Francis Fontan Fund Fellowships: Open for Applications Now

Francis Fontan Fund Fellowships: Open for Applications Now until mid-end Sep 2021

Fellowship scheme
EACTS members can now apply for a prestigious Francis Fontan Fund Fellowship. A wide variety of Fellowship schemes are available to members around the world with the aim of supporting surgical education, fostering professional development and strengthening the global cardiothoracic community through increased knowledge share.

The Fellowship programme offers unique career opportunities across a range of cardio and thoracic surgical experiences, with access to world-class courses, residential training in both European and American centres of excellence and clinical proctorship with surgical leaders. The Fund represents a vital part of the EACTS’ educational offering.

Professor Rafael Sádaba, EACTS Secretary General & Chairman of the Francis Fontan Fund, says: “The Fund’s mission is to create a global community sharing and learning from the highest standards of cardiothoracic care. Our Fellows are given the tools to establish life-saving new techniques in their institution and to emerge with skills, techniques and supportive professional networks that they could not have gained in any other way.”

The Fund offers three categories of Fellowship: Research, Leadership and Education. Research Fellowships offer experienced cardiothoracic surgeons a placement in cardiothoracic research, whilst Leadership Fellowships enable candidates to attend specialist courses and a placement in a clinic specialised in a specific area of cardiothoracic surgery. Education Fellowships offer candidates early in their surgical career foundation knowledge in a specific aspect of cardiothoracic surgery.

There are four Fellowship programmes that are now open for EACTS member to apply. Please note the application deadlines below, it is essential that you do not submit a late submission.

1. TSF/FFF International Travelling Fellowship 2022

Application Deadline: 15 Sep 2021

The European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery and The Society of Thoracic Surgeons have collaborated to offer the TSF/FFF International Travelling Fellowship. This new Fellowship offers young faculty surgeons an exciting opportunity to travelto America and learn from surgeons dedicated to the highest standards of cardiothoracic care.

Click here for further information and to apply.

2. EACTS-MSTCVS Quality and Outcomes Fellowship 2022

Application Deadline: 29 Sep 2021

This Fellowship provides an in-depth understanding of cardiothoracic surgical outcomes with one of the world’s leading quality improvement teams, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Click here for further information and to apply.

3. Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass Fellowship 2022

Application Deadline: 29 Sep 2021

Available to newly graduated cardiothoracic surgeons from around the world, this Fellowship offers an educational opportunity to enhance clinical understanding and acquire theoretical and practical knowledge in the surgical management of patients with coronary artery disease.

Click here for further information and to apply

4. Advanced Intensive Postoperative Care 2022

Application Deadline: 29 Sep 2021

This Fellowships offers an opportunity to gain experience in the postoperative management in adult cardiovascular surgery, as well as a wide exposure to minimally invasive and other advanced techniques in cardiovascular surgery.

Click here for further information and to apply.

EACTS is saddened by the loss of Hans Huysmans on 25 August 2021.

Hans Huysmans (1933-2021) 

EACTS is saddened by the loss of Hans Huysmans on 25 August 2021. Professor Hans Huysmans was one of the founding fathers of our Association. 

Hans was born into a family of doctors and started his career in general surgery. As a general surgeon he performed thoracic and also some cardiac procedures. He was then appointed as a professor of cardiothoracic surgery in Utrecht, the Netherlands. This was in the early days of heart surgery and our specialty was struggling to become a discipline that was independent of general surgery. In 1979 Hans switched to Leiden University where he was appointed as Gerard Brom’s successor. Professor Huysmans remained head of the department of cardiothoracic surgery in Leiden until 1998. 

Hans Huysmans has contributed much of his energy to the development of cardiothoracic surgery as an independent specialty, not only in his home country but also at a European level. Apart from being one of the founding members he was EACTS president from 1989-1990. Hans worked particularly hard to create a robust training programme for EACTS. The European Board of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (EBTCS) was founded in 1995 and is now a well-respected training programme with examinations in all different subspecialties of cardiothoracic surgery. 

Personally, I was accepted by him as a trainee in cardiothoracic surgery in Leiden, something that I have never regretted. Hans Huysmans was a technically gifted and universal surgeon with an endless patience for his residents. He supported his trainees as much as he could and was always friendly. Until the very end Hans continued to show a keen interest in our specialty. We will miss him and wish Anne-Marie and his family our sincere condolences and best wishes. 

Mark Hazekamp, President, EACTS 

Guidelines for the management of valvular heart disease

31 August 2021

The European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS) and European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Guidelines for the management of valvular heart disease were published online in the European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery on Saturday 28th of August 2021.

