Navigate Up
Explore UPMC.com

Our Cardiac Surgeons

The cardiac surgeons at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute are experts in open heart and minimally invasive surgical repair strategies that treat a broad range of heart conditions.

Dr. Michael Butler

Michael Butler, MD, FACS

Dr. Michael Butler is a clinical assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and is board-certified in general and cardiothoracic surgery. 

He earned his medical degree at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and completed his residency at the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont in Burlington, Vt., followed by a fellowship in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery at the University of Virginia Medical School in Charlottesville, Va. 

Dr. Butler serves as co-director of the cardiovascular intensive care unit at UPMC Hamot, and his clinical practice includes all aspects of adult cardiac surgery.

Dr. Butler sees patients at UPMC Hamot.

Danny Chu, MD, FACS*

Dr. Danny Chu is an associate professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and currently serves as director of Cardiac Surgery at Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System and as a senior staff cardiac surgeon at UPMC Heart & Vascular Institute. 

He earned his medical degree at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston and completed his general surgery residency at the University of California, San Diego, followed by an accredited residency in cardiothoracic surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. 

Dr. Chu is board-certified in general and cardiothoracic surgery, and his clinical practice includes all aspects of adult cardiac surgery with special interest in aortic aneurysm repair and aortic valve repair.

He has authored countless peer-reviewed manuscripts and serves on multiple highly impactful editorial boards, including JAMA Surgery and the American Journal of Cardiology. Dr. Chu also serves as the Surgery Section Editor for the journal Medicine. He is a member of numerous prestigious surgical societies including Society of University Surgeons and Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

Dr. Chu sees patients at UPMC Presbyterian, UPMC Mercy, and Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System.

Dr. Chris Cook

Chris Cook, MD*

Dr. Chris Cook is a board-certified, practicing cardiac surgeon with the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute.

He received his medical degree at Marshall University School of Medicine before completing a general surgery residency at West Virginia University. He then completed a residency in cardiothoracic surgery and a fellowship in minimally invasive thoracic surgery at UPMC. He was recruited as a faculty member upon completion of his training in 2009.

Dr. Cook’s surgical expertise encompasses coronary and valvular heart disease with special interest in minimally invasive techniques. He has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and textbooks. His educational interests include simulation training in cardiac surgery.

Dr. Cook sees patients at UPMC Presbyterian and Washington Health System.

José P. da Silva, MD

Dr. José da Silva is a visiting professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and surgical director of the Center for Valve Therapy at the Heart Institute at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

He earned his medical degree and completed residencies in general surgery and thoracic and cardiovascular surgery at Instituto de Assisténcia Médica ao Servidor Público Estadual in Sao Paulo, Brazil, followed by a cardiothoracic residency and cardiovascular surgery fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. da Silva is internationally recognized as the creator of the cone procedure, the worldwide standard of care for the surgical treatment of Ebstein’s anomaly, a congenital disorder of the tricuspid valve. He has authored numerous publications and lectured extensively on the cone procedure throughout the world.

Dr. da Silva’s clinical interests include congenital heart disease, heart and heart-lung transplantation, adult cardiac surgery, and pediatric cardiac surgery.

Dr. da Silva sees patients at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

Dr. Leo Fitzgibbon

Leo Fitzgibbon, MD

Dr. Leo Fitzgibbon is a clinical assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and is board-certified in cardiothoracic surgery.

He earned his medical degree at New York Medical College in Valhalla, N.Y., and completed residencies at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Dr. Fitzgibbon has more than twenty years of experience in cardiothoracic surgery and specializes in complex cardiac, esophageal, and vascular cases. He joined UPMC Hamot in 1997, where he co-founded the transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) program.

Dr. Fitzgibbon is a member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Fitzgibbon sees patients at UPMC Hamot.

Dr. Thomas Gleason

Thomas Gleason, MD, FACS, FACC, FACCP*

Dr. Thomas Gleason joined UPMC in 2006, and is the Ronald V. Pellegrini Professor and Chief, Division of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He is also the director for the Center for Thoracic Aortic Disease and the co-director of the Center for Heart Valve Disease.

Dr. Gleason specializes in complex aortic and mitral valve repairs, aortic root reconstructions and reconstructions for thoracic aortic diseases. His research interests are in bicuspid aortic valve and its associated aortopathy and aortic dissections for which he has published extensively.

