The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine welcomes new affiliated faculty member Johannes Bonatti, MD, FETCS.
Dr. Bonatti is an internationally recognized expert in robotic-assisted mitral valve and coronary surgery who is certified by the European Board of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons. He is a Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and the Director of Cardiac Robotic Surgery at the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute. Dr. Bonatti comes to the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute from his most recent appointment at the Vienna Health Network in Vienna, Austria. Prior to his work in Austria, Dr. Bonatti was the Chief of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, a position he held from 2012 to 2015.
He received his medical degree from Leopold Franzens University in Innsbruck, Austria, and completed residencies in Cardiac Surgery, Vascular Surgery, and General Surgery at the University Clinic of Surgery in Innsbruck, followed by internships in Trauma Surgery, Internal Medicine, and Anesthesiology at the General Public Hospital Kitzbühel, Austria.
Dr. Bonatti’s clinical interests include minimally invasive cardiac surgery, robotic cardiac surgery, and vascular biology of coronary artery bypass grafts. He has published more than 250 peer-reviewed articles and performed over 5,000 cardiac surgeries, in addition to being the first physician world-wide to perform a robotic endoscopic quadruple coronary bypass surgery. He has held leadership positions in preeminent surgical societies worldwide.
From a research perspective, one of Dr. Bonatti’s goals is to make cardiac surgical procedures, regardless of the type, as endoscopic as possible. He is also interested in testing emerging robotic surgical technologies and platforms and applying them to ever-wider surgical indications.
Dr. Bonatti directs the clinical and research efforts of the UPMC HVI robotic cardiac surgery program, expanding the institute’s capabilities in robotic cardiac surgery while working to study outcomes and develop new applications, approaches, and indications for robotically assisted procedures. Dr. Bonatti also works in the UPMC robotic surgery simulation lab to develop structured training programs, conduct procedural training for students and surgeons, and further his research aims related to advancing and expanding the discipline of robotic cardiac surgery. Simulation-based training and study on dry-lab and wet-lab models are crucial to developing robotic surgical skills, and UPMC has extensive capabilities on the simulation front for training and research.
As with all robotically assisted surgery, the technology is highly advanced and allows for a fully immersive visual field with better acuity and the ability to manipulate the instrumentation in highly complex ways and more precise control than human hands can accomplish on their own.
Training and mentoring cardiac surgeons on robotic platforms and techniques is a significant part of Dr. Bonatti’s clinical and research work. In the past, he has been the President of the Minimally Invasive Robotics Association (MIRA) and President of ISMICS.