EACTS is proud of this collaborative joint guideline, including all members of the Heart Team. A discussion within the Heart Team should be the basis of all treatment decisions. This recommendation should be discussed with the patient, who can then make an informed decision.

We recognise there is considerable interest in the use of age cut-offs to assist in the choice of intervention for aortic stenosis. The evidence favours SAVR in some patients, TAVI in others, and either mode of intervention can be used for those in between. The Heart Team discussion is central in the care of these patients, and the guideline (table 6) details the clinical, anatomical and procedural factors that influence the choice of treatment modality for an individual patient.

Randomised controlled trials comparing SAVR to TAVI have included patients based on estimated risk, not age, and there has been no evidence of interaction between age and outcomes. Life expectancy for an individual patient is difficult to estimate; it varies widely across the world and is dependent on absolute age, sex, frailty, and the presence of comorbidities. Age was chosen as surrogate, considering the interplay between estimated life expectancy and prosthetic heart valve durability.

Despite the lack of evidence for age in determining intervention modality, it has been used in several other recent recommendations. The 2017 ESC/EACTS valvular heart disease guidelines already proposed an age limit of 75 as cut-off (in table 7). The ACC/AHA 2020 guidelines recommend TAVR >80, SAVR <65 and a Heart Team discussion for patients in between. The German Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery Associations’ consensus statement proposes SAVR for low-risk patients ≤70, TAVI for patients ≥75, and a Heart Team discussion for patients in between. The age cut-offs agreed-upon in the ESC/EACTS guidelines can be considered conservative in comparison and were the subject of intense and constructive discussions. As there are no new data regarding age since the 2017 ESC/EACTS guideline, the same age of 75 years was used as in the previous iteration.

The guidelines have advanced other areas. Increased experience and procedural safety have led to expanded indications toward earlier surgery in asymptomatic patients with aortic stenosis, aortic regurgitation and mitral regurgitation. Furthermore, these joint guidelines inaugurated the contribution of a methodology group. We are encouraged to expand the use of this group to all guidelines and putting into place an open process, with independent review of the evidence using validated tools such as the GRADE system, and avoiding conflicts of interest.

We look forward to a continuing fruitful collaboration on these joint guidelines with our colleagues from ESC, advancing a common European perspective on the evidence. These guidelines should be a living document, updated as new data is made available with longer follow-up, particularly in the low-risk trials.

A video summary of advances in these guidelines can be seen on ESC TV (, as well as the live session at ESC Congress (for registered users: A session with Heart Team members of the Taskforce will provide insight during the 35th EACTS Annual Meeting in Barcelona on October 14th

Rafael Sádaba, EACTS Secretary General

Friedhelm Beyersdorf, Chair of the EACTS Task Force for the ESC/EACTS Guidelines on Heart Valve Disease

Vacancy – Publications Director

Circa £50,000pa full-time, permanent

EACTS, Windsor, UK.

The European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery is Europe’s largest and leading membership Society for surgeons, perfusionists and health care professionals involved in cardiothoracic care and treatments. We are active in more than 50 countries worldwide and boast an engaged membership of 4,000.

Over the coming years, we will be growing the reach, impact and influence of the Association globally and our publications portfolio is a key element in our planning.  We now wish to appoint our first Publications Director to be responsible for the operational activities and strategic development of our two world-leading journals, the EJCTS and the ICTVS.

This role is ideally suited for an ambitious and strategic professional with a meticulous eye for detail. You will have at least a working knowledge of one of the major journal submissions systems such as Editorial Manager or ScholarOne and enjoy excellent time-management, communication and interpersonal skills.  A salary of circa £50,000 plus pension and benefits and a central Windsor based office location are on offer for the ideal candidate with remote, flexible working considered.


Please click on the link below to download the full Candidate Brief including Job Description.

Applications should consist of a full CV and a supporting letter, which should address key aspects of the responsibilities outlined here and the candidate’s personal suitability for the role.

Completed applications should be emailed to:  [email protected]
Closing date for applications: 24 September 2021
The appointment will be made subject to satisfactory references.

Highest ever Impact Factor for EACTS journals

13 July 2021

EACTS journals achieved their highest ever Impact Factors in 2020, according to new data published this July by global analytics firm Clarivate. 

The Impact Factor (IF) is a metric that represents the average number of citations in a particular year for articles published in the two previous years. It is an established indicator of the importance or rank of a journal.  

