Surgeon Domenico Pagano Has Died, EACTS Announces

October 12, 2022

Cardiothoracic surgeon Domenico Pagano, MD, champion of evidence-based medicine and former head of the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS), died October 10, according to a statement from the society and reports on social media.

Pagano "was not only a first-class surgeon, he was also a passionate advocate for the fair representation of the merits of cardiothoracic surgery, and recent joint statements and collaborations with other societies are a testament to his work," the announcement states. Pagano, who practiced at University Hospitals Birmingham-Queen Elizabeth Hospital, United Kingdom, was EACTS Secretary General from 2017-2020.

Current EACTS secretary-general-elect Patrick O. Myers, MD, tweeted, "We have lost a dear friend, mentor and outstanding member of our surgical community." Myers is from Lausanne University Hospital, and La Tour Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland.

Pagano was also a former member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) board of directors, the STS noted in its announcement yesterday of his passing. His interests, it states, "included aortic valve surgery, coronary revascularization, and clinical outcome research. He was a passionate advocate for the specialty and mentor of young surgeons."

Elsewhere on Twitter, Norman Briffa, MBChB, MD, The Medical School, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom, an associate editor of the journal Heart, said "Sad news. Professor Domenico Pagano lost his battle against cancer yesterday. European and World Cardiac Surgery has lost a huge talent."

In December 2019, as EACTS secretary-general, Pagano signed a statement responding to alleged improprieties in the reporting of the EXCEL trial, a high-profile, sometimes explosive controversy over the evidence base for surgical vs transcatheter treatment of left-main coronary disease.

The statement made waves by announcing EACTS withdrawal of support for a recent guideline on left main revascularization that considered EXCEL data. If the allegations about the trial are proved to be accurate, it stated, "the recommendation is unsafe. On behalf of the EACTS Council I have written to the ESC to invite them to work with us to develop a new joint section of the guidelines as a matter of urgency."

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