The latest advances in mitral valve repair and replacement include a shift toward the transseptal platform. Four leading experts discuss how catheter-based techniques will re-emulate the gold standard for mitral valve surgery, the important role of 3D Echo technology, the need for transseptal puncture skills, and navigating the local politics. 

Health care professionals tend to be traditional and conservative when it comes to practice, so incorporating new technologies and innovations into the hospital and the operating room can be a challenge. Four cardiothoracic surgery change drivers — Shanda Blackmon, MD, MPH (Mayo Clinic), James Luketich, MD (UPMC Presbyterian), T. Sloan Guy, MD, MBA (Weill Cornell Medical Medicine), and Linda W. Martin, MD, MPH (University of Virginia) — provide advice on how to get buy-in from hospital administrators, as well as team members.

Two studies presented at the recent STS Annual Meeting showed that surgical therapy is superior to alternative treatment approaches for both esophageal cancer and coronary artery disease in younger patients. In light of these findings, Robbin G. Cohen, MD, MMM (University of Southern California), Mark S. Allen, MD (Mayo Clinic), Sebron W. Harrison, MD (Weill-Cornell Medicine), and Alan M.

On average, it takes 17 years before new innovation is disseminated into clinical practice. How can cardiothoracic surgery change that statistic and speed up the process? Juan A. Sanchez, MD (St. Agnes HealthCare Baltimore) moderates a discussion with Michael S.

Should patients remain active before, during, and after cardiac surgery? Some surgeons have opposing views. Thomas G. Gleason, MD, from the University of Pittsburgh, and Edward P. Chen, MD, from Emory University, discuss the role of exercise in the treatment and recovery process following surgery for various forms of heart disease, especially among active patients.

Numerous studies predict growing shortages in the physician workforce in the United States, especially among cardiothoracic surgeons. Moderator Alan M. Speir, MD (Inova Heart and Vascular Institute) and panelists J. Michael DiMaio, MD (The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano), Keith A. Horvath, MD (American Association of Medical Colleges), Stephen J. Lahey, MD (University of Connecticut), Ourania A. Preventza, MD (Michael DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center), and Raymond J.

Recognizing the growing diversity of the population and patients in the US, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons created a special Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion to help cultivate an environment of inclusion and diversity within the Society, as well as the cardiothoracic surgery specialty.

STS surgeon leaders Drs. Douglas J. Mathisen, Keith S. Naunheim, and Raymond L. Singer share what makes STS-PAC, the only political action committee that exclusively represents cardiothoracic surgery, so important and why should contribute. Learn more

In this roundtable discussion, Vinay Badhwar, MD, James R. Edgerton, MD, Niv Ad, MD, and Richard J. Shemin, MD discuss what's new in the treatment of atrial fibrillation, ways to adopt new techniques, and evidence-based decisions.