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Matthew Gerdisch Arrhythmia Fellow Joins Cardiac Surgery Section

Taras Lysyy, MD, MCh, an expert cardiac surgeon from Ukraine, was awarded the highly selective and inaugural Matthew Gerdisch Arrhythmia Fellowship from the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS). This fellowship allows for the awardee to spend a year at expert centers around the world to study in-depth surgery for arrhythmias.

The chosen candidate participates in a rigorous, tailored curriculum with access to world-class programs alongside surgeons and cardiologists who excel in ablative arrhythmia procedures and left atrial appendage management. The Matthew Gerdisch Fellowship in Arrhythmia Surgery is awarded annually to early career cardiac surgeons to support the careers of future leaders in the field.

Dr. Lysyy has chosen to spend most of the year with the Section of Cardiac Surgery at Washington University under the mentorship of Dr. Ralph Damiano, MD. 

Cardiac Surgeon Taras Lysyy, MD, MCh

Dr. Lysyy holds positions as an Associate Research Scientist in Surgery with the Yale University Department of Surgery and with Doctors United for Ukraine. He has served as a member of faculty at the Amosov National Institute of Cardiovascular Surgery in Kyiv, Ukraine. His research interests include cardiac surgery and transplant, and his publications cover topics such as cognitive and functional status after coronary artery bypass surgery, the development of vascular conduits through tissue engineering and three-dimensional bioprinting, and cellular recovery after prolonged warm ischemia.   

Lysyy completed his medical training at Ternopil State Medical University and his master’s degree in cardiac surgery at Shupik National Medical Academy of Post-Graduate Education in Ukraine. He completed a James L. Cox Fellowship in Atrial Fibrillation Surgery from the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) with the Section of Cardiac Surgery at Washington University in 2016. 

With an extensive professional resume, Lysyy now returns to the section through this second AATS fellowship. The program includes major centers in the U.S. and Europe to achieve specific exposure and educational experiences with direct access to AATS mentors, including Ralph Damiano, Jr., MD, chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Barnes Jewish Hospital. Damiano specializes in atrial fibrillation (AF), valve and artery surgeries, minimally invasive and complex heart surgery, and bypass surgery.  

“We are honored that Dr. Lysyy chose Washington University to be his host center for this prestigious award,” says Damiano. “He comes to us with excellent training and experience, and I have no doubt that he will be a future leader in this area. He will be exposed both to our clinical and basic research programs during his stay with us, and we hope to provide him a strong foundation for future contributions in the field.”   

Arrhythmia Surgery at Washington University

The history of arrhythmia surgery at WashU is a tradition of innovation through dedicated research and clinical excellence. The Cox-Maze procedure for AF was first developed and performed at Washington University in 1987. The less invasive Cox-Maze IV was pioneered by Damiano and introduced to clinical practice in 2002. The Section of Cardiac Surgery at WashU is recognized globally as the birthplace of arrhythmia surgery and for continuous contributions to advancing the field. The section has been continuously funded by the NIH for over 35 years to study and progress the surgical treatment of AF and other arrhythmias.  

A recent study, published in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery by Damiano and his research group, reported long-term outcomes and durability of the Cox-Maze IV. The investigators demonstrated the effectiveness and safety of the procedure in patients with AF by studying long-term rhythm and survival outcomes in patients who underwent the concomitant Cox-Maze IV procedure. This was the largest series ever reported in the literature.  

Lysyy’s addition to the section will contribute to the ever-growing expertise of specialized cardiac arrhythmia surgery at WashU.