Cardiothoracic Surgery Programme
Cardiothoracic surgery consists of surgery on the heart and surrounding blood vessels (commonly referred to as “open heart surgery”) and surgery on the other structures that form the thorax, especially the lungs. More than 3500 adults undergo heart surgery in NZ each year, making cardiac surgery one of the commonest major surgical procedures. Although there are many different types of thoracic surgery the most common indication is for lung cancer, which is the leading cause of cancer deaths in NZ, however prompt surgical treatment can significantly improve patients prognosis.
All publically funded cardiac surgery and most thoracic surgery in NZ is conducted at specialist centres at 5 hospitals (Auckland City, Waikato, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin Hospital). The complex nature of the surgery involves surgeons, anaesthetists, Intensivists and specialist nurses working as a team to provide specialist care.
The Improving Outcomes after Cardiothoracic Surgery Network (IOACSNet) has recently been established within the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand (MRINZ) as a national clinical and translational research initiative involving leading clinicians and researchers involved in the management of patients undergoing cardiothoracic surgery. The primary aim of this programme is to undertake a series of integrated national and international multidisciplinary clinical research projects which will lead to better outcomes for patients undergoing this surgery in NZ.