact: 

The Baird Institute CEO
Catherine Rush on 0417 068 523

Professor Douglas Baird AM

November 16, 2019 marks the 24th anniversary of the death of cardiothoracic surgeon and researcher Professor Douglas Baird AM. He would have been 79 years old.

Professor Baird was dedicated not just to improving patients’ survival rates and lives post-surgery; but to providing much needed support for other surgeons and education for students. His work has benefited countless families and individuals who, due to his efforts, have lived to tell the tale.

Professor Baird believed firmly that surgical outcomes need to be continually measured and improved. He was instrumental in creating the first national cardiac surgical database, with the National Heart Foundation. This database allows lessons from past surgeries to be implemented into current and future technologies. Though this may seem logical, it was previously unheard of at the time.

Professor Baird also pioneered the, formerly rare, combination of research and surgery; bridging the gap between academic innovation and applied cardiothoracic surgical techniques. 

Many of Professor Baird’s encounters with patients in the operating room went on to become lifelong friendships. 

In Baird’s obituary, the Hon Michael Kirby (who is now The Baird Institute patron) said:

“I will never forget how, in the middle of the long operation [on Kirby’s mother], he came out to reassure my father and me that all was going well. He was a gentle surgeon. He never lost interest in his patients. He understood their anxieties and the fears of their families. What a model he was for the best of medical practice that our country can produce…”

The Baird Institute for Applied Heart and Lung Surgical Research was started in Douglas Baird’s honour by his protege and friend Professor Paul Bannon; and his team in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

“Those of us who worked with him on a daily basis knew we were in the presence of greatness, yet he made us feel that our ideas were worth listening to,” said Professor Bannon.

“We used to call him the chairman of everything,” he laughs.

“He seemed to recognise people’s skill sets and he had this overwhelming sense of responsibility for every person who came through the hospital doors.”

Professor Baird died at just 55 of Cholangiocarcinoma, a cancer of the bile ducts. 

Now, on the anniversary of his death, in order to honour and continue his life’s work; the Baird Institute is launching it’s Workplace Giving Program and Christmas Appeal. It is vital work.

Heart Disease is the number one cause of death among Australians; it kills roughly 48 people per day. The lung cancer statistics are not much more cheerful.

The Baird Institute continues Professor Douglas Baird’s life-saving work and research, driving medical breakthroughs in heart and lung surgery. 

The Baird Institute does not receive any government funding and relies solely on the generosity of the public and those who have benefited from its work. 

We would be more than grateful for any assistance or publicity for the Christmas Appeal and Workplace Giving Program.

Because every heartbeat matters, every breath counts and every dollar helps. 

Well Beyond 2000

How the Baird Institute is undertaking world first research to address the high mortality rate from diseases of the heart and lungs.

Heart disease is the number one cause of death among Australians according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics who, on Wednesday, reported 17,533 deaths from Heart Disease in 2018. This averages out to roughly 48 people per day.

Despite this dire statistic, the ABS also reported a decrease in Heart Disease mortality rates of 22.4% since 2009.

Continuing to help reduce these statistics is The Baird Institute’s reason for existing and they are currently doing this in new and revolutionary ways.

In a world first project, The Baird Institute for applied heart and lung surgical research in Sydney are teaming up with virtual reality start-up Vantari VR to build a tool which will take surgeons on a virtual tour of patients’ bodies prior to heart surgery.

The potential of this technology is revolutionary for the surgical landscape, both as a surgical aid, and when used as a training tool.

The team’s goal is to eventually be able to scan and assess acutely ill patients within minutes on the operating table. This will allow surgeons to visualise their patients’ medical situation in real time; thus enabling them to regard and investigate their condition from various angles prior to operating.

The aim is to improve surgical planning, speed and accuracy, resulting in better outcomes for patients. 

Clinical trials are already showing that VR can reduce surgical planning time by up to 40% and increase surgical accuracy by 10%.

Vantari VR is currently developing the core technology which takes CT and MRI scan data and converts it into 3D models in the virtual reality environment, so that it can be made visible through 3D goggles.

