Early and Late Outcomes Following Valve Sparing Aortic Root Reconstruction: The ANZSCTS Database

Dhurandhar V, Parikh R, Saxena A, Vallely MP, Wilson MK, Black DA, Tran L, Reid C, Bannon PG

Heart Lung Circ 2016 May;25(5):505-11

PMID: 26795638


BACKGROUND: Valve sparing aortic root reconstruction (VSARR) has become an alternative to traditional aortic root replacement with a valved conduit. There have been various modifications but the two broad types are aortic root reimplantation and the aortic root remodelling procedure. We present the early and late outcomes following valve sparing aortic root reconstruction surgery in Australia.

METHODS: We reviewed the ANZSCTS database for patients undergoing these procedures. Preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative variables were analysed. Multivariable regression was performed to determine independent predictors of 30-day mortality. We also obtained five- and 10-year survival estimates by cross-linking the ANZSCTS database with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s National Death Index.

RESULTS: Between January 2001 and January 2012, 169 consecutive patients underwent VSARR procedures. The mean age of the study population was 54.4 years with 31.4% being females. Overall, nine patients (5.9%) died within 30 days post procedure and five patients (3%) had permanent strokes. However, out of 132 elective cases, only five patients died (3.8%). Independent predictors of 30-day mortality were female gender [OR 5.65(1.24-25.80), p=0.025], preoperative atrial arrhythmia [OR 6.07(1.14-32.35), p=0.035] and acute type A aortic dissection [OR 7.71(1.63-36.54), p=0.01]. Long-term survival was estimated as 85.3% and 72.7% at five- and 10-years, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Along with an acceptable rate of early mortality and stroke, VSARR procedures provide good long-term survival according to the ANZSCTS database. As promising procedure for pathologies that impair the aortic root integrity, they can be adopted more widely, especially in Australian and New Zealand centres with experienced aortic units. Future studies are planned to assess freedom from valve deterioration and repeat surgery.

Mechanical Versus Bioprosthetic Aortic Valve Replacement in Middle-Aged Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Zhao DF, Seco M, Wu JJ, Edelman JB, Wilson MK, Vallely MP, Byrom MJ, Bannon PG

Ann. Thorac. Surg. 2016 Jan;

PMID: 26794881


The choice of a bioprosthetic valve (BV) or mechanical valve (MV) in middle-aged adults undergoing aortic valve replacement is a complex decision that must account for numerous prosthesis and patient factors. A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed to compare long-term survival, major adverse prosthesis-related events, anticoagulant-related events, major bleeding, reoperation, and structural valve degeneration in middle-aged patients receiving a BV or MV. A comprehensive search from six electronic databases was performed from their inception to February 2016. Results from patients aged less than 70 years undergoing aortic valve replacement with a BV or MV were included. There were 12 studies involving 8,661 patients. Baseline characteristics were similar. There was no significant difference in long-term survival among patients aged 50 to 70 or 60 to 70 years. Compared with MVs, BVs had significantly fewer long-term anticoagulant-related events (hazard ratio [HR] 0.54, p = 0.006) and bleeding (HR 0.48, p < 0.00001) but significantly greater major adverse prosthesis-related events (HR 1.82, p = 0.02), including reoperation (HR 2.19, p < 0.00001). The present meta-analysis found no significant difference in survival between BVs and MVs in patients aged 50 to 70 or 60 to 70 years. Compared with MVs, BVs have reduced risk of major bleeding and anticoagulant-related events but increased risk of structural valve degeneration and reoperation. However, the mortality consequences of reoperation appear lower than that of major bleeding, and recent advances may further lower the reoperation rate for BV. Therefore, this review supports the current trend of using BVs in patients more than 60 years of age.

Nonsyndromic Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm and Dissection: Outcomes With Marfan Syndrome Versus Bicuspid Aortic Valve Aneurysm

Sherrah AG, Andvik S, van der Linde D, Davies L, Bannon PG, Padang R, Vallely MP, Wilson MK, Keech AC, Jeremy RW

J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. 2016 Feb;67(6):618-26

PMID: 26868685


BACKGROUND: Genetic aortopathy (GA) underlies thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAA) in younger adults. Comparative survival and predictors of outcomes in nonsyndromic TAA (NS-TAA) are incompletely defined compared to Marfan syndrome (MFS) and bicuspid aortic valve (BAV).