 Rafa Sadaba, EACTS’ Secretary General, said: “We are delighted that our journals have reached their highest ever Impact Factors. This achievement reflects the quality of their scientific content and our authors’ significant influence on advances in cardiothoracic surgery. 

“We hope these journals will have an even greater impact in the future. I encourage surgeons to submit their papers to our journals so that we can continue to advance our collective expertise and improve outcomes for patients.”  

EJCTS’ 2020 Impact Factor is 4.191, a substantial increase from 3.486 in 2019.  The 2020 Impact Factor for ICVTS is 1.905, up from 1.675 last year.  

  • European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery is a subscription journal.  As a member of EACTS you will automatically have full access to all content.
  • Interactive CardioVascular and Thoracic Surgery is now Open Access and is free to read without a subscription.
  • More information on EACTS journals is here



2 July 2021


The Council (also known as the Board of Trustees) is the governing, decision-making body of EACTS.  The Council is made up of up to 15 members who each serve for set terms, in different capacities, acting at all times in the best interests of the Association, our members and ultimately the patients that we serve. Council meets at least four times a year and some members of Council may also serve other Committees or Domains that meet more frequently.

Each Councillor will serve a set term (normally of up to three years) and each year a number of new Councillors are appointed as the terms of current Councillors come to an end. Councillors to be appointed must complete a process of Nomination (detailed below), selection and eventually, ‘election’ by the members at the General Assembly in October 2021.

Vacant Council Positions 2021

This year the following positions* on Council are to be filled.  A job description for each position is available by clicking on the title;

Vice President

Secretary General

Thoracic Disease Domain Chair

Congenital Disease Domain Chair

Councillor at large

The Process of Nomination and Selection

To ensure as fair and transparent a process as possible, EACTS Regulations (part of our governing document) stipulate that a Nominations Committee be established to oversee the Nomination and Selection process.  This year, the Committee is made up as follows;

  • Senior Past President; Marian Zembala (Chairman)
  • Past President: Ruggero De Paulis
  • Immediate Past President: Peter Licht
  • President: Mark Hazekamp
  • Secretary General: Rafa Sádaba

Any EACTS member can nominate a fellow member for a specified role on Council (there is no limit to the number of nominations a member can make). For avoidance of doubt, current Councillors, Domain and Task Force members may nominate, but members of the Nominations Committee may not.

In making a nomination, the person making the nomination must write a letter of support that includes;

  • a summary of the contribution that the person being nominated has made to his/her professional field,
  • the contribution made to the work of EACTS more broadly by the person being nominated, and
  • the skills and experiences the person being nominated will bring to Council and the specific role under consideration.

The person making the nomination should send a digital form of this letter, with a brief Curriculum Vitae of the person being nominated, to the Chair of the Nominations Committee via the dedicated EACTS e-mail address [email protected]

The closing date for Nominations is 6pm (CET) Friday 6 August 2021.

The Nominations Committee will consider all applications before making a recommendation to the EACTS Council.  Council will make the final decision as to those to be formally presented for election at the EACTS General Assembly on 15 October 2021 (Barcelona).  Those who have nominated candidates will be informed of the outcome of this decision before 15 October and those members to be nominated will also be contacted before the General Assembly voting process.


Secretary General

It is most likely that interviews will be held for nominees short-listed by the Nominations Committee for the Secretary General role. These interviews will take place, via Zoom, between 30 August and 10 September 2021.

The member elected to the role of Secretary General will spend one year shadowing the current Secretary General before taking up the post of Secretary General in October 2022.  The Secretary General term is for three years (beginning October 2022), renewable for up to a further two terms of three years (10 years in total).


Vice President

The Vice President will be elected in October 2021 with a view to becoming President in October 2022 and serving a final year on Council as Immediate Past President from October 2023.

*In October 2021, two other Councillor positions will also stand for election; the Honorary Treasurer and the Councillor at large (International Representative).  In June 2021, Council co-opted Mr Mark Whiteling to the role of Honorary Treasurer and Mark will stand for election in October 2021. Councillor at large (International Representative) is a role filled through invitation, by Council, to a representative of a sister Association (usually STS). Therefore, nominations will not be considered for these two roles.

EACTS News – June edition out now!

Welcome to the new EACTS NEWS!

We have launched a new look EACTS News, the quarterly member newsletter that keeps members up to date with the latest news and developments at EACTS.

The reintroduction of EACTS News, now in this digital only format, is part of our commitment to communicate better with our members.

We have much positive news to report. In this issue, you can find out more about:


Happy reading!

