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Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Virginia Commonwealth University Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery

VCU Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery

New Innovations in Cardiac Care

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Derek Brinster, MD
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VCU leads study of first portable driver for TAH ...Read more

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VCU Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery

The Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery is committed to working closely with patients and their families to achieve excellent outcomes. We are pleased to offer comprehensive surgical therapy for diseases of the heart, lungs, airways and major blood vessels of the chest.

These goals of excellence in patient care are linked to our goals of educating a future generation of doctors and research into new ways of treating and alleviating suffering caused by cardiothoracic illness.



Kasirajan to Head Department of Surgery

Congratulations to cardiothoracic surgeon Vigneshwar Kasirajan, M.D., who has been named as chair of the Department of Surgery of the VCU Medical Center. He began his new position August 1. Dr. Kasirajan had served as Interim Chair of the Department of Surgery as well as Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Director of Heart Transplantation. He received his medical degree from Madras Medical College in India and completed his specialty training at the Cleveland Clinic.

"Dr. Kasirajan has helped to create a vibrant environment at VCU, where he has been since 2000. In addition to his work with transplant patients, he is at the forefront of a new frontier in cardiac surgery that includes artificial hearts and mechanica assist devices," said Jerome Strauss III, M.D., Ph.D., dean, VCU School of Medicine.

In 2006, Kasirajan led the first surical team on the East Coast to implant the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart, the onl device of its kind approved by the F.D.A, said Strauss. "His work in this field ha helped establish VCU as one of the leaders in the realm of artificial hearts"


Total artificial heart patients going mobile

VCU Medical Center began implanting the total artificial heart in 2006. Today, the cardiac surgery team at VCU's Pauley Heart Center is implanting more of these life-saving devices than any institution in the country. The device enables patients to regain their health after suffering the devastating effects of heart failure so they are better prepared to undergo a heart transplant. Until recently, patients with a total artificial heart had to be tethered to a 350-pound driver that powers the device. Now, a portable, 13-pound, compressor that fits in a backpack gives patients the ability to leave the hospital and go home while they wait for a heart ... a process that can take months. For more information about the portable driver, click here.


Research Spotlight

Greg Lowe
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