He received his medical degree from Rush Medical College in Chicago and earned his master’s degree from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He completed a surgical residency and research fellowship at the University of Virginia, and a cardiothoracic surgery residency and cardiothoracic transplantation and thoracic aortic surgery fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Dr. Gleason sees patients at UPMC Mercy, UPMC Presbyterian, UPMC Shadyside, and Washington Health System.

Dr. Robert Kormos

Robert Kormos, MD*

Dr. Robert Kormos is the Brack G. Hattler Professor of Cardiothoracic Transplantation at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and director of the Artificial Heart Program and co-director of Heart Transplantation at UPMC.

He earned his medical degree at the University of Western Ontario in Canada and completed his residency in general surgery at Toronto General Hospital. Dr. Kormos completed fellowships in research and transplant surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and also completed internships and residencies in neurosurgery and cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at Toronto General Hospital.

He is internationally regarded for his clinical and research work in the use of cardiac assist devices as temporary or permanent support for patients with end-stage heart disease, as well as cardiac transplantation. Dr. Kormos has published more than 250 articles and book chapters on these subjects, is a member of more than 17 professional societies, and serves as a member of the Education Task Force for the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

Dr. Kormos sees patients at UPMC Presbyterian.

Luigi Lagazzi, MD*

Dr. Luigi Lagazzi is an assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

He earned his medical degree from and completed residencies in general and cardiac surgery at the University of Chile in Santiago, Chile and went on to complete a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery and heart failure at the Cleveland Clinic, where he received the Rene Favaloro, MD International Fellow in Cardiac Surgery Award. Dr. Lagazzi practiced as an attending surgeon for five years at the University of Chile and Clinica Alemana in Santiago. He then completed a fellowship in cardiothoracic transplantation and mechanical circulatory support at UPMC and was recruited as a faculty member.

Dr. Lagazzi's clinical practice includes all aspects of adult cardiac surgery, including coronary artery bypass grafting, valve replacements and repairs, re-do surgery, the Maze procedure for atrial fibrillation, and pericardial surgery. He specializes in advanced heart failure therapies, including ventricular assist devices (VADs), heart and lung transplants, and ECMO. He is committed to increasing the quality of life and survival rates among heart failure patients, and his clinical research focuses on the prevention of complications from heart failure surgery.

Dr. Lagazzi sees patients at UPMC Presbyterian.

Dr. Claudio Lima

Claudio Lima, MD*

Dr. Claudio Lima is chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at UPMC Mercy and an assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

He received his medical degree from Espirito Santo Federal University in Brazil and completed residencies at Buffalo General Hospital and UPMC Shadyside, followed by a fellowship in pediatric cardiovascular surgery at The Children’s Hospital Denver. In 1982, Dr. Lima founded the cardiovascular program at Sao Jose Hospital in Vitoria, Brazil.

He is board-certified in cardiothoracic surgery, and his clinical practice includes all aspects of adult cardiac surgery.

Dr. Lima sees patients at UPMC Mercy and Washington Health System.

Venkat Machiraju, MD*

Dr. Venkat Machiraju is a professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and is board-certified in cardiothoracic surgery.

He earned his medical degree from Guntur Medical College in Guntur, India and completed his residency in general surgery at French & Poly Clinic Post Graduate Medical School & Health Center in New York, followed by a residency in thoracic surgery at Newark Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, N.J.

Dr. Machiraju previously served as chief of Thoracic Surgery and director of the cardiovascular ICU at UPMC Shadyside. He has more than 35 years of experience in adult cardiac surgery, with particular emphasis on valve repair and replacement and coronary artery bypass grafting.

Dr. Machiraju sees patients at UPMC Passavant.

Dr. Victor Morell

Victor Morell, MD*

Dr. Victor Morell is the Eugene S. Wiener Professor of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery and vice chair and director of cardiovascular services in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, chief of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, co-director of the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute, and co-director of the Heart Institute at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

He earned his medical degree at Ponce School of Medicine in Ponce, Puerto Rico, completed his general surgery residency at Robert Packer Hospital-Guthrie Clinic in Sayre, Pa., and completed his cardiothoracic residency at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, followed by fellowships in cardiothoracic surgery at Children’s Hospital Boston and at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

He has published more than two dozen peer-reviewed manuscripts in scientific journals and has presented numerous abstracts at national meetings. Dr. Morell joined UPMC in 2004 and is board-certified in general, cardiothoracic, and congenital cardiac surgery.

