STS Fact Sheet

  • Founded in 1964, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons is an international not-for-profit organization representing cardiothoracic surgeons, researchers, and other health care professionals who are part of the cardiothoracic surgery team. STS members are dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcomes for surgeries of the heart, lung, and esophagus, as well as other surgical procedures within the chest.
  • STS has more than 7,800 members in 100 countries.
  • STS has approximately 80 employees and is headquartered in Chicago, with an additional office in Washington, DC.
  • The Society’s mission is to advance cardiothoracic surgeons' delivery of the highest quality patient care through collaboration, education, research, and advocacy.
  • The Society’s core values are leadership, quality, professionalism, innovation, collaboration, as well as diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • The STS Annual Meeting is one of the largest cardiothoracic surgery meetings in the world. The 2023 STS 59th Annual Meeting attracted approximately 2,055 professional registrants from 46 countries.
  • STS offers educational opportunities throughout the year in the form of in-person and online courses, including the Annual Meeting Online, webinars, and podcasts. Educational topics focus on new and emerging technologies, surgical techniques, and management of patient care.
  • The STS National DatabaseTM was established in 1989 as an initiative for quality improvement and patient safety among cardiothoracic surgeons. The Database has four components—Adult Cardiac, General Thoracic, Congenital Heart Surgery, and the Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (Intermacs) Database. Anesthesiology participation also is available within the Congenital Heart Surgery and Adult Cardiac Surgery Databases. The Database has participants in 9 countries, including the United States (all 50 states), Canada, Brazil, Cayman Islands, India, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.
    • The STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database (ACSD) is the world’s premier clinical registry for cardiac surgery. The Database houses approximately 8 million surgical records and currently has more than 3,600 participating physicians, including surgeons and anesthesiologists, representing more than 95% of the groups that perform cardiac surgery in the United States. 
    • The STS General Thoracic Surgery Database (GTSD) is the largest and most robust clinical thoracic surgical database in the United States and Canada. The GTSD contains more than 700,000 general thoracic surgery procedure records and currently has approximately 1,000 participating physicians.
    • The STS Congenital Heart Surgery Database (CHSD) is one of the largest clinical registries in the world for congenital cardiac procedures. The CHSD contains approximately 600,000 congenital heart surgery procedure records and currently has more than 1,000 participating physicians, including surgeons and anesthesiologists, representing more than 95% of all congenital heart surgery hospitals in the United States and Canada.
    • The STS Intermacs Database, which became part of the STS National Database on January 1, 2018, is a North American registry for the clinical outcomes of patients who receive a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved mechanical circulatory support device to treat advanced heart failure. The registry includes 219 sites and more than 38,000 patients. 
  • Launched in 2011, the STS Research Center is a nationally recognized leader in outcomes research. The Center seeks to capitalize on the value of the STS National Database and other resources to provide scientific evidence and support cutting-edge research that ultimately helps cardiothoracic surgeons, government, industry, and other interested parties improve surgical outcomes and the quality of patient care.
  • STS has partnered with the American College of Cardiology to create the STS/ACC TVT RegistryTM, a data repository developed to track patient safety and real-world outcomes related to transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). The TVT Registry, which launched in December 2011, has since added mitral valve procedures. To date, 763 sites have entered approximately 400,000 patient records.
  • As a national leader in health care transparency and accountability, STS believes the public has a right to know the quality of surgical outcomes. To further this goal, the Society has established the STS Public Reporting initiative, which allows participants in the STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database, the Congenital Heart Surgery Database, and the General Thoracic Surgery Database to voluntarily publicly report their surgical outcomes. In addition, U.S. News and World Report offers STS public reporters credit when compiling rankings of best hospitals. The percentage of STS National Database participants currently enrolled in public reporting includes:
    • ACSD: 81.2%
    • GTSD: 43.9%
    • CHSD: 90.6%
  • The Annals of Thoracic Surgery is the official journal of STS and the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association. It has an impact factor of 5.113.
  • First published in 1965, The Annals of Thoracic Surgery is an international, peer-reviewed journal that provides original research in cardiothoracic surgery and related areas. This leading monthly journal annually receives approximately 3,000 manuscripts for consideration and maintains rigorous acceptance standards and competitive turnaround times under the leadership of Editor-in-Chief Joanna Chikwe, MD. In spring 2022, The Annals launched Annals Short Reports—a fully open access companion journal.
  • STS advocates for cardiothoracic surgery professionals, as well as their patients, to help ensure the best possible care. STS carries to Washington the message of what meaningful health care reform means for cardiothoracic surgery professionals and promotes policies aimed at improving quality and reducing health care costs.
  • STS-PAC is the only political action committee in Washington that exclusively represents cardiothoracic surgeons.
  • STS provides administrative management services and staff support for four affiliate organizations, including its
    charitable arm—The Thoracic Surgery Foundation:
  • In 2016, the Society launched a patient information website at ctsurgerypatients.orgThe Patient Guide to Heart, Lung, and Esophageal Surgery is available in English and Spanish and provides easily understandable information, videos, and graphics on adult heart disease, pediatric and congenital heart disease, lung, esophageal, and other chest diseases, and heart and lung transplantation.

The information included in this section was last updated February 2023.