Dr. Russo is the Chief of Cardiac Surgery; the Director of Structural Heart Disease; and Associate Professor of Surgery at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
An internationally known expert in the treatment of heart valve disease, Dr. Russo specializes in complex and reoperative aortic and valvular surgery. He is one of the few heart doctors in the U.S. skilled at both open and catheter-based treatments. He is among the highest volume Mitraclip implanters in the Northeast and one of the most experienced TAVR surgeons in the U.S. He has taught these novel procedures to hundreds of other physicians throughout the world. Dr. Russo is also an experienced heart transplant surgeon, participating in over 500 successful organ transplants.
For his work, Dr. Russo has received awards from leading professional organizations, including:
Dr. Russo was the 2nd recipient of the President's Award from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), the largest organization of thoracic and cardiovascular surgeons in the world. In addition, he has been named a Healthcare Hero by Horizon Blue Cross and a Finalist for New Jersey Physician of the Year by NJBIZ.
Dr. Russo is a Diplomate of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery (ABTS). He is a member of the STS and American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS), and he is one of only 65 surgeons in the world with membership in the prestigious 21st Century Cardiothoracic Surgical Society (21CCSS).
Dr. Russo has coauthored more than 200 published manuscripts, abstracts, and textbook chapters focused on improving health care quality, outcomes for patients with cardiovascular disease. His specific areas of interest include the adoption and diffusion of novel cardiac therapies, the application of artificial intelligence in clinical decision making, large dataset analysis, and the application of less invasive therapies and rapid recovery strategies.
Dr. Russo holds leadership roles for multiple national and international clinical trials. The findings of his work have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the Journals of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Circulation, and Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) and reported by major media outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC News, U.S. News & World Report, and Newsweek.
Dr. Russo is a graduate of Phillips Academy in Andover, MA. He received an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the University of Rochester--where he also served as Captain of the Varsity Baseball team and Commencement Marshall as the member of the graduating class whom “most embodies the ideals of the College.” He later obtained a Master's in outcomes research from Dartmouth Medical School. He earned his Medical Doctorate from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City; as a medical student, he received the Deans Awards "in recognition of remarkable intelligence and exceptional patient care abilities, and thereby promise for the future of medicine." He completed residencies in General Surgery and Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City; at Columbia, he was awarded the Blakemore Prize for "best body of research by a graduating resident." He also completed Post-Doctoral Research Fellowships at Columbia University and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute within the National Institutes of Health.
Previously, he was Assistant Attending-in-Cardiothoracic-Surgery at New York/ Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia. Most recently, he was Co-Director of the Aortic Center, Director of Cardiac Surgery Research, and Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.
Minimally invasive valve surgery is a specialized approach to treating heart valve disease. This avoids the need to "crack the chest." This method uses sophisticated instruments to perform the surgery through a smaller incision at the side of the chest and offers the patients less pain and faster recvoery
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), also known as transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), is a minimally invasive approach to the treatment of aortic stenosis. In most patients it requires no incision and typically patients are discharged within 1 day. Dr Russo is among the most experienced TAVR surgeons in the US
An aortic aneurysm is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of main blood vessel in the body. The risk of aortic catastrophe, including dissection and rupture, increases dramatically with an aneurysm. Surgery is generally recommended when the proximal aorta is larger than 4.5-6 cms.
The MitraClip procedure does not require opening the chest or stopping the heart. Instead, through a vein in the leg, a thin tube (called a catheter) is guided to the mitral valve The MitraClip device is a small clip that is attached to your mitral valve. It treats mitral regurgitation by allowing your mitral valve to close more completely, helping to restore normal blood flow through your heart.
A bypass is necessary when the coronary arteries, which provide needed blood to the heart become too narrow for blood to pass through, depriving the heart of oxygen and nutrients.
A heart transplant, or a cardiac transplant, is a surgical transplant procedure performed on patients with end-stage heart failure or severe coronary artery disease when other medical or surgical treatments have failed.
When diagnosed with a serious cardiovascular health issue, it is important to be sure you fully understand your condition and all available treatment options. Getting a second opinion can provide peace of mind and confidence that you have been diagnosed appropriately and understand of all your treatment options.
For your convenience, Telemedicine Consults are available for patients. To schedule a consultation, please call 732-235-7231.