Division of Cardiac Surgery

Respected internationally for developing groundbreaking innovations—from the world’s first successful valve surgery in 1923 to the first heart transplant in New England in 1984 to the first total artificial heart transplant in 2012—Cardiac Surgery at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart & Vascular Center has set the standard for excellence in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease.

Our board certified surgeons treat a large volume of patients from near and far, using the newest surgical approaches and equipment, including minimally invasive techniques and percutaneous procedures. This vast experience and their collaboration with the Heart & Vascular Center team of cardiovascular specialists, along with referring cardiologists, means better outcomes for our patients.

Under the leadership of, Prem Shekar, MD, our cardiac surgeons specialize in open heart surgery and minimally invasive surgery for common conditions and the most complex cases. We are one of few centers in the United States offering high-risk patients transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) without general anesthesia. Our surgeons are part of the Heart & Vascular Center’s multispecialty rapid response team, providing immediate 24-hour intervention for patients in life-threatening situations.

Cardiac surgeons in the Heart & Vascular Center are shaping the future of heart surgery: conducting groundbreaking research and clinical trials, developing exciting new surgical methods and training the next generation of surgeons through our fellowship programs.

Why the BWH Heart & Vascular Center for Cardiac Surgery?

  • The Heart & Vascular Center is an international referral site, admitting the most complex patients from the United States and abroad.
  • U.S. News & World Report ranks the Heart & Vascular Center as a top hospital in the specialty of cardiology and heart surgery with top scores for bypass surgery and heart failure treatment.
  • Boston Magazine named our cardiac surgeons among Boston’s top doctors.
  • Cardiac surgery ICU nurses hold the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) gold status Beacon Award for Excellence.
  • Our board certified surgeons serve on the faculty of Harvard Medical School.
  • Surgeons have advanced training and clinical experience in cardiac surgery.
  • Heart & Vascular Center cardiac surgeons are leaders of national professional organizations, published authors, surgical humanitarians and valued teachers.
  • Our surgeons are active researchers whose clinical trials lead to novel and better ways of preventing, diagnosing and treating heart disease.
  • Cardiac surgery fellowship programs have trained young heart surgeons since the advent of subspecialties in the 1950’s, including leaders of major medical centers.
  • Cardiac Surgery in the Adult by Lawrence Cohn, MD is recognized worldwide as the textbook of choice for surgeons in training.
  • Cardiac Surgery at BWH has a distinct history of firsts: mitral valve surgery, cardiac surgery ICU, artificial valves, heart transplants and more.
  • Our team approach ensures communication between surgeons, cardiologists, radiologists, anesthesiologists, nurses and referring physicians and their patients.
  • Our hybrid operating room allows multiple specialists to perform imaging, surgical and non-surgical procedures simultaneously, minimizing trauma for patients.
  • For patients unwilling to accept blood transfusions or blood products, the Heart & Vascular Center offers bloodless surgical alternatives. Surgical incisions use dissolvable sutures to reduce wound care after surgery.
  • The family-focused Shapiro Cardiovascular Center has private inpatient rooms that accommodate overnight guests.
  • The all-inclusive Heart & Vascular Center enables patients to schedule multiple same-day outpatient visits.