​​Image of Dr. Vivek Rao
Dr. Vivek Rao, Division Chief, Cardiovascular Surgery, is among a host of Peter Munk Cardiac Centre physicians presenting their research at the three-day Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in Toronto. (Photo: PMCC). ​​

Several physicians, nurses and allied health professionals from the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, along with their colleagues from across Canada, will exchange knowledge and share information this weekend at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress (CCC), the largest annual meeting of its kind in the country.

Bringing together some of the world's leading medical minds in the field of cardiac and vascular disease, the three-day event beginning Saturday at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre is co-hosted by the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Dr. Vivek Rao, Division Chief, Cardiovascular Surgery at PMCC, will present science data evaluating novel techniques to improve organ preservation for transplant. He describes the specific impact of the knowledge dissemination from past Congress gatherings on his area of expertise.

"We've adopted better ICU care algorithms and reviewed our approach to both heart transplants and ventricular assist devices (VADs)," Dr. Rao says. "We continue to strive to increase our use of arterial grafts for coronary artery bypass grafting and to use minimally-invasive incisions for valve surgery."

Image of Dr. Heather Ross
Did you know?

The Canadian Cardiovascular Society:

  • Formed in 1947 by three physicians interested in collaborating with their colleagues.
  • More than 2,000 current members across Canada.
  • Dr. Heather Ross, cardiologist, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, is the current President.​

Dr. Heather Ross, cardiologist, Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, 
is the group’s current President. (Photo: PMCC)

Dr. Danna Spears, a cardiologist at PMCC focused on the electrical functioning of the heart, will discuss innovation that is enabling the "zero-fluoroscopy approach." Fluoroscopy is a type​ of imagi​ng technique involving x-rays.

"This is a novel approach to electrophysiology (EP) procedures that uses a complex mapping system rather than x-ray to complete diagnostic or therapeutic cases," says Dr. Spears. "This is an important aspect of the arrhythmia component of the U of T pregnancy and heart disease program, allowing us to offer women an interventional option when necessary, without the risk of radiation exposure to themselves or their fetus."

Vascular surgeon, Dr. Thomas Forbes, will share insight on interventions for thoracic aortic disease.

"The position statement offers evidence-based recommendations regarding the care of patients with thoracic aortic disease (dissections, aneurysms etc.)," says Dr. Forbes. He adds such recommendations provide, "certainty from the physician standpoint regarding indications for surgical intervention and what intervention is best, removes ambiguity around care of these complex problems which would directly lead to better patient care and improved outcomes after such high risk operations."

Cardiologist, Dr. Dinesh Thavendiranathan, recently-named Director of the Ted Rogers Program in Cardiotoxicity Prevention, will discuss more robust methods to manage patients receiving potentially cardiotoxic chemotherapy, and better understand the mechanisms of cardiotoxicity.

Top 10 things to know about the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress (CCC) 2015:
  1. 16th annual Canadian Cardiovascular Congress
  2. Theme:  Innovation and Collaboration: Pathways to the Heart
  3. More than 590 research studies to be presented from 14 countries
  4. 30 interactive workshops to be hosted by Canadian Cardiovascular Society members
  5. Top Canadian cardiovascular researchers will present "Featured Research."
  6. Art exhibit feature called "7,024th patient," a narrative study about patient experiences with open-heart surgery and recovery.
  7. A focus on cardio-oncology will look at the evaluation of patients at risk for cardiovascular complications of cancer therapy, and examine emerging techniques for the detection and prediction of cardi​otoxicity.
  8. App available for iOS and Android:  "CCC 2015"
  9. Two-day weekend programs for General Practitioners, and Community Cardiologists.
  10. Tweet using #CCCTO hashtag;  follow the conversation @SCC_CCS.​​
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