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From science fiction to "almost routine"

Dr. Vivel Rao and his surgical team

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Dr. Vivek Rao (centre), cardiac surgeon, is an international expert in mechanical heart technology.

Heart surgery techniques and technologies once considered futuristic are now closer to reality

Permanent artificial hearts, holographic image-guided surgery, “incisionless” operations and reviving dead hearts to use intransplant recipients may sound like the stuff of science fiction.

But they’re all expected in the cardiac surgery of the future at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (PMCC). Supported by generous benefactors, a culture of innovation and a visionary team that spans disciplines and is dedicated to cutting-edge research, even the most futuristic cardiovascular therapies don’t seem so far off.

“The field is changing dramatically,” says Vivek Rao, 48, Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at PMCC, who holds the Munk Chair in Advanced Cardiac Therapeutics and is Surgical Director of the centre’s artificial heart program.