About Dr. Ciuffo

Giovanni B. Ciuffo, MD Director

Dr. Ciuffo’s expertise in Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery and Bloodless Heart Surgery is the result of his career dedication to the development and improvement of both of these techniques.  He currently runs a busy Cardiothoracic Surgery practice and directs a dedicated Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery Program where he cares for patients coming from the local region and from the rest of the country. He also offers training to heart surgeons interested in mastering his advanced surgical techniques.

Giovanni B. Ciuffo, MD is board certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. He is a member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Currently, his academic and clinical activity is entirely devoted to the surgical therapy of coronary, valvular and thoracic aortic disease with the most advanced blood sparing, minimally invasive and beating heart surgery techniques.

performing minimally invasive heart surgery

Dr. Ciuffo and his team performing minimally invasive heart surgery

Dr. Ciuffo earned his M.D. degree, “Summa cum Laude”, from one of the oldest Medical Schools in Italy. Subsequently, he fulfilled his military obligations by serving as an artillery lieutenant in the Italian Armed Forces and then moved to the U.S. to get his postgraduate surgical training. He went on to complete his General and Cardiothoracic Surgery residency training in New York City with an intense clinical and research experience at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Albert Einstein Hospital, Flushing Hospital Medical Center and Long Island Jewish Medical Center. His research activity at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine focused on clinical and prognostic aspects of the use of mechanical and biological heart valves in cardiac surgery. He has been also responsible for investigational studies on the improvement of durability in biological materials for cardiac surgery.

Following his surgical training, Dr. Ciuffo joined the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh, where he furthered his experience in the clinical and technical aspects of his current areas of interest as well as in blood sparing techniques, high risk cardiac surgery, heart and lung transplantation, heart failure and atrial fibrillation surgery. Dr. Ciuffo then volunteered to go back to Italy on an international assignment for the University of Pittsburgh to set up and implement an active cardiac surgery and transplant program in Sicily and another one in Cairo, Egypt, in cooperation with the local governments and ministries of health. After he completed his international mission, he returned to New York City where he refined and further developed his techniques in minimally invasive coronary and valve surgery. Following his New York experience, he established and developed a successful Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery program in North East Ohio. Dr.Ciuffo has then accepted the role of chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the MercyOne Heart Center in Sioux City, Iowa and spurred the growth of a thriving Cardiothoracic surgery practice that proudly serves as a premier regional and national referral center.

The Doctor Says…..

heart1These new techniques and protocols allow us excellent results and greatly improved quality of life in even the sickest and oldest patient population. The development of Minimally Invasive Aortic and Mitral Valve Surgery techniques constitutes one of the most challenging and revolutionary chapters in the history of my specialty and in my professional career. These state-of the-art surgical procedures are carried out through a small incision on the chest wall, right over the valve to be repaired or replaced. The end result is a procedure performed with a great level of accuracy, no cutting of any chest bone, less postoperative pain, greatly diminished transfusion requirements and wound problems, a quicker recovery and excellent cosmetic results.

The surgical incision is completely hidden in the skin fold underneath the breast in most women. This approach can also be applied to many other complex procedures, including the repair of Atrial Septal Defects, Ventricular Septal Defects, cardiac tumor excisions, aortic aneurysm repairs, etc. These minimally invasive techniques are also available to coronary patients with Minimally Invasive Coronary Bypass procedures known as MIDCAB and MICS CABG. These procedures are carried out on the beating heart, without the use of the heart-lung machine. In addition, instead of the traditional long midline incision used in most cardiac surgery centers in the U.S., a tiny transverse incision is all that is necessary to access the heart and perform a coronary bypass. After these operations, the patient experiences minimal pain with a small surgical scar and can often go home within the next 48 to 72 hours.”

Dr. Ciuffo practices and performs the full range of the most advanced options and procedures in modern heart surgery. He is fluent in Italian, French, Spanish and English and has been a very active promoter of health awareness in the general community. He serves as cardiovascular surgeon and consultant in the Hospital Liaison Committee for the Jehovah’s Witnesses for his expertise in bloodless heart surgery techniques and strategies. He is often invited to teach and demonstrate his minimally invasive techniques in European and American cardiac surgery centers.  He is often an invited speaker to meetings and conventions of medical and civic associations and the author of a health column on America Oggi, a daily Italian language newspaper in the U.S.

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