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Department of Surgery

Chief's Message

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Media Component
Dr. Kenneth Liao
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The Division of Cardiothoracic Transplantation and Circulatory Support, within the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine, is a world leader in heart and lung transplant and circulatory support surgery.  Under the leadership of the former chief, legendary transplant pioneer Dr. O. Howard “Bud” Frazier, professor of surgery, more than 1,300 heart transplants and 1,300 ventricular assist device (VAD) implants have been performed at Texas Heart Institute (THI)/Baylor St. Luke Medical Center over the past 35 years, making it one of the world’s highest volume programs. Our faculty members foster a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach to treat the most complex and challenging cases of end-stage heart and lung failure—patients often turned down by other centers.

Currently, our research team is working to create a total artificial heart that will deliver blood using continuous flow rather than pulsation. This device is smaller, more reliable, and more durable than previous generations of artificial hearts. We are also using a novel ex vivo organ perfusion system to study and resuscitate donor hearts after circulatory death for heart transplantation.  

The thoracic surgery residents, who rotate in our division, gain exposure to different ventricular assist devices and have the opportunity to learn implantation techniques for such devices and to learn minimally invasive and hybrid approaches for treating structural heart disease. In addition to training our cardiothoracic surgical residents, we offer fellowships in Cardiothoracic Transplant & Mechanical Circulatory Support and the TMC Biodesign innovation programs. These fellowships provide important opportunities for trainees, who are drawn from all around the world, to learn from leaders in their specialty.

Our website will introduce you to our faculty members, who are top physicians with outstanding training and clinical expertise. I invite you to read about them and their work. If you are interested in having a clinical consultation or collaborating with any of us, please contact us directly to set an appointment.

Kenneth K. Liao, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor and Chief
Division of Cardiothoracic Transplantation and Circulatory Support
Department of Surgery
Baylor College of Medicine