Founded by two young doctors, Dr Vijay Paul and Dr Nishanth Krishnananthan, Vantari VR is considered to be one of Australia’s leading medical technology start-ups.

“The work we are doing with Professor Bannon (from The Baird Institute) is for surgical planning of Aortic Dissection Surgery,” said Dr Vijay Paul.

“The software provides the 3D render but also has powerful algorithms, tools, user interface and overlay functions which allows the surgeon to plan the surgery in a way that has never before been done before.”

The software will be used in the pre-op setting but ultimately the vision is for implementation within the Hybrid Theatre setting with MRI machines.

This combination of VR, MRI and robotics is the basis for the future of surgery.

Chair of The Baird Institute, Professor Paul Bannon, who is also the Director of the RPA Surgical and Robotic Training Institute at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Co-Chair of the Institute of Academic Surgery there; explains that although they are already using VR to “walk through” the human heart in 3D,  this new technology will be a real game changer and he’s looking even further ahead to combining it with robotics.

To achieve these goals, push the boundaries of today and realise the possibilities for future surgery, however, The Baird Institute needs to guarantee funding for their team.

The Baird Institute receives no government funding and relies solely on donations for their life-saving work.

To see more about their future technology:

Stay in the loop

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Professor Richmond W. Jeremy


Professor Richmond Jeremy’s medical and cardiology training were at the University of Sydney and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

His clinical research career includes a PhD on coronary physiology and a post doctoral research Fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore before returning to the University of Sydney and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

University of Sydney responsibilities have included service as Associate Dean Sydney, Medical School, Head of Central Clinical School and Pro Vice-Chancellor, Campus Infrastructure and Services.

Professional responsibilities have included service as Editor-in-Chief of Heart Lung and Circulation, membership of Boards on National Heart Foundation (NSW), Royal Australasian College of Physicians (Adult Medicine Division) and Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand.

Professor Paul G. Bannon


Professor Paul Bannon is the Chair of The Baird Institute for Applied Heart and Lung Surgical Research, a not-for-profit medical research institute established in 2001, to improve the outcomes and better the lives of those undergoing heart and lung surgery.

He is Head of Department, Cardiothoracic Surgery at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney and holds the Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery and the Bosch Chair of Surgery, University of Sydney. He has performed over 2500 adult cardiac surgical procedures ranging from coronary artery bypass to complex aortic root and arch reconstructions. He is President of the Australia and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons and is the Society representative to the Cardiac Surgery National Database. He is the Co-Chair of the Institute of Academic Surgery at RPAH where he also oversees the robotic surgical program. He heads the National MBS Taskforce Review for Cardiac Surgery and has held various positions in the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Professor Bannon’s teaching responsibilities are currently to all years of the Graduate Medical Program at Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney. He supervises local and international Doctorate, Masters and Honours students as well as international elective students. He is the Co Editor-in-Chief of The Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery and a Director of the CORE Group for International Collaborative Research. Professor Bannon has published widely in books, journals and conference proceedings on cardiothoracic surgery, basic science and evidence based medicine.

He has a particular passion for translational research in the areas of congenital aortic and mitral valve disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, biomaterials and biocompatibility, limitation of blood product usage in cardiac surgery, the inflammatory response to bypass and the development of academic surgical careers. He is a current Chief Investigator on NHMRC and NHF grants for biomaterials and congenital heart disease research as well as a current NHMRC CRE grant on mechanical circulatory support. His role in the CRE is to produce NHMRC Clinical Practice Guidelines and measure their dissemination, adoption and outcomes. He personally oversees more than $500,000 worth of research funding annually. His Department currently runs 16 clinical trials amongst many other laboratory and clinically based projects.

Ms. Michelle Sloane


Michelle’s background is in psychology and human resources working for many years in senior executive positions at Westpac, IBM and Unilever. Twenty years ago she established a human resources management consulting practice, Diversity Management, and led that organisation for 16 years. Michelle has worked extensively in the areas of change management, organisational analysis and design, human resource management, program management, stakeholder engagement as well as leadership development and training.

