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15th July 2019

Meet the researcher: Dr Tim Surman

Dr Timothy Surman heart scaled

A fascination for cardiothoracic surgery and passion for helping others led Dr Timothy Surman to his most recent challenge – a PhD project focussing on the aorta to prevent aortic injury.

“I was always fascinated by the anatomy of the major vessels of the heart and lungs, and nothing is more
major than the aorta itself,” Dr Surman said.

“I also had a desire to explore the outcomes of the evolving area of aortic valve surgery; which in recent
times is involving less invasive techniques, faster recovery times and a quicker transition home for the patient.”

Dr Surman’s career has taken a different path to his peers and his latest research, funded thanks to your generous support of AHR, hopes to personalise treatment for patients requiring aortic valve replacement.

“I was a dentist before I was a medical doctor, so I always had a passion for healthcare and helping people. I decided to specialise in cardiothoracic surgery after completing an honours degree at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

“The science, the surgical challenge and the opportunity to work with patients over their lifetime and as part of a multidisciplinary team drew me towards a career in cardiothoracic surgery.”

Through his research, Dr Surman aims to understand how to best identify patients who are going to have
an emergency tear in the aorta. This will then determine whether an invasive or non-invasive method is
recommended to repair the damage in the most resilient way.

“We would like to identify better ways to predict those patients who are at greatest risk of aortic injury,
determine the best way to repair the tissues of the aorta and predict the changes this surgery will have
on how the heart functions post recovery.

“This will ensure that we optimise aortic surgery in a way that influences every patient’s quality of life for the better.”

Thanks to you, research like Dr Surman’s can improve the lives and health of heart patients. We look forward to keeping you updated on this lifesaving research.