OBJECTIVES: The study sought to compare survival and clinical outcomes for individuals with NS-TAA, MFS, and BAV.

METHODS: From 1988 to 2014, all patients presenting with GA 16 to 60 years of age were enrolled in a prospective study of clinical outcomes. Risk factors for death and aortic dissection were identified by Cox proportional hazards modeling and a mortality risk score developed.

RESULTS: Diagnosis of GA was made for 760 patients (age 36.9 ± 13.6 years, 26.8% female; NS-TAA, n = 311; MFS, n = 221; BAV, n = 228). MFS patients were younger than NS-TAA and BAV. Presentation with aortic dissection was more common for NS-TAA than MFS or BAV. The 687 patients surviving >30 days after presentation were followed for a median of 7 years. Calculated 10-year mortality was 7.8% for NS-TAA, 8.7% for MFS, and 3.5% for BAV (NS-TAA and MFS vs. BAV p <0.05). Factors associated with all-cause mortality were MFS (p = 0.04), age at presentation, and family history of dissection.

CONCLUSIONS: Clinical outcomes for MFS and NS-TAA are similar but worse than BAV. Independent predictors of mortality, including family history of aortic dissection and age, can be included in an Aortopathy Mortality Risk Score to predict survival. Management of NS-TAA, including surgical intervention, should be similar to that of MFS.

Long Term Outcomes Following Freestyle Stentless Aortic Bioprosthesis Implantation: An Australian Experience

Sherrah AG, Jeremy RW, Puranik R, Bannon PG, Hendel PN, Bayfield MS, Wilson MK, Brady PW, Marshman D, Mathur MN, Brereton RJ, Edwards JR, Stuklis RG, Worthington M, Vallely MP

Heart Lung Circ 2015 Jun;

PMID: 26146198


BACKGROUND: The Freestyle stentless bioprosthesis (FSB) has been demonstrated to be a durable prosthesis in the aortic position. We present data following Freestyle implantation for up to 10 years post-operatively and compare this with previously published results.

METHODS: A retrospective cohort analysis of 237 patients following FSB implantation occurred at five Australian hospitals. Follow-up data included clinical and echocardiographic outcomes.

RESULTS: The cohort was 81.4% male with age 63.2±13.0 years and was followed for a mean of 2.4±2.3 years (range 0-10.9 years, total 569 patient-years). The FSB was implanted as a full aortic root replacement in 87.8% patients. The 30-day all cause mortality was 4.2% (2.0% for elective surgery). Cumulative survival at one, five and 10 years was 91.7±1.9%, 82.8±3.8% and 56.5±10.5%, respectively. Freedom from re-intervention at one, five and 10 years was 99.5±0.5%, 91.6±3.7% and 72.3±10.5%, respectively. At latest echocardiographic review (mean 2.3±2.1 years post-operatively), 92.6% had trivial or no aortic regurgitation. Predictors of post-operative mortality included active endocarditis, acute aortic dissection and peripheral vascular disease.

CONCLUSIONS: We report acceptable short and long term outcomes following FSB implantation in a cohort of comparatively younger patients with thoracic aortic disease. The durability of this bioprosthesis in the younger population remains to be confirmed.

Comparative transcriptome profiling in human bicuspid aortic valve disease using RNA-sequencing

