Prof. Gianluca Torregrossa: think positive, stay positive, think for your patients
Meet the Professor

Prof. Gianluca Torregrossa: think positive, stay positive, think for your patients

Received: 08 May 2017; Accepted: 15 May 2017; Published: 27 July 2017.

doi: 10.21037/jovs.2017.05.14

The 97th American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) (AATS Centennial) was successfully held in Hynes Convention Center, Boston, USA from April 29th to May 3rd. Celebrating the first 100 years of AATS, the AATS this year covered many hot and new themes on cardiac and thoracic fields as well as gathering numerous experts from all around the world to make high-quality and impressive sharing and discussion, the combination of which presented a grand feast to every participant.

During the conference, Prof. Gianluca Torregrossa, from Mount Sinai Hospital, brought a great speech about the Robotic Hybrid Coronary Bypass Grafting (CABG) with the showing of a case video, which as well indicated his support for the application of Robotic CABG for the benefit of patients. Seizing this opportunity, the Editorial Office of Journal of Visualized Surgery (JOVS) has the great honor to invite Prof. Torregrossa to have an interview with us, sharing with us his experience about the robotic CABG as well as his perspective to the cardiac surgery (Figure 1).

Figure 1 Photo with Prof. Torregrossa.

In the interview, when talking about the advantages of robotic hybrid CABG compared to traditional CABG, Prof. Torregrossa firstly made a brief review to the past when traditional CABG was applied widely and then came to the truth that the need for minimally invasive approach for patients with coronary disease is increasingly growing, resulting in the growing application of robotic hybrid CABG as the better choice for patients. Prof. Torregrossa also mentioned a surgeon should always try to provide the best options for patients.

As for skill that’s necessary for robotic CABG for a surgeon or OR team, Prof. Torregrossa also shared with us his previous perspectives and emphasized that it was important for the entire OR team to train for the skill since it’s a team work instead of solo surgery.

In his presentation abstract, Prof. Torregrossa mentioned about Robotic CABG is still performed in relatively few centers. To this point, Prof. Torregrossa also explained clearly in the interview from the point of its difficulties in being learnt and conducted.

As the 100th year of AATS, slogan for this year is Reflecting the past, Establishing the future, Always learning. When reflecting the past as a cardiac surgeon, Prof. Torregrossa told us it’s the pursuit for excellence and care for patients that encouraged him all the time to be excellent in the field.

What’ll you say or conclude about the cardiac surgery field? Prof. Torregrossa shared with us his great idea—Think positive. Stay positive. Think for your patients (Figure 2)!

Figure 2 Interview with Prof. Gianluca Torregrossa (1). Available online:

Interview questions

  • You’re going to share with us the presentation about the Robotic Hybrid Coronary Bypass Grafting. Here may I ask what’s the biggest advantages of this surgery compared to the traditional CABG? Which kind of patients will be more appropriate for the robotic CABG?
  • To perform the successful Robotic CABG, what skills or knowledge a surgeon or the whole OR team should possess? What should be the training focus?
  • In your research, you mention that Robotic CABG is still performed in relatively few centers. Would you kindly share with us why is this situation?
  • This’s the 100th AATS and its slogan this year is reflecting on the past. Building our Future. Always Learning. Here would you like to tell us, when facing back the past, what encourage you to keep improving yourself in this field and to be excellent?
  • To the cardiac surgery field, what’ll you say or conclude if using one sentence?

Expert introduction

Gianluca Torregrossa, MD (Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, USA).

Prof. Gianluca Torregrossa graduated from the University of Padua Italy cum laude and distinguished medal honor in 2006. His involvement and passion for cardiac surgery begin since the medical school with a research internship on heart valve tissue engineering accomplished in Italy and at Harefield Hospital Cardiac Centre in London.

After been graduated as cardiac surgeon at University of Padua, under the direction of Prof Gino Gerosa, Prof. Torregrossa spent 9 months in Sudan working for the NGO EMERGENCY, providing cardiac surgery to a large Sub Saharan population of children/young adults focusing on congenital heart disease and surgery for rheumatic valves. During this experience he developed a deep interest on complex repair valve surgery and valve reconstruction. He decided to gain additional experience and expertise in the field of valve surgery completing a 3 years advanced fellowship at the Department of Cardiothoracic surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City under the direction of Prof. David Adams.

In 2016, Prof. Torregrossa has been appointed Assistant Professor at the Department of Cardiac Surgery in the Mount Sinai Health System working under the direction of Dr. John Puskas. His training has been focused on advance mitral, complex aortic root surgery, Ross procedure, heart failure surgery, complex coronary artery bypass surgery including robotic CABG, OPCABG and total arterial revascularization.

Prof. Gianluca Torregrossa is an Alumni of “Collegio Navale Francesco Morosini” in Venice, active member of European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgery and the Italian Society of Cardiac Surgery. He is also honored member of the SISM (Italian Association of Medical Students) and treasure of the ISSNAF (Italian Scientists and Scholars of North America Foundation) Cardiovascular Science Chapter.

In December 2011, Prof. Gianluca Torregrossa was part of the surgical team who implanted the first Total artificial Heart in Italy and he was the surgeon and medical point of reference for the longest survivor patient in the world supported with a total artificial heart.

Prof. Torregrossa is author of 34 publications in peer reviewed journal including 1 book; his current impact point is above 95 with main research focus on total artificial heart, heart valve tissue engineering and congenital coronary artery bypass.

Prof. Torregrossa speaks fluently four languages, crossed the Sahara twice on his motorbike and enjoys play guitar.




Conflicts of Interest: The author has no conflicts of interest to declare.


  1. Gao S. Interview with Prof. Gianluca Torregrossa. Asvide 2017;4:307. Available online:

(Science Editor: Skylar Gao, JOVS,

doi: 10.21037/jovs.2017.05.14
Cite this article as: Gao S. Prof. Gianluca Torregrossa: think positive, stay positive, think for your patients. J Vis Surg 2017;3:97.