Arnar Geirsson, MD, FACS, FAHA, who has pioneered several minimally invasive and robotic cardiac surgical procedures at Yale, has accepted the position of chief of the Section of Cardiac Surgery at Yale School of Medicine. Geirsson, who is associate professor of surgery (cardiac surgery), will also serve as co-surgical director of the Heart and Vascular Center (HVC) at Yale New Haven Hospital and medical director of the Bridgeport Hospital Cardiac Surgery program. Since October 2016, Geirsson has served in an interim chief capacity. He has earned local and regional respect for excellent technical ability in the operating room, and exemplary clinical outcomes.
Geirsson has spent much of his surgical career at Yale. He came to Yale in 1998 from Iceland when he matched into the Yale General Surgery Program as a categorical resident. Following cardiothoracic fellowship training at the University of Pennsylvania, he joined the faculty at Yale Cardiac Surgery in 2007. His clinical focus was on minimally invasive surgery and valve surgery. He performed the first valve-sparing root replacement at Yale in 2008; the first hybrid revascularization at the VA in 2008; the first right thoracotomy mitral valve repair at Yale in 2009; and the first robotic heart operation at Yale in 2011. Before returning to Yale in 2016, Geirsson was an attending surgeon at Landspitali University Hospital in Reykjavik, Iceland from 2012-2016. However, he continued to visit the West Haven VA regularly, performing complex cardiac cases with the VA team.
Geirsson’s initial clinical position was at the West Haven Veterans Affairs Hospital, but also included basic science research focusing on the role of miRNA in the heart and dysregulated TGF-beta signaling in myxomatous mitral valve disease. His research interests include investigating the biological changes and pathways involved in pathogenesis of mitral valve prolapse and thoracic aortic aneurysm. He has published various research articles in both basic and clinical science, and he also serves as an editorial reviewer for the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation and Circulation.
Geirsson is an active member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the American Heart Association(AHA), serving on various committees of the AHA, including the Surgery Study Section and the Young Leadership Committee for the Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia.
In his new role, Geirsson will oversee a multidisciplinary team of caregivers who provide comprehensive care for patients with cardiac disease. He is devoted to advancing clinical care, cutting-edge clinical and basic science research, and training tomorrow’s cardiac surgeons.