Padang R, Bagnall RD, Tsoutsman T, Bannon PG, Semsarian C

Physiol. Genomics 2014 Dec;:physiolgenomics.00115.2014

PMID: 25547111


Intrinsic valvular degeneration and dysfunction is the most common complication of bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) disease. Phenotypically, it ranges from calcific aortic stenosis to redundant or prolapsing regurgitant leaflets. The underlying molecular mechanism underpinning phenotype heterogeneity of valvular degeneration in BAV is poorly understood. We used RNA-sequencing to identify genes and pathways responsible for valvular degeneration in BAV, compared to tricuspid aortic valve (TAV). Comparative transcriptome analysis on total RNA of aortic valve tissues of patients with diseased BAV (n=5) and calcified TAV (n=3). A total of 59 and 177 genes were significantly up- and downregulated, respectively, in BAV compared to TAV. Hierarchical clustering indicated heterogeneity within the BAV group, separating those with heavy calcification (BAVc) from those with redundant leaflets and/or minimal calcification (BAVr). Interestingly, the gene expression profile of the BAVc group closely resembled the TAV, with shared up- and downregulation of inflammatory and NOTCH1 signaling pathways, respectively. Downregulation of matrix protease ADAMTS9 and protein aggrecan were observed in BAVr compared to TAV. Dysregulation of fetal gene programs were also present, with notable downregulation of SEMA6B and SEMA3F in BAVr and BAVc compared to TAV, respectively. Upregulation of TBX20 was observed exclusively in BAVr compared to BAVc. In conclusion, diverging molecular mechanisms underpin phenotype heterogeneity of valvular degeneration in BAV and data from the present study suggest that there may be shared mechanisms leading to calcification in BAV and TAV. Recognition of these pathways is fundamental to improve our understanding of the molecular basis of human BAV disease.

Position Statement for the Operator and Institutional Requirements for a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) Program

Walters DL, Webster M, Pasupati S, Walton A, Muller D, Stewart J, Williams M, MacIsaac A, Scalia G, Wilson M, Gamel AE, Clarke A, Bennetts J, Bannon P

Heart Lung Circ 2014 Oct;

PMID: 25488705


The Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ) and the Australia and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons (ANZSCTS) have joined together to provide recommendations for institutions and individual operators to assess their ability to initiate and maintain a transcatheter valve program. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement has been developed as an alternative to traditional surgical replacement of the aortic valve in high risk patients, particularly the frail elderly. The position paper has endorsed the important role of a multi-disciplinary “Heart Team” in selecting patients for TAVI as fundamental to the establishment of a successful program. The paper outlines recommendations for the cardiologist to have a background in structural intervention and the surgeon to have experience in high-risk aortic valve replacement. It is further recommended that TAVI programs be established in high volume cardiac surgical centres where on site valve surgery is performed. The paper is intended to provide guidance to individual operators and prospective institutions considering the establishment of a successful TAVI program.

Replacement of the aortic root with a composite valve-graft conduit: risk factor analysis in 246 consecutive patients

Woldendorp K, Starra E, Seco M, Hendel PN, Jeremy RW, Wilson MK, Vallely MP, Bannon PG

Heart Lung Circ 2014 Dec;23(12):1187-93

PMID: 25038031


BACKGROUND: Composite valve-graft (CVG) replacement of the aortic root is a well-studied and recognised treatment for various aortic root conditions, including valvular disease with associated aortopathy. There have been few previous studies of the procedure in large numbers in an Australian setting.

METHOD: From January 2006 to June 2013, 246 successive patients underwent CVG root replacements at our institution. Mean age was 56.8 years, 85.4% were male, and 87 had evidence of bicuspid aortic valve. Indications for operation included ascending aortic aneurysm in 222 patients, annuloaortic ectasia in 67 patients, and aortic dissection in 38 patients.

RESULTS: The overall unit 30-day mortality was 5.7%, including: elective 30-day mortality of 2.2%, and emergent 30-day mortality of 17.2%. Statistically significant multivariate predictors of 30-day mortality were: acute aortic dissection (OR=20.07), peripheral vascular disease (OR=11.17), new ventricular tachycardia (OR=30.17), re-operation for bleeding (OR=14.42), concomitant mitral stenosis (OR=68.30), and cerebrovascular accident (OR=144.85).

CONCLUSIONS: Low postoperative mortality in our series matches closely with results from similar sized international studies, demonstrating that this procedure can be performed with low risk in centres with sufficient experience in the operative procedure.

Stay in the loop

Subscribe to our Heart to Heart newsletter to keep up with the latest developments in heart and lung research from The Baird Institute.

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 http://www.jeffreybraithwaite.com/new-blog/.

Further details are available at his Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_Braithwaite.

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.