Department of Surgery Firsts

1958 – Dr. Charles Drake pioneers a surgical procedure to treat aneurysms at the base of the brain – a world first

1983 – Surgeons are the first in Canada to perform a heart-lung transplant

1987 – World's first pacemaker cardioverter defibrillator is implanted

1988 – World's first successful liver-small bowel transplant is performed

1993 – Canada's first living-related paediatric liver transplant is performed

1993 – In a world first, a human kidney stone is treated with a Holmium laser by Urologists

1997 – The Multi-Organ Transplant team transplants a liver, bowel, stomach, and pancreas into a 5-month infant, the world's youngest recipient of a multi-organ transplant

1997 – Cardiac surgeons are the first in Canada to perform a revolutionary method of video-assisted minimally invasive heart surgery

1999 – A cardiac surgical team completes the world's first close chest robotic assisted beating heart coronary artery bypass graft

2000 – Vascular surgeons perform Canada's first endovascular repair of a blunt traumatic thoracic aortic injury, a major advance in the therapy of these life threatening lesions in multi-trauma patients

2000 – The transplant team completes the first adult-to-adult living donor partial-liver transplant in Canada

2003 – Urologists are the first in Canada to use the 3-armed ZEUS robot to correct a blockage in the ureter of the kidney

2004 – Cardiac surgeons are the first in Canada to use a 4-armed da Vinci robot to complete a single coronary artery bypass graft

2004 – Surgeons are part of the first team in North America to complete 2 different procedures to clear blocked arteries, minimally invasive robotic assisted heart bypass surgery, and angioplasty with stenting in the same operating room

2005 – Surgeons perform Canada's first minimally invasive robotic assisted double bypass surgery

2005 – Surgeons are part of the team who performs Canada's first robotic-assisted multi- vessel small thorocotomy

2007 – Surgeons perform Canada's first robotic-assisted common bile duct exploration using a da Vinci robot

2007 – Surgeons perform Canada's first totally endoscopic closed-chest robotic coronary artery bypass surgery on a patient's beating heart

2008 – A team of surgeons perform the world's first da Vinci assisted, robotically –sewn, intestinal bypass for a young woman with Wilkie Syndrome

2008 – Surgeons at LHSC are the first in North America to implant an insertablecardiac monitor that offers long-term and continuous monitoring for atrial fibrillation.

2009 – Surgeons perform Canadian first in the treatment of lung cancer using brachytherapy.

2010 – A North American first achieved by surgeons in providing peritoneal home dialysis patients with touch screen technology and access to a health coach from home.

2010 – Doctors at LHSC become the first in the world to use the Correx AVB device.

2011 – LHSC's cardiac surgery team commits another world first after successfully performing an emergency surgery using the DaVinci robot to repair a hole in a patient's heart.

2011 – Cardiac team at LHSC performs a new method of minimally invasive aortic valve replacement, a procedure which enables surgeons to replace failing heart valves without the patient having to undergo major surgery

2012 – A Canadian surgical first, a successful associating liver partition and portal vein ligation for stage hepatectomy (ALPPS), a two stage surgery to remove cancer from the liver, is performed at LHSC.

2013 – Cardiac surgery team at LHSC is the first in North America to use the GekoTM blood circulation device, and the first in the world to use it for cardiac surgery.

2013 – Urologists at LHSC make Canadian history by performing the first living-donor kidney removal for transplant purposes, using a single incision point.

2013 – Single-site gallbladder removal is performed at LHSC, marking a Canadian first.  The surgical procedure involves removing the gallbladder through one small incision, hidden in the belly button, leaving patients with virtually scarless results.

2013 – London Tumour Biobank is established at St. Joseph's Health Care London

2014 – Cardiac care team at LHSC are the first in North America to implant the ACURATE TA Aortic Bioprosthesis, a newer generation transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) device that allows safer treatment of higher risk patients with fewer complications. The device reduces or eliminates significant leakage from around the implanted valve, and is developed and manufactured by Symetis SA in Switzerland.

2015 – Cardiac surgery program is the first in Canada to use a new suture fastening system during open heart surgery. The COR-KNOT System, manufactured by LSI Solutions, Inc., in Victor, New York, saves 45 to 60 minutes of operating room time, leading to a safer operation.

2016 – The colorectal surgery team at LHSC performed the first robotic ventral rectopexy in Canada to treat obstructive defecation syndrome (ODS).

2016 – The heart team at LHSC are the first in Canada to perform a transcaval TAVI procedure.

2017 – The team at Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic are the first in Canada to enroll patients in a multi-centre study investigating the efficacy and safety of the tissue implant NeoCart® to treat cartilage defects in the knee.

2017 – Urologists and a multidisciplinary team in St. Joseph’s Urology Centre have established a kidney stone prevention clinic, one of the first of its kind in Canada.

2017 – First in Ontario to implant the Canadian made Neovasc Tiara transcatheter device to correct a leaky mitral valve

2018 – Cardiac surgeons perform the world’s first robotic assisted aortic valve replacement in patients with aortic valve stenosis, using the da Vinci® surgical system.

2018 – In a Canadian first, surgeons and a multidisciplinary heart team at University Hospital implanted a device called the Medtronic Pro Valve through a patient’s femoral artery. 

2018 – Cardiac team implants the Medtronic Evolut Pro Valve directly through the main aorta in a world-first procedure, avoiding the need for open-heart surgery and the extensive recovery that valve replacement surgery requires.

2022 – First in Canada and second in the world to use 3D hologram technology for planning and completing shoulder replacement operations.

2022 – Vascular team at Victoria Hospital performs new advanced aneurysm repair, reducing patient hospital stay by 80 per cent.