Science in progress: EACTS 2013 highlights

There is a plenty of meetings and conferences focusing on cardiology / cardiac surgery every year. Too many, actually. One of the most important ones in terms of participants and scientific impact is the annual meeting of the European Society of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS). In many aspects, I believe it is better and more innovative than the big, classic american cardiac surgery meetings, such as the ones of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) or of the American Association of Thoracic Surgery (AATS).

In the following posts (all tagged “EACTS_2013”) I will review and share my favorite presentations of this years meeting. I will describe in a few sentences the clinical background to put the presentationsinto their context. Hopefully this will make the topics better understandable for you.

Cardiac surgery course for medical students


September has been a month characterized by academic teaching. I’ve had the pleasure to host  two 5-student groups for two consecutive weekends in Lugano. This new heart surgery course ( that was specifically set up for medical students during clinical semesters.

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Muovetevi che fa bene!

Let’s get moving!

The story of Theo (my barber!)

Don’t worry, this is not – yet again – another doctor’s lecture! After all, we all know it, don’t we?

Let me tell you an episode that happened to me some time ago. I was fully relaxed being groomed by my barber when he said if he could ask a medical question. Right, I said, shoot! He wanted to know if a medicine that was prescribed to him – a beta-blocker –  was right for him. I was rather taken aback…

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The evolution of coronary artery bypass grafting: coronary surgery through small incisions (MICS-CABG).

The way to carry out an aortocoronary bypass has remained relatively unchanged during the last decades. The introduction of the beating heart surgery technique 10-15 years ago originated several technical and technological innovations, which made the procedure easier and safer. These developments created the potential for further approaches.

The latest evolution is performing the operation through a small incision under the left breast (mini-thoracotomy), also called MICS-CABG (minimally invasive cardiac surgery – coronary artery bypass grafting).

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A (relative) defeat

Let’s start with the most important thing: the patient is alive and well, hence  the word “relative”  mentioned in the title. This is  “just” about a “technical” defeat. A brief description of the case: patient with severe coronary artery disease and a severe mitral valve regurgitation with indication to  surgery (aortocoronary bypass with 4-5 grafts on all three main coronary artery  branches and mitral valve repair).

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Heartmatters has arrived!!!

In the vast internet world it is rather difficult to find any information duly weighed up, especially in the medical field. People who are involved know and feel it. The idea of this blog was born to fill this gap and from the desire to have heart matters introduced in an understandable, correct and considered way! A special attention is directed towards the students of medicine, who try to sense, understand and read between the lines, what moves and touches a specialist’s heart and soul.

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