Cardiac Surgery Program

The Cardiac Surgery Program at St. Michael’s specializes in providing care to patients presented with conditions that affect the structures of the heart, such as valves, walls, muscles, or blood vessels. 

The goal of our team at the Terrence Donnelly Heart Centre is to provide you and your family with high quality care before, during and after your heart surgery. The journey through open-heart surgery is, by its very nature, extraordinarily stressful. We are devoted to helping you and your family alongside every step of the journey. / Our team works diligently to help support you and your family through every step of the journey. / The Cardiac Surgery Program staff are devoted to helping you and your family to navigate through this journey.

We offer both innovative and routine procedures, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (CABG)
  • Heart Valve replacement 
  • Aortic aneurysms 
  • Heart defect repair 
  • Cardiac tumor removal 
  • Minimally invasive valve surgery 
  • Hybrid ablations 
  • Surgical treatment of irregular heart rhythm

Physicians

Division Head of Cardiac Surgery, St. Michael’s Hospital
Program Director, Division of Cardiac Surgery, University of Toronto
Associate Professor, Department of Surgery & Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Dr. Yanagawa obtained his BSc and PhD from the University of British Columbia and his MD degree and Cardiac Surgery Residency from the University of Toronto. He has completed research fellowships at the University of Wales College of Medicine (Cardiff, UK), National Cardiovascular Center (Osaka, Japan) and at St Michael’s Hospital (Toronto, Canada). He completed an Advanced Valvular Fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York. He has published over 90 peer reviewed papers, 50 reviews and 15 book chapters including publications in Nature Communications, Nature Medicine, Circulation, Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery and Annals of Thoracic Surgery. He was the AATS 13th Annual C. Walton Lillehei Award winner in 2010. He is the current Director of the Canadian Society of Cardiac Surgeons Equity-Diversity-Inclusion Taskforce and the Director of the National Residency Bootcamp. Dr. Yanagawa is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in cardiac surgery locally and Nationally.

Clinical interests and areas of expertise: Endocarditis, surgical revascularization

Academic interests (research, teaching/education, quality improvement etc.): Endocarditis, Teaching; Equity-Diversity-Inclusion

Department: Surgery

Division: Cardiovascular Surgery

Clinics: Cardiovascular Surgery

Languages: English, Japanese

Contact information: 

Office: 416-864-5706

Clinical: 416-864-5706

Admin: 416-864-5706

Fax: 416-864-5031

Location: St. Michael’s Hospital

Staff Cardiovascular Surgeon & Associate Professor
Director, Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery
St. Michael’s Hospital
Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto

Dr. Gianluigi Bisleri is an esteemed associate professor of surgery at the University of Toronto and a dedicated staff cardiac surgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital. After completing his medical education at the University of Brescia in Italy, he pursued his residency at the University of Padua. With over 18 years of experience, Dr. Bisleri is a highly skilled cardiac surgeon who holds licenses to practice in both Canada and Italy.

Dr. Bisleri’s commitment to excellence is evident through his active membership in various professional scientific societies and boards. He consistently surpasses the standards set by the nation’s leading surgeons, firmly believing that exceptional patient care requires a foundation built upon experience, continuous education, and advancements in modern medical technology.

Driven by a passion for innovation, Dr. Bisleri is dedicated to exploring new frontiers in the field of cardiac surgery. He focuses on areas of critical importance such as minimally invasive procedures, complex aortic arch diseases, and heart valve treatments. By integrating cutting-edge technologies and techniques into his practice, he seeks to address the evolving needs of his patients and contribute to advancements in the field of cardiac surgery.

Clinical Interests and Areas of Expertise: Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery

Academic interests (research, teaching/education, quality improvement etc.): Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery

Department: Surgery
Division: Cardiovascular Surgery
Clinics: Structural Heart, Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery
Languages: English and Italian
Location: St. Michael’s Hospital

Division Head of Cardiac Surgery, St Michael’s Hospital
Vice-Chair Education, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto
Director of MD Admissions and Student Finances, University of Toronto