To learn more about EACTS educational programmes and events Sign-up to receive EACTS email

EACTS senior leadership update

Rafa Sadaba in lab coat

Secretary General Appointment
We are delighted to announce that Rafael Sádaba has been appointed as EACTS’ Secretary General.

Rafa is a hugely experienced Cardiothoracic Surgeon. He is an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Navarra and Head of Cardiovascular Research and Innovation at the Navarra Hospital Complex. His research interests have focused on the molecular and cellular basis of heart valve disease.

Rafa Sadaba, EACTS’ Secretary General said:

“The year ahead will see EACTS reconnecting with its members and we will continue to raise standards through education and training. By embracing new ways of learning and new technologies, we will aim to extend our reach to more surgeons worldwide. We look forward to seeing you – either virtually or in person – very soon.”

Since the beginning of the year, Rafa has been guiding the Association and bringing his energy to develop plans for the Annual Meeting. He will remain in the position until at least October.

We would like to thank Domenico Pagano for his service and dedication to EACTS. Domenico stepped down from his role as Secretary General earlier this year.

He has been our Secretary General since 2017 and, during this time, has enriched us all with his personality and approach. We all send Domenico our very best wishes for the future.

Registration now open for the 35th EACTS Annual Meeting

EACTS Secretary General, Rafael Sádaba invites you to discover and explore new technology and reconnect at the world’s largest cardiothoracic event.

Join us at the 35th EACTS Annual Meeting which takes place on 13-16 October 2021.

Registration is now open for the 35th EACTS Annual Meeting. Don’t miss out on the exciting opportunity to explore new scientific insights, learn about the latest innovations in cardiothoracic surgery and importantly, take part in some stimulating debates alongside global experts.

For the first time, the EACTS Annual Meeting will run in a hybrid format – delegates can attend in-person at the Barcelona International Convention Centre (CCIB) or via our new virtual platform. This new format means the Annual Meeting is accessible to members and colleagues around the world, regardless of location and ability to travel.

Starting on Wednesday 13 October with a full day showcasing new technology and innovation in our Techno College sessions, our world-class science will continue over the next 3 days (14-16 October) with a packed programme of education and discussion ranging from plenary sessions covering the latest guidelines and clinical trials, to informative debate through professional challenge, focus and abstract sessions and interactive hands-on training.

Some of the highlights of the 35th EACTS Annual Meeting include:

Techno College

EACTS’ Techno College has emerged as one of the leading meetings in cardiac surgery worldwide. Its unique format includes live surgery and interventions, live-in-box cases and state of the art lectures – educating surgeons and cardiologists on the appropriate use of new cardiovascular techniques and technologies.

This year’s programme provides in-depth reviews of current and future technologies, innovative methods and techniques in the field. We look forward to sharing more information on the day’s programme very soon.

Discounts are available for delegates booking both the hybrid Annual Meeting and Techno College sessions.

New for 2021 – EACTS Skills Corner

We are excited to announce our new educational offering for 2021 – the EACTS Skills Corner!  Delegates can expand their specialist knowledge and benefit from the skills of experienced surgeons through the EACTS Skills Corner– available both on site in Barcelona and via our new virtual platform!

Incorporating live demonstrations, step-by-step masterclasses and educational tutorials, the EACTS Skills Corner will provide delegates with in-depth training focusing on specific products, methods and techniques presented by a wealth of key opinion leaders.

With places limited at the in-person event, due to the need to ensure social distancing, we encourage EACTS members hoping to travel to Barcelona to book now to avoid disappointment.

MMCTS Residents’ Tutorial Competition

MMCTS residents tutorial competition

28 May 2021

MMCTS Residents’ Tutorial Competition

An EACTS & TSRA collaboration: Celebrating excellence in online surgical education

The European Association for Cardiothoracic Surgery (EACTS) and the Thoracic Surgery Residents Association (TSRA) are pleased to announce the launch of their new annual MMCTS Residents’ Tutorial Competition. The competition will recognize the best core skills video tutorial and will reward technical quality, surgical skills, and educational clarity.
Tutorials submitted to the competition will be eligible for publication in MMCTS (the Multimedia Manual of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery).
The aim of this new EACTS/TSRA initiative is to encourage residents to actively participate in the enduring shared mission of EACTS and the TSRA to advance education in the field of cardiac, thoracic, and vascular interventions.
The winner of the competition will receive the Marko Turina Award for Best MMCTS Residents’ Tutorial.
The deadline for entry into this year’s competition is July 31st.
For full competition details, entry requirements, and entry form, please visit MMCTS or contact Cori Mackin, Managing Editor, MMCTS.