Structural Heart Program

The Structural Heart 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. 

Doing what is best for the patient is at the heart of St. Michael’s philosophy. At the Structural Heart Program, our experts work together to minimize risk, maximize safety while improving both quality and quantity of life by offering minimally-invasive heart procedures. This allows for faster recovery and shorter hospital stays.

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

  • Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR/TAVI)
  • Transcatheter Mitral Valve Replacement (TMVR)
  • Transcatheter Tricuspid Valve Replacement (TTVR)
  • Mitral and Tricuspid Clip
  • Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) Closure
  • Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) Closure
  • Left Atrial Appendage (LAA) Closure 
  • Balloon Valvuloplasty
  • Paravalvular Leak Repair
  • Transcatheter Congenital Heart interventions (transcatheter closure of PFO, ASD, VSD, PDA, and transcatheter Coarctation of aorta repair).
    • Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) Closure
    • Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) Closure

Physicians

Here at the Structural Heart Program, we are passionate about what we do. We work collaboratively as a Heart Team to provide the best care for our patients. Our team consists of structural heart experts including Cardiac Surgeons, Interventional Cardiologists, Echocardiographers, Cardiac Anaesthesiologists, Nurse Practitioners, Nurses, Technicians, Clerical and Administrative Support, and other allied health professionals who collaborate together for the benefit of our patients.

St. Michael’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Cardiology, University of Toronto

Dr. Alnasser received his medical degree from King Saud University in Riyadh in 2004. He completed training in Internal Medicine at McMaster University and Fellowship in Cardiology, interventional Structural and Congenital Cardiology at The University of Toronto. He is a staff Interventional Cardiologist at St Michael’s Hospital.

Dr. Alnasser is the Site Director for the Cardiology Residency program at St Michael’s Hospital and the Cardiac Lead at Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute Simulation Lab. Dr. Alnasser codirects the Brain and Heart Innovative Clinic Center and is the lead physician for the Stroke Of unknown Cause Clinic (SOCC).

efore joining St. Michael’s, Dr. Alnasser codirected the Structural Heart program at Health sciences North and and helped establish several programs in North Ontario including minimally invasive transcatheter aortic valve implantation , transcatheter atrial septal defect closures as well as ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) for patients with Cardiogenic Shock.

He had several publications in the field of Structural and Congenital Cardiology including analysis of the Ontario Ministry of Health data to understand the long-term outcomes after transcatheter atrial septal defect closure in comparison to the general population. Other work included comparisons of various transcatheter heart valves in the management of aortic valve disease and the safety of early hospital discharge after TransCatheter aortic valve implantation in North Ontario and rural areas.

Academic Interests (Research, Teaching/Education, Quality Improvement etc.): Stroke and congenital heart disease; health care delivery in rural areas.

Publications: Link

Department: Medicine

Division: Cardiology

Clinics: Stroke Of unknown Cause Clinic (SOCC), Structural Heart Clinic

Contact Information: Clinic: 416-864-5905

Fax: 416-864-5566

Email: referrals@unityhealth.to

Admin: 416-864-5685

Location: St. Michael’s Hospital

Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto

Dr. Akshay Bagai is a practicing interventional cardiologist and Director of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at St. Michael’s Hospital. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr. Bagai received his MD and trained in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at the University of Toronto. He completed his training in Interventional Cardiology at St. Michael’s Hospital. He obtained a Master’s degree in Health Sciences from the Clinical Research Training Program at Duke University, USA.  He returned to Toronto and joined the Division of Cardiology at St. Michael’s Hospital in 2013.  His clinical and research interests are closely aligned and include complex, high risk and total occlusion percutaneous coronary intervention, and transcatheter interventions for mitral and tricuspid valve disease.

Clinical interests and areas of expertise: Complex and high-risk coronary intervention, transcatheter mitral and tricuspid valve intervention

Academic interests (research, teaching/education, quality improvement etc.):  Observational registries and mechanistic phase II clinical trials. Two specific areas of investigations are: 1) Complex and high-risk coronary intervention, and 2) Transcatheter mitral and tricuspid valve intervention

Department: Medicine

Division: Cardiology

Clinics: General Cardiology, Structural Heart, CTO/Complex PCI

Languages: English, Hindi, Punjabi

Contact information:

Office number: 416-864-5783

Clinical: 416-864-5973

Admin: 416-864-5783

Fax: 416-864-6021

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 more than 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

Contact information:

Location: St. Michael’s Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto
Director, FitzGerald Academy, University of Toronto

Dr. Jeremy Edwards earned undergraduate degrees in electrical engineering and medicine at the University of Toronto before going on to complete postgraduate training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology. Subsequently, he completed a two-year fellowship in Echocardiography at St. Michael’s Hospital. He joined the Department of Medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital, University of Toronto in 2011 as an Adult Cardiologist with a clinical interest in valvular heart disease and interventional echocardiography. He has held a number of medical education leadership roles prior to becoming the FitzGerald Academy Director in October 2021.

