Our Accomplishments

The Division of Thoracic Surgery at UHN has continuously pushed the boundaries of discovery. A selection of our world firsts include:

1983/86 Successful single and double lung transplants.

1988 Double lung transplant for a patient with cystic fibrosis.

2006 First North American use of the Novalung – an external artificial lung used to keep patients alive long enough to receive life-saving transplants.

2008 Use of the Toronto XVIVO Lung Perfusion System, which repairs and reconditions donor lungs prior to transplant. This increases the number of donor lungs available for transplant.

2009 Use of the Novalung to keep a paediatric patient alive until donor lungs became available.

2009 Use of gene therapy to repair injured human donor lungs.

2010 Establishment of the Menkes Family Interventional Thoracic Surgery Suite. This state-of-the-art centre for thoracic diagnostics and therapeutics – the first of its kind in North America – allows our surgeons to perform procedures that require only a stitch or two to close.

2011 Clinical trial demonstrating that the XVIVO System can safely and eff ectively treat, re-assess and improve the function of high-risk donor lungs prior to transplantation into patients.

2012 First Canadian use of robotic surgery to treat early-stage lung cancer