Dr. David Latter graduated from McGill University in 1982. He completed residencies in General Surgery and Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at McGill University (1982-1989) and a clinical fellowship in Thoracic Transplantation at Stanford University in California (1990). Dr. Latter was a member of the Division of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at the Royal Victoria Hospital, McGill University from 1991 to 1996. In addition to practicing a range of general cardiac surgery, he also served as the Director of Heart and Lung Transplantation and has performed over 200 transplants during his six years in Montreal. In 1996, Dr. Latter was appointed to a position at the University of Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital Division of Cardiac Surgery and has been a Professor in the Department of Surgery since 2015. During his 22 years at the University of Toronto, Dr. Latter has held various positions, including Chair of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Examination Board (2001-2004), Program Director of the Cardiac Surgery Residency Program (2003-2009), Acting Chair of the Department of Surgery (May 2010-April 2011), Director of Clinical Fellows (2006-2016) and Vice Chair of Education (2008-2016) for the University of Toronto Department of Surgery, Director of MD Admissions and Student Finances (2019-present), and Division Head of Cardiac Surgery St. Michael’s Hospital (2011-2022). Dr. Latter specializes in adult cardiac surgery with a special interest in mitral valve surgery.

Clinical interests and areas of expertise: Adult cardiac surgery

Academic interests (research, teaching/education, quality improvement etc.): gene therapy for end stage coronary artery disease using VEGF genes, randomized trial comparing OBCAB to conventional bypass surgery, and a new valve trial.

Publications: Link

Department: Surgery

Division: Cardiovascular Surgery

Clinics: Cardiovascular Surgery

Languages Spoken: English, French

Contact information: 

Phone: 416-864-5366

Fax: 416-864-6067

Location: St. Michael’s Hospital

Cardiac Surgeon-Scientist, St Michael’s Hospital
Professor, Departments of Surgery, Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Toronto
Canada Research Chair in Cardiovascular Surgery

Dr. Subodh Verma is a cardiac surgeon-scientist, Full Professor, and the Canada Research Chair in Cardiovascular Surgery, having previously served as the Canada Research Chair in Atherosclerosis. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, a member of the Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, and a past recipient of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada Gold Medal in Surgery. In 2022, Dr. Verma was named a Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher in Clinical Medicine. In May 2023, Dr. Verma was bestowed the University of Calgary Cumming School Medicine Alumnus of Distinction Award for Research. He is the current Scientific Program Committee Chair for the Canadian Society of Cardiac Surgeons, and he is an active contributor to Canadian clinical practice guidelines. He had/has leadership roles in multiple contemporary global heart failure and cardiometabolic trials. Dr. Verma founded the CardioLink platform that united cardiac surgeons from across Canada to conduct robust clinical trials to better inform on surgical decision-making pathways. He also leads a dynamic pre-clinical and translational research team that leverages pre-clinical disease models and clinical trial-derived data to identify novel mediators of cardiometabolic diseases.

Clinical interests and areas of expertise: Cardiac Surgery, Cardiometabolic Disease, Heart Failure

Academic interests (research, teaching/education, quality improvement etc.): Research, education, guidelines, clinical trials

Publications: Link

Department: Surgery

Division: Cardiac Surgery

Clinics: Cardiac Surgery

Languages: English, Gujarati, Hindi, Panjabi/Punjab

Contact information: 

Phone: 416-864-5997

Admin: 416-864-5997

Fax: 416-864-5881

Location: St. Michael’s Hospital

Our team

Program Coordinator – Sarah Withers

Administrative Assistants:

  • Marsha Vanwiechan (Dr. Yanagawa)
  • Andrea Janicki (Dr. Latter)
  • Bethany Harington (Dr. Bisleri)
  • Gregory Evans (Dr. Verma)
  • Elizabeth Misner

Location

St. Michael’s Hospital

30 Bond St.,
Toronto, ON
M5B 1W8
The main entrance is located near Queen St. East and Victoria St. The Bond St. entrance is not open to the public at this time.

Contact

Telephone: 416-864-6084

Fax: 416-864-6086

Patients

  • Guide to Cardiac Surgery (Coming soon)
  • Recovering from open heart surgery (Coming soon)
  • Pre-Op Questionnaire (Coming soon)
  • Preparing for PAF Appointment (Coming soon)
  • Northern Travel Grant Application
  • Accommodations List (Coming soon)
  • Day Surgery Directions (Coming soon) 
  • Directions to PAF (Coming soon)