Cardiac surgery

This specialty deals principally with cardiac and thoracic diseases that require surgical intervention so that there is a close working relationship with the cardiology and respiratory medical services.
Our surgeons deal with the common cardiac problems of coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease and bradyarrhythmias & tachyarrhythmias.
Common problems dealt with by our thoracic specialist include lung Cancer & mesothelioma, surgical management of empyema, management of chest wall injuries, surgical management of the solitary pulmonary nodule and surgical management of pneumothorax & pleural effusions.

Cardio-thoracic Surgery was commissioned at Canberra Hospital in February 1998. Our record for complications is enviable, far below the national averages for both wound infections and mortality.

While the Cardiothoracic Unit is part of the larger Intensive Care Unit, it is a discrete bay, separate from the general beds. The nursing staff (RNs),are also from the general ICU staff, but are further trained in the special needs of the Cardiac Surgery patient.

The predominant type of surgery performed in the Unit is coronary artery bypass grafts, coronary valve surgery (both repairs and replacement); adult congenital heart disease repairs and thoracic aortic surgery also done. Keyhole (minimally-invasive) surgery is also offered for selected valve operations.

Generally, two cases per day are performed, Monday to Thursday inclusive. The average length of stay in the ICU is 20 - 24 hours, after which the patients are transferred to the High Dependency Unit (HDU) on ward 6B.


Phone:  (02) 624 43906


Postal address

Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit

PO Box 11