RPAH - Institute of Academic Surgery RPAH - Institute of Academic Surgery
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Institute of Academic Surgery



Prof Paul Bannon
Head of Department & Research Lead

Dr Brian Plunkett
Education Lead

Dr Benjamin Robinson

Dr Matthew Bayfield

Prof Tristan Yan

Dr Christopher Cao

About the Department

The cardiothoracic surgery department is the largest cardiothoracic unit in NSW and provides a comprehensive range of minimally and maximally invasive cardiothoracic procedures, which is underpinned by a strong academic program. The team of six surgeons undertake more than 1,200 surgical procedures annually and provide care to over 2,000 ambulatory care patients.


  • Largest cardiothoracic unit in NSW
  • Statewide service for lifesaving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) retrieval
  • Established the combined cardiac surgery and cardiology TAVI program to replace aortic valves without surgery
  • Established Australia's first Cardiac Surgery Advanced Life-support (CALS) Course in conjunction with RPA Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
  • First robotic-assisted CABG case in Australia

Key Research Themes

  • Aortic aneurysm development and surgical correction
  • Robotic-assisted surgery
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Carcinoma of the lung / surgical oncology
  • Inflammatory response to bypass
  • Myocardial preservation
  • Cardiac Advanced Life Support (CALS) course
  • Minimally invasive cardiac surgery
  • Limitation of blood product usage in cardiac surgery
  • Biomaterials and biocompatibility

Key Education & Training Activities

  • ECMO Simulation courses
  • CALS Simulation courses
  • Graduate Medical Program - University of Sydney
  • Masters of Surgery: surgical anatomy - University of Sydney
  • Dedicated training sessions for surgical trainees

Areas of Expertise

  • Complex aortic surgery
  • Minimally invasive and robotic-assisted surgery
  • Structural heart program
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy surgical program
  • Coronary revascularisation
  • ECMO retrieval services for patients with heart failure

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Page Last Updated: 23 January, 2023