Michelle has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Technology, a Master of Arts (Psychology) from the University of Sydney and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales. In addition Michelle is a Graduate of the Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

Michelle has also been a Councillor for the City of Willoughby in Sydney. During her time as Councillor and Deputy Mayor, she has worked tirelessly with the local community advocating across a range of local and state-wide issues. Her interest in local government was developed over many years as a very active volunteer in her local community.

Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite


Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite, BA, MIR (Hons), MBA, DipLR, PhD, FIML, FCHSM, FFPHRCP (UK), FAcSS (UK), Hon FRACMA, FAHMS is Founding Director, Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Director, Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science, and Professor of Health Systems Research, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Macquarie University. His research examines the changing nature of health systems, attracting funding of more than AUD$131 million (EUR€81.8 million, GBP£70.8 million).

He has contributed over 470 peer-reviewed publications presented at international and national conferences on more than 915 occasions, including 97 keynote addresses. His research appears in journals such as JAMA, British Medical Journal, The Lancet, BMC Medicine, BMJ Quality & Safety, and International Journal for Quality in Health Care. He has received numerous national and international awards for his teaching and research.

He is interested in the Anthropocene and the impact of human activity on human and species’ health, population and climate. He blogs at

Further details are available at his Wikipedia entry:

Professor Clifford F. Hughes


Professor Cliff Hughes is President of the International Society for Quality in Health Care. Until March 2015 he was the Chief Executive Officer of the Clinical Excellence Commission, a statutory health corporation established in 2004 to build capacity and design programs to promote and support improvement in quality and safety for health services across NSW. He has been chairman or member of numerous Australian state and federal committees associated with quality, safety and research in clinical practice for health care services. He has held various positions in the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, including Senior Examiner in Cardiothoracic Surgery and member of the College Council. In November 2015 the College bestowed upon him the highest award given to a Fellow in his lifetime, the Sir Hugh Devine Medal. He has received awards for his national and international work including an Alumni Award from the University of NSW. He has led five medical teams to China and has performed cardiac surgery in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, India and Bangladesh. In 1998, he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in recognition of his contributions and “service to cardiac surgery, international relationships and the community”. In June 2014, the University of NSW conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Science, its peak academic award.

Ms. Joanne Wade


Joanne Wade has been a plaintiff lawyer since her admission to the Supreme Court of NSW in 1996 and has worked in asbestos litigation for well over 18 years. Joanne is an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law and prides herself on her communication with her clients and, on many occasions, her clients’ families. She understands the importance and need to handle all her cases with the utmost diligence and compassion. Joanne has acted for hundreds of people suffering from mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis and asbestos related pleural disease. Her clients are everyday people who have worked hard all their lives and deserve justice. Joanne acted for Steven Dunning in his claim against BHP Billiton Limited in the Dust Diseases Tribunal of NSW (Dunning vBHP Billiton Limited [2014] NSWDDT 3). Mr Dunning suffered from malignant pleural mesothelioma and in a landmark decision; the court awarded Mr Dunning the highest amount for damages for pain and suffering in NSW. Joanne went on to represent Mr Dunning in the Appeal before the NSW Court ofAppeal where BHP’s appeal was unanimously dismissed (BHPBilliton Limited v Dunning [2015] NSWCA 55). Joanne has also successfully acted for the late Bevan McGrath in his claim against Allianz Australia Insurance Limited, for his condition of asbestos related pleural disease and ensured that case was resolved on a provisional damages basis. Mr McGrath went on to develop mesothelioma, one of only a small number of cases where he then brought a second claim for further damages because his first claim was resolved on a provisional basis. Joanne successfully acted for Mr McGrath in both his claims and the late Mr McGrath successfully received further damages in a judgment by the court (McGrath v Allianz AustraliaInsurance Limited [2011] NSWDDT). The judgement was upheld on appeal (Allianz Australia Insurance Limited v McGrath [2011]NSWCA 153).