Clinical interests and areas of expertise: Valvular heart disease, echocardiography, interventional echocardiography

Academic interests (research, teaching/education, quality improvement etc.): Education

Publications: Link

Department: Medicine

Division: Cardiology

Clinics: General Cardiology, Structural Heart

Languages: English

Contact information: 

Office: 416-864-5201

Clinical: 416-864-5606

Admin: 416-864-5201

Fax: 416-864-6072

Location: St. Michael’s Hospital

Director, Structural Heart Program, St. Michael’s Hospital
Schroeder Chair in Structural and Valve Innovation
Interventional Cardiologist, St. Michael’s Hospital

Dr. Neil Fam is the Director of the Structural Heart Program at St. Michael’s Hospital and the Schroeder Chair in Structural and Valve Innovation. He is an Associate Professor in the Division of Cardiology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Fam obtained his medical degree, Internal Medicine and Cardiology training at the University of Toronto. He subsequently completed a clinical fellowship in Interventional Cardiology at St. Michael’s Hospital. Dr. Fam’s clinical and research interests include structural heart intervention with a focus on valvular disease, performing multiple first-in-human, innovative procedures including the first transfemoral tricuspid valve replacement, the first PASCAL transcatheter tricuspid valve repair and the first transjugular transcatheter mitral valve repair. He has also received multiple teaching awards at the undergraduate and postgraduate level at the University of Toronto. Dr. Fam has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers and serves as associate editor and reviewer for several high profile cardiology journals

Clinical Interests and Areas of Expertise:Structural heart intervention with a focus on valvular disease, complex percutaneous coronary intervention.

Academic Interests (Research, Teaching/Education, Quality Improvement etc.): Clinical research and education in structural and valve disease, PCI.

Publications: Link

Department: Medicine

Division: Cardiology

Clinics: Structural Heart, Valve Clinic, Interventional Cardiology

Languages Spoken: English

Contact Information: 

Admin Phone: 416-864-5939

Patient Phone: 416-864-5466

Structural Heart Clinic: 416-864-5442

Fax: 416-864-5914

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

Cardiologist-Echocardiographer, St. Michael’s Hospital
Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto

Dr. Geraldine Ong is a highly accomplished Cardiologist-Echocardiographer, Clinician Investigator, and Assistant Professor of Medicine at St. Michael’s Hospital.

Dr. Ong specializes in Interventional Echocardiography and is an esteemed St. Michael’s Structural Heart Team member. She earned her medical degree at the University of Montreal in Montreal and completed her post-graduate training at Laval University in Quebec City. She pursued a Fellowship in Echocardiography at St. Michael’s Hospital and a Fellowship in Interventional Echocardiography at Columbia University/Cardiovascular Research Foundation.

Her qualifications include specialist certificates in Cardiology and Internal Medicine from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and she has successfully passed the Special Competence Examination in Adult Echocardiography conducted by the National Board of Echocardiography.

Dr. Ong’s remarkable achievements have been acknowledged with prestigious awards, such as the Polo Chair in Cardiology Young Investigator Award, and she was a finalist in the Arthur E. Weyman Young Investigator Award Competition.

Her primary research focus revolves around disseminating knowledge about the clinical efficacy and outcomes of patients undergoing transcatheter valvular interventions, with the ultimate goal of raising awareness and improving patient care. Dr. Ong is particularly passionate about fostering multidisciplinary and multicenter collaborations to extend the global impact of innovative technologies. Her clinical and research interests also include aortic valve disease and aortopathy. She is a co- investigator in many multicentric registries for patients with aortopathy and connective tissue disease. As an early-career investigator, she has published more than 50 peer-reviewed papers. She is a sought-after speaker and has delivered lectures and presentations at numerous cardiology national and international meetings.

As a devoted educator, Dr. Ong is deeply committed to developing the next generation of leaders in cardiology. She views this responsibility as integral to her success as an academic physician. She remains dedicated to teaching residents and fellows, enabling them to attain a high level of competence in cardiology. Additionally, she takes pride in mentoring her trainees, instilling in them the qualities of sensitivity, thoughtfulness, and progressiveness that are essential for future leaders in the field.

Her teaching efforts are concentrated in the following areas: echocardiography and interventional echocardiography, general cardiology, and research supervision.

Dr. Geraldine Ong’s contributions to the field of cardiology and echocardiography have left a lasting impact, and she continues to be a driving force in advancing medical knowledge and patient care.

Clinical Interests and Areas of Expertise: interventional echocardiography.

Academic Interests (Research, Teaching/Education, Quality Improvement etc.): teaching/education; disseminating knowledge about the clinical efficacy and outcomes of patients undergoing transcatheter valvular interventions

Publications: Link

Department: Medicine

Division: Cardiology, Interventional Echocardiography

Clinics: Cardiology Clinic, Structural Heart

Languages: English, French

Contact information: 

Office: 416-864-6508

Administrative Assistant:

Alyssa Quizeo

Clinical Assistant (Cardiology Clinic):

Stacy Caissie

Tel: 416-864-5376

Fax: 416-864-6021

Clinical Assistant (Structural Clinic):

Claire Daren Macabunga

 

Location: St. Michael’s Hospital

Clinic staff

Nurse Practitioner – Nida Ali

Program Coordinator – Jennifer Holmes

Administrative Assistant – Claire Macabunga

Research Coordinators – Ivana Kandic, Alana Harrington, Emma Rochon

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.

7-483 Room, Floor 7
Donnelly Wing

Contact

Telephone: 416-864-5442
Fax: 416-864-5768
Email:  StructuralHC@smh.ca

Hours

Monday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Patients

You must receive a referral from your health-care provider to access this clinic.

Test information and locations

Aortic valve

Mitral valve 

Tricuspid valve

Left atrial appendage/other interventions

Other useful links

Health-care Providers


Referrals
Please use the below form to refer your patients.

Structural Heart Program Referral Form