Society of Thoracic Surgeons

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The Society of Thoracic Surgeons is a Chicago, Illinois (USA)-based medical specialty professional society in the field of cardiothoracic surgery. Membership worldwide includes more than 7,400 surgeons, researchers, and other health care professionals who are part of the cardiothoracic surgery team. The society's official journal is The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.


STS members are dedicated to ensuring the best surgical care for patients with diseases of the heart, lung, esophagus, and other organs in the chest. The society offers clinical practice guidelines to assist physicians and other health care providers in clinical decision making by describing a range of generally acceptable approaches for the diagnosis, management, or prevention of specific diseases or conditions.

Nineteen guideline documents are currently available, including Blood Conservation Guidelines, Cardiac Surgery Risk Models Guidelines, and Use of Antiplatelet Drugs in Patients Having Cardiac and Non-Cardiac Operations. In 2012 the organization contributed, with others, to the development of guidelines for treating Ischaemic heart disease.[1]

The STS National Database was established in 1989 as an initiative for quality improvement and patient safety among cardiothoracic surgeons. The Database has three components—Adult Cardiac Surgery Database (ACSD), General Thoracic Surgery Database (GTSD), and Congenital Heart Surgery Database (CHSD)—and now houses more than 6 million surgical records. The STS National Database has grown to be the largest database of its kind in medicine and is one of the pioneers in the analysis and reporting of risk-adjusted outcomes in cardiothoracic surgery.[2]

In late 2010, the Society launched STS Public Reporting Online, an initiative through which participants of the ACSD could voluntarily reported their performance on coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgeries. Since then, ACSