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A Cut Above: Cardiothoracic insights from EACTS

Co-hosted by Can Gollmann-Tepeköylü and Miia L Lehtinen, the podcast will aim to keep listeners informed of the latest research findings and Guideline recommendations; inspire and educate with interviews from key opinion leaders and residents from the community; and encourage debate and discussion on key hot topics.

A Cut Above will allow the cardiothoracic and the wider Heart team community, with increasingly busy schedules, to keep abreast of latest research and key discussions impacting day-to-day practice whilst on the go.

Frequency: Last Tuesday of each month at 10am GMT

Meet the Hosts

Miia L Lehtinen

Miia L Lehtinen

I am a last-year cardiothoracic surgery trainee at Helsinki University Hospital, Finland. I obtained an MD degree from the University of Helsinki, where I also completed my PhD studies. I spent 2.5 years as a postdoc researcher at Karolinska Institute in Sweden studying cardiac progenitor cells. I also have publications in coronary artery disease, cardiothoracic surgery training, and cardiac imaging. I was an EACTS Council member in 2017-2020, the chairwoman of the EACTS Residents Committee in 2018-2020, and currently I am a member of the EACTS Women in Cardiothoracic Surgery Committee. I am an assistant editor in EJCTS and an association editor in MMCTS. I recently started as the chairwoman of the Global Thoracic Surgery Residents Association.

Can Klein

Can Gollmann-Tepeköylü

I am a consultant for Cardiac Surgery at the Medical University of Innsbruck with a clinical focus on heart failure surgery. I obtained a PhD in Molecular Cell Biology focusing on heart regeneration and the role of innate immunity in valve disease. I have done research fellowships in Taiwan and the USA and am currently leading a translational research group with the clear focus to find new treatment targets. Our pre-clinical research led to successful Phase II and III trials in heart failure patients. I have been the chair of the EACTS Residents Committee from 2020-2022 and currently am member of the EACTS Heart Failure Task Force. I am the course director of the EACTS Case Corner. I serve as associate editor in the EJCTS and ICVTS.

May 2023

One board exam for all CTS surgeons worldwide?


Yvonne was born in Stirlingshire, Scotland and is a graduate of Glasgow University. She obtained her PhD at the University of Edinburgh Medical School and a Masters degree in Education with distinction from Keele University. Passionate about educational measurement in medical education, she provides assessment expertise for RCSEd directly but also works with external examining bodies through the College Consultancy service. 
Professor Clark trained in London, Cambridge and Toronto in cardiothoracic surgery before commencing his Consultant post in Newcastle, UK in 2000 where he is now Deputy Clinical Director of Cardiothoracic Services. His main interests are in heart and lung transplantation and in patient safety. He is Chairman of the European Board of Cardiothoracic Surgery. He holds several national and international roles. 
Dr. Quintana was born in Olot (Girona) and graduated at Universitat Autonòma de Barcelona Medical School. He completed a residency in cardiovascular surgery at Hospital Clínic de Barcelona and did a 2 year clinical fellowship at the Mayo Clinic Rochester MN USA. He is the Residency/Fellowship program director at Hospital Clínic de Barcelona.  He is currently the Secretary of the European Board of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

Join our host, Miia L Lehtinen, as she speaks to Stephen Clark (Chairman of The European Board of Cardiothoracic Surgery (EBCTS)), Edu Quintana (Secretary, EBCTS) & Yvonne Hurst (Expert in examination science/educational advisor to EBCTS) about the history of the EBCTS, what the exam is like, why it’s important and how it supports the mission to ensure high standards for cardiothoracic surgeons. 