Dr. Morell sees patients at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

Dr. Forozan Navid

Forozan Navid, MD*

Dr. Forozan Navid joined UPMC in 2006 and is a clinical assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He specializes in the treatment of advanced coronary artery disease, aortic and mitral valve pathology, open and endovascular repair of the great vessels, and transcatheter aortic valve replacement.

Dr. Navid earned his medical degree from and completed his residency at the University of Virginia Medical School. He completed residencies in general surgery and thoracic surgery at the University of Virginia Health Center and is board-certified in general and cardiothoracic surgery.

Dr. Navid sees patients at UPMC Mercy, UPMC Presbyterian, UPMC Shadyside, and Washington Health System.

Dr. Louis Russo

Louis Russo, MD

Dr. Louis Russo is a clinical assistant professor of cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and is board-certified in general and cardiothoracic surgery.

He earned his medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University Medical College in Philadelphia and completed his residency at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Dr. Russo previously served as director of the Ventricular Assist Device Program at Maine Medical Center and has served as the principal investigator and co-investigator on several clinical trials.

Currently, he serves as vice chairman of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine and Surgery at UPMC Hamot. He has been appointed chief of Cardiac Surgery at UPMC Altoona and will begin seeing patients there on September 1, 2016. His clinical practice includes all aspects of adult cardiac surgery.

Dr. Russo sees patients at UPMC Hamot.

Dr. Mahesh Subramanian Sharma

Mahesh Subramanian Sharma, MD*

Dr. Mahesh Sharma is an assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and director of Pediatric Mechanical Circulatory Support and Artificial Heart Technology at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

He earned his medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, followed by residencies in general surgery at Tufts University School of Medicine and in cardiothoracic surgery the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Sharma completed his fellowship in pediatric cardiac surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, one Europe's leading congenital heart centers.

He is the author of more than 50 peer-review abstracts, journal articles, and book chapters, is a Diplomat of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, and is a member of numerous professional societies.

He has been named as one of the nation's top doctors by Castle Connolly Medical, Ltd. Dr. Sharma's clinical interests include complex neonatal and infant congenital heart defect repair and pediatric heart failure. His research focuses on clinical outcomes in congenital cardiac surgery and mechanical circulatory support of the failing heart. In addition, he is involved in humanitarian efforts to provide congenital cardiac surgical care for children in underserved areas.

Dr. Sharma sees patients at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

Dr. Dhaval Trivedi

Dhaval Trivedi, MD*

Dr. Dhaval Trivedi is an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and is board-certified in general and cardiothoracic surgery.

He earned his medical degree from Parvara Institute of Medical Sciences Deemed University in Maharashtra, India, and completed residencies in internal medicine and general surgery at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, followed by a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at UPMC.

His clinical practice includes all aspects of adult cardiac surgery.

Dr. Trivedi sees patients at UPMC Shadyside.

Dr. Melita Lynnette Viegas

Melita Lynnette Viegas, MD*

Dr. Melita Viegas is an assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and is board-certified in general and cardiothoracic surgery.

She earned her medical degree at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis and completed her residency at Southern Illinois School of Medicine in Springfield, Ill. Dr. Viegas completed a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, followed by a fellowship in congenital heart surgery at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.

Her clinical practice includes all aspects of pediatric cardiac surgery.

Dr. Viegas sees patients at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

Dr. Lawrence Wei ​​

Pyongsoo Yoon, MD*

Dr. Pyongsoo Yoon is director of Cardiac Surgery at UPMC Passavant and is board-certified in general and cardiothoracic surgery.

He earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Va., and completed his residency at Eastern Virginia Graduate School of Medicine in Norfolk, Va., followed by clinical and research fellowships in cardiothoracic surgery at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Dr. Yoon recently served as medical director of Cardiovascular Surgery at ValleyCare Health System of Ohio; he performed the first open-heart surgery in Trumbull County, Ohio, in 2002. His clinical practice includes all aspects of adult cardiac surgery.

Dr. Yoon sees patients at UPMC Passavant.

*UPMC Division of Cardiac Surgery physician


©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit www.healthwise.org

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com