Division of Cardiac Surgery
Cardiovascular surgery in Canada began on Ward "C" of the Toronto General Hospital (TGH) with the pioneer surgery of Dr. Gordon Murray. Soon after joining the staff in 1929, he developed an interest and expertise in arterial embolectomy. He immediately saw the value of Heparin when it was purified in Toronto in the mid 1930's. In the late 1930's Murray had a virtual world monopoly on this drug and was able to pioneer many vascular operations. When the Blalock-Taussig shunt was introduced in 1945, his results were unparalled. He trained the next generation of vascular and cardiac surgeons - Bigelow, Mustard, Wilson, and Heimbecker. His last major contribution was the performance of the world's first homograft aortic valve transplant in 1956. Read more...
The division of cardiac surgery at the University of Toronto is comprised of faculty based at four university affiliated teaching hospitals (Toronto General Hospital, Sunnybrook Health Sciences
Centre, St. Michael's Hospital, and The Hospital for Sick Children). In total this group performs approximately 4050 cardiac operations annually comprising adult acquired, adult congenital, and pediatric cases.
In addition, a wide range of basic and clinical research groups are actively studying such areas as causes of pulmonary hypertension, fetal surgery, myocardial protection, cardiac transplantation and surgery for acquired aortic valve disease. Annual funding for research exceeds $1.2 million.