April 2023

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in cardiothoracic surgery


Sandy Engelhardt, PhD is an Assistant Professor and leads the Group Artificial Intelligence in Cardiovascular Medicine at Heidelberg University Hospital. The main research goal of her group is to leverage AI in image processing for precision medicine and to support surgeons with computer-assisted tools. Her dissertation won the BVM-Award 2017 for the best PhD thesis on the German Image Processing Community.
Simo Syrjälä received his MD from University of Helsinki in 2011 and finished his PhD in transplantation immunology in 2015. He has continued a clinical and scientific career currently working as a consultant in cardiac surgery in Helsinki University Hospital. His research interests include transplantation, mechanical circulatory support, and the use of AI applications in surgical complication detection.
Prof Falk qualified at the University of Bonn Medical School, where he also obtained his doctorate. He completed his residency at the Department of Cardiac Surgery of the Heart Center Leipzig, where he was also a senior surgeon. In 2014 he was appointed Professor and Chair of the Division of Cardiovascular Surgery at the Charite Berlin and became the director of the DHZB Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery in Berlin. In late 2018 he was appointed professor for Translational Cardiovascular Technologies at the ETH, Zurich. His main areas of current research are endoscopic and minimally invasive cardiac surgery and image guided transcatheter therapies. 

In this episode, our hosts Can Gollmann-Tepeköylü and Miia L Lehtinen discuss the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) within cardiothoracic surgery (CTS) with Sandy Engelhardt, Simo Syrjälä and Volkmar Falk. From whether there is a clinical need for AI, to the role of AI in the future of CTS, and its potential pitfalls. Join us in the latest episode to find out more.

March 2023

The future of mitral valve therapy


Dr Patrick Perier was born in Paris, France. He obtained his medical degree at Paris V University. He trained and became staff member in the department of Professor Alain Carpentier. In 1990, he moved to the Herz und Gefäss KlinikBad Neustadt/Saale Germany to develop mitral valve surgery. For 20 years, he has refined the techniques of endoscopic mitral valve repair.
Dr Nikolaos Bonaros was born in Athens, Greece, graduated from the University of Ioannina and holds a PhD and a Master of Health Economics from the London School of Economics. In addtion he accomplishes a Second Level Master in Minimally invasive Cardiac Surgery from the University of Pisa. He completed his training at the University of Vienna and Innsbruck and performed stem cells therapy research at the Columbia University in New York. He is currently leading the minimally invasive and transcatheter program of structural cardiac diseases in Innsbruck and he focuses in novel technology projects for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.  

Join our hosts Can Gollmann-Tepeköylü and Miia L Lehtinen, as they discuss the future of mitral valve (MV) therapy with Nikolaos Bonaros and Patrick Perier. In this episode, Nikolaos and Patrick share their expertise and advice on valve preferences; the evolution of MV surgery, how young surgeons can develop their skills to perform complex MV surgical techniques; and much more.

February 2023

Standing on your shoulders: Friedhelm Beyersdorf

Prof. Dr. Beyersdorf was born in Bochum, Germany and is a graduate from the Wolfgang-Goethe-University in Frankfurt/M. with clinical clerkship at Johns-Hopkins in Baltimore and Thomas Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. His residency was at Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt and University of California Los Angeles. From 1994 – 2022 he was Professor and Chairman of the Dept. of Cardiovascular Surgery in Freiburg, Germany.

In this episode, our hosts Can Gollmann-Tepeköylü and Miia L Lehtinen, chat to Prof. Dr. Friedhelm Beyersdorf, eminent cardiothoracic surgeon and past-President of the EACTS (2021 – 2022), about his career – how he got to where is today, the challenges he faced along the way, and his thoughts on the future of cardiothoracic surgery.  

January 2023

The war in Ukraine and the impacts on day-to-day practice of cardiothoracic surgery and residency


Dr Igor Mokryk has been Chief of the Department of Adult Cardiac Surgery at the Heart Institute in Kyiv since 2017. He has worked in both adult and paediatric cardiothoracic surgery for more than 20 years.
Dr Ihor Stetsyuk is a 4-th year resident of the department of adult cardiac surgery at Heart Institute, Kyiv. He specialises at miniinvasive AVR, MVR and CABG off-pump.

The inaugural episode of A Cut Above features guest speakers, Dr Igor Mokryk and Dr Ihor Stetsyuk, describing the impacts of the war in Ukraine on their day-to-day practice as a cardiothoracic surgeon and resident. Dr Mokryk and Dr Stetsyuk talk to our hosts, Can Gollmann-Tepeköylü and Miia L Lehtinen, about the challenges they face as a result of this unimaginable situation and how we can support them during this difficult time.  

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