“It is with great privilege to work with people suffering from asbestos illnesses, and the greatest satisfaction formed is securing a result for those people to help ease their suffering, and to know their families will be looked after.”Joanne takes great pride in the work Slater and Gordon have undertaken in representing victims of asbestos disease, unions and asbestos support groups, including the work of Ken Fowlie in 2004 who acted for the ACTU and asbestos support groups in negotiations with James Hardie to secure an agreement which will ensure current and future victims of asbestos –related diseases would be fully compensated for years to come.Joanne is a passionate advocate and one thing that separatesJoanne from other lawyers is perspective, with her own father being exposed to asbestos working at Cockatoo IslandDockyard, she is in the unique position of seeing it from both angles.“My clients are generally people who have worked hard all their lives, and are lovely people who deserve justice. I am glad to fight for that justice and to make a difference to their lives.”


  • Asbestos Claims
  • Dust Disease Board Appeals
  • Dust Diseases Claims
  • Compensation Claims

Career History

  • Slater and Gordon since 2008 (practice group leader)
  • 2000-2007 Watkins Tapsell (partner)
  • 1996-2000 Watkins Tapsell (lawyer)
  • 1992-1995 NSW Crown Solicitors Office (paralegal clerk)

Mr. Shaun Clyne

MA LLM (Syd)

Shaun is a corporate lawyer based in Sydney. He is the Australian Head of the Mergers & Acquisitions practice. He regularly advises on a wide range of corporate and securities law issues for public listed companies including takeovers, schemes of arrangement and capital raisings. He advises on Australian Stock Exchange compliance matters and regularly acts for both bidders and targets in connection with takeover bids and schemes of arrangement (hostile and friendly) for ASX-listed companies.

A leading practitioner in equity capital markets, Shaun has also advised numerous companies on their initial public offerings and capital raisings (rights issues, AREO’s, placements, employee share and options plans).

Shaun has presented at a variety of seminars and conferences and published several papers in his areas of specialisation.

His areas of expertise are mergers and acquisitions, corporate advisory and capital markets.

Professor Paul Bannon

Professor Paul Bannon is an adult cardiothoracic surgeon of international standing with clinical appointments at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Concord and Strathfield Private Hospital. At Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Professor Bannon is the Head of Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Co-Chair of the Institute for Academic Surgery, Director of the Robotic Training Institute and the current President of the Medical Officers Association. At the University of Sydney, he holds the inaugural Professorial Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery and the Bosch Chair of Surgery. He is also the current Head of the Discipline of Surgery for the Sydney Medical School and the Academic Director of the newly opened Translational Research Facility or Hybrid Theatre at the Charles Perkins Centre. He is the Chair of The Baird Institute for Applied Heart and Lung Surgical Research. Professionally he is the Past President of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons (ANZSCTS) and in that role serves on the steering Committee for the ANZSCTS National Cardiac Surgical Database, the National TAVI Accreditation Committee and is the Cardiac Surgical Chair of the Medical Benefits Schedule review program. For the Ministry of Health NSW he has been in the role of Co-Chair of the Cardiac Devices Committee for the Agency of Clinical Innovation.

Professor Bannon graduated from the University of Sydney in 1987, completed a PhD from the same institution in 1998 and was awarded a FRACS (CTh) in 1998. He has a particular passion for translational research in the areas of congenital aortic and mitral valve disease, biomaterials and biocompatibility, limitation of blood product usage in cardiac surgery, the inflammatory response to bypass and the development of academic surgical careers. He has authored or co-authored more than 120 scientific papers, published in peer-reviewed journals. He is co-editor-in-chief of the Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery, a Medline listed multimedia journal of cardiothoracic surgery. Professor Bannon has a reputation as the ‘surgeons surgeon’ and has particular expertise in surgery of the aortic root and arch, high-risk re-do surgery, total-arterial coronary artery bypass grafting and surgery for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Dr Sean Lal

BMedSci(Hons), MBBS(Hons), MPhil(Med), PhD(Med), FRACP

Dr Sean Lal is an Academic in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney and a Consultant Cardiologist at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, sub-specialising in heart failure and cardiac MRI. He is also the Chair of the Heart Failure Council for the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand.

