In This Video
- Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an immense strain on health care institutions around the world
- Thor Sundt, MD, chief of the Division of Cardiac Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, explains how the division he leads responded to the COVID-19 crisis
- The division's multidisciplinary approach and functionality aided their response and moved the division toward recovery
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an immense strain on health care institutions across the world. Thor Sundt, MD, chief of the Division of Cardiac Surgery and co-director of the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, discusses how the functionality of the division and a multidisciplinary approach aided their response to the COVID-19 crisis and moved the division toward recovery.
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Thor Sundt, I'm the Chief of Cardiac Surgery at the Mass General Hospital. I'm delighted to spend some time with you today talking about how our division functions, the Division of Cardiac Surgery at Mass General and how that has helped us to respond to the COVID crisis and the rebound from it… we hope the recovery from it, in the care of your patients.
So we've established the division very much as a group practice with an attitude of shared success so each member of the division, while they are all around players to some degree, also have a subspecialty interest in particular. So we have several surgeons who are focused on aortic disease and the treatment of aortic aneurysmal disease, several other surgeons who are focused on end-stage heart disease, ventricular assist devices, transplantation, etc., another group of surgeons who are really focused on the treatment of valvular heart disease, repair and replacement, and transcatheter valve replacement, which is something we do collaboratively with our Cardiology group, and others that really focus on coronary artery disease.
We refer cases to one another if we're tied up, if we're busy and that allows us to improve access to care. We also think it's critically important to interact in a multidisciplinary way with all the fantastic physicians that are here at Mass General. So of course, we work very closely with the cardiologists. Surgeons and cardiologists work together in the hybrid operating room to deliver care to those patients and there's no doubt in my mind that that's the best way to deliver high-quality care.
We also have multidisciplinary efforts in other areas such as the treatment of pericardial disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and we have inter-institutional collaborations as well. So for example, we're participating in an exciting study that's actually international from our colleagues in Canada and the study is looking at the best treatment for patients with moderate dilatation of the ascending aorta, and the truth is, we don't know what to do with patients with an aorta between 4.5 and 5.5 cm. So this study is to really look at those patients and see if we can tell what the predictors are of complications, dissection, etc., so we can better inform ourselves and our patients when we should intervene on those patients.
So in these ways, our Division of Cardiac Surgery at Mass General is multispecialty within itself, multidisciplinary within this incredible institution, where we're surrounded by internationally renowned experts in so many fields, and we also interact in a very significant way with our professional colleagues at other institutions nationally and, in fact, internationally.
Learn more about the Division of Cardiac Surgery
Visit the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center