Cardiothoracic Surgery

Division Chief
Sibu P. Saha, M.D., MBA
Professor of Surgery and Bioengineering
Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Chairman, Directors Council, Gill Heart Institute
Frank C. Spencer, M.D. Endowed Chair in Surgery


The Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery is dedicated and engaged in all areas of academic practice. Our surgeons are first and foremost committed to compassionate patient care which is reflected through excellent outcomes. They are internationally known, active at the national level, and have research support from the NIH. In addition, they are teachers passing on the art and science of medicine to medical students, residents and fellows. The Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery is under the direction of Dr. Sibu P. Saha, Professor of Surgery. With highly trained physicians and supportive staff, the division’s number one mission is to provide the best care for all of our patients. We offer specific clinical programs and expertise in all areas of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery. We have close collaboration with Saha Cardiovascular Research Center.

The cardiac surgery section provides expert care for major aortic surgery, coronary bypass, beating heart cardiac operations, arrhythmia surgery (the MAZE operation), and minimally invasive techniques including robotic surgery. We also provide specialized care for heart failure patients including cardiac assist devices, ventricular restorative procedures, and heart transplantation.

The section of thoracic surgery offers specialized treatment of both benign and malignant diseases of the chest. This includes a multidisciplinary thoracic oncology team for treatment of both lung and esophageal cancers. We also offer special expertise in minimally invasive techniques in video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) including VATS lobectomy, minimally invasive esophageal resection, and Robotic Surgery for mediastinal tumors.

CT Surgery and physician extenders provide care to patients in various areas of the University’s healthcare enterprise including University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, the Transplant Center, and the Gill Heart Institute.

The Markey Cancer Center at the University of Kentucky is a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary cancer treatment and research facility. The most active part of the Markey Cancer Center is the Multidisciplinary Lung Cancer Program, directed by B. Mark Evers. This is the only National Cancer Institute designated center in Kentucky. This extremely efficient and user friendly access provides easy entry of lung cancer patients into a system that offers expert medical oncology, radiation therapy, pulmonary medicine, chest imaging service, pathology support, and surgical support, all housed in a single clinic and available at the time of the initial patient visit.

The University of Kentucky Transplant Centeris the only full service transplant institute serving central and eastern Kentucky, northeast Tennessee, and parts of West Virginia. The cardiothoracic division offers top-notch patient-centered care for heart, lung and heart-lung transplant patients. A 6,000 square foot outpatient transplant clinic offers a centralized location for a multidisciplinary group of physicians, nurses, social workers and other health care providers to evaluate and follow patients in the transplant programs. The heart transplant program was established in 1991 and celebrated its 100th transplant in 1997. The program has transplanted over 200 hearts since its inception. It is part of a comprehensive care plan for heart failure patients to optimize their medical management, and to receive recommended transplantation or mechanical heart support ranging from defibrillators to LVADs. Also begun in 1991, the lung transplant program is the busiest in this region of the US. The lung transplant program has given over 175 patients a second chance through the gift of transplantation in the last decade. If you or your physician have questions about heart, lung or advanced heart or lung failure, our team can be reached toll free at 800-456-5287.

Additionally, the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery is a part of a comprehensive consortium of University of Kentucky basic and clinical scientists and cardiovascular clinicians assembled to form the Gill Heart Institute. This multidisciplinary program is comprised of three services - cardiothoracic surgery, vascular surgery, and cardiology - and serves as a referral center for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. All of these services are housed in the newly constructed Gill Heart Institute Building. The Gill Heart Institute contains 6 new state-of-the-art catheterization laboratories, out-patient clinics for cardiovascular patients, lecture and conference rooms, and the Center for Advanced Surgery (CAS).

Our Faculty