Sean completed his undergraduate degree in Medical Science with first class honours at the University of Sydney, receiving full academic scholarship. He pursued his graduate Medical Degree (MBBS) and a Master of Medicine by research (MPhil) at the University of Sydney, where he was awarded the Dean’s Scholarship, the Medical Foundation Scholarship and the University of Sydney Bercovici Medal. As a medical doctor, Sean completed all of his general and specialty clinical training at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. During his cardiology training, he was awarded a National Churchill Fellowship to study mechanisms of cardiac regeneration at Harvard Medical School.

Sean has a clinical and research interest in heart failure. For his PhD in this field, he was awarded a combined National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and National Heart Foundation (NHF) Scholarship, as well as the NHMRC and Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) scholarship for research excellence.

He was also awarded a Commonwealth Endeavour Postgraduate Fellowship to Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he undertook proof of concept studies demonstrating the intrinsic regenerative capacity of the human heart following myocardial infarction; whilst also gaining clinical experience in acute heart failure management in the cardiac ICU at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Sean is the Director of the Sydney Heart Bank at the University of Sydney, which is one of the largest biorepositories of cryopreserved human heart tissue in the world. He is the Head of the Cardiac Research Laboratory in the School of Medical Sciences at the Charles Perkins Centre, which focuses on basic science and translational research into human heart failure.

Dr Matthew Bayfield

Dr Matthew Bayfield is an extremely experienced cardiothoracic surgeon with a broad range of skills and special interests within his field. He has performed more than 6000 heart and lung procedures. Dr Bayfield has hospital appointments at Strathfield Private Hospital, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Concord Hospital. His surgical interests include:

  • Coronary artery surgery: Dr Bayfield is one of Australia’s busiest coronary surgeons; with particular focus on minimal access incisions, and use of in-situ bilateral internal mammary artery grafts for enhanced longevity of the benefit of coronary revascularization.
  • Aortic root and arch surgery: Dr Bayfield has been performing aortic root and arch surgery since 1995, when he completed a Cardiovascular Fellowship at the University of Virginia in the USA. His focus is on o minimal access incisions, short cardiopulmonary bypass times, and for arch surgery antegrade cerebral perfusion with cerebral oxygen saturation monitoring.
  • Surgery for emphysema / CAL: Dr Bayfield was trained in open lung reduction surgery whilst doing a fellowship at the University of Virginia in 1995. Since that time he has developed thoracoscopic techniques for the procedure, and since 2003 been an implanter of endobronchial valves as a minimally invasive alternative to surgery. With over 100 endobronchial valve case experience, and long term follow-up of these patients, he is one of Australia’s most experienced endobronchial valve proceduralist.
  • Correction of pectus defects: Dr Bayfield has a special interest in correction of both pectus and carinatum defects, with techniques including implantation of Nuss bar under video-assisted control, and open radical sternochondroplasty.Lung cancer surgery: Dr Bayfield has been in surgical partnershio with Professor Brian McCaughan since 1996, and was trained by him as a registrar. Prof McCaughan is Australia’s most experienced and prolific lung cancer surgeon, has published widely on many aspects of its treatment, and has been awarded Medal of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to health in respect to his work on malignant mesothelioma.
  • Pacemaker and defibrillator implantation: Dr Bayfield was trained in device implantation as a young surgeon in the 1980’s and has developed skills to ensure that a device can be safely and reliably implanted even in the most difficult case with minimal risk. He was trained in cardiac resynchronzation therapy techniques at the introduction of that technology. He has regular pacemaker and defibrillator implantation lists at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Strathfield Private Hospital, and Concord Hospital.
  • Surgical treatment for ischaemic cardiomyopathy: Dr Bayfield trained in heart and lung transplantation whilst at the University of Virginia. With this skill base he has been able to develop a multi-faceted approach to treat patients whose hearts have been damaged by coronary artery disease (heart attack). These therapies include coronary artery bypass, mitral valve repair, and implantation of CRT defibrillators.

Dr Mike Byrom

Dr Michael Byrom is a modern, innovative cardiothoracic surgeon with training and experience in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Italy. Particular areas of expertise include:

  • Truly minimally-invasive surgery to the aortic valve that avoids complete division of the breast bone (hemi-sternotomy, right anterior mini-thoracotomy); allowing faster recovery and return to normal activities
  • Mitral valve repair with excellent repair rates and outcomes – resulting from diverse training in France, Italy, and the United Kingdom
  • Avoidance of the need for anticoagulation through valve selection, valve repair, and surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation
  • Minimally-invasive lung resection, avoiding a large thoracotomy wound and enabling faster recovery and return to normal activities with reduced pain and discomfort
  • Sternal and rib titanium plate fixation of chronic non-united fractures
  • Performing these procedures while minimising risk of complications, allowing Dr Byrom to achieve world-class results for his patients

Associate Professor Chris Cao

After completing his medical degree at the University of New South Wales with First Class Honours, Christopher attended his pre-internship at Yale University, USA. He scored 99/99 for his United States Medical Licensing Exam, and completed his Cardiothoracic surgical training in Sydney. Concurrently, Christopher completed his PhD degree with Sydney University, focusing on the surgical management of lung and pleural diseases.

After completing his surgical training with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Christopher was invited to a Fellowship at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York City, one of the largest cancer centres in the world. This was followed by a Fellowship in New York University, where he was asked to join the Faculty in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery. His fellowship was focused on robotic and minimally invasive thoracic surgery, treating lung cancers, mediastinal tumours, mesothelioma, and other lung-related diseases. During his 18-month Fellowship at MSKCC and NYU, Christopher was fortunate to work with some of the leading international surgeons, gaining invaluable clinical and academic experience.

With over 100 publications in international peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, A/Prof Cao has a keen interest in thoracic surgery, particularly the treatment of lung cancers through minimally invasive surgery. He has made more than 50 presentations in international meetings as a Faculty Member in Paris, New York, Edinburgh, Taipei, Sydney, and Guangzhou. Christopher has personally supervised students and residents from Sydney University, University of New South Wales, Cornell University and New York University.

He is a member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery, and works as a Consultant Surgeon at Lifehouse, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Concord Hospital, Sydney Adventist Hospital, and Macquarie University Hospital.

Professor Tristan Yan

Dr Tristan Yan is the Head of Department of Thoracic Surgery at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. Professor Yan graduated from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) with Bachelor of Science (Medicine), Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. He also completed three postgraduate higher degrees, Master of Surgery (USyd), Doctor of Medicine (UNSW) and Doctor of Philosophy (UNSW). He was trained at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney and then obtained Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellowship from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. Following advanced specialty fellowships in the United States, England, Scotland and Germany, he specializes in minimally invasive cardiovascular surgery, and minimally invasive thoracic surgery.

Professor Tristan Yan is dedicated to surgical innovations. He applies the latest pioneering techniques to minimize surgical trauma and access sites and thus achieves a more rapid and comfortable recovery for his patients. He first completed his general surgical fellowship with Paul Sugarbaker in the United States, one of the most prominent surgeons in the world. He was then closely trained by the pioneer of Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery, Mr. William Walker, in Edinburgh, where he mastered the technical expertise of video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) to perform complex lung resections, such as lobectomy and segmentectomy.

Dr Benjamin Robinson

Mr Benjamin Robinson is an adult cardiothoracic surgeon with a long association with The Baird Institute. Whilst a medical student, he completed honours research with the Baird on outcomes in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer, under the supervision of Professor Brian McCaughan. He was awarded a Baird Institute Fellowship for this work. He subsequently trained in cardiothoracic surgery at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and was the inaugural Baird Institute – Stanford University exchange scholar. Mr Robinson later completed a cardiac surgery clinical fellowship at Bart’s Heart Centre in London. He then worked as a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon at St. James’s Hospital in Dublin, before returning to Sydney to take up appointments at Royal Prince Alfred, Concord Repatriation General and Strathfield Private Hospitals.

Mr Robinson has experience in the spectrum of adult cardiac surgery, including coronary, valvular and aortic disease, as well as in general thoracic surgery. He has specific clinical interest in minimal access aortic valve surgery, arterial coronary grafting and aortic surgery. He has completed postgraduate study at Cambridge University and has academic interests in surgical outcomes research and epidemiology.

Dr Brian Plunkett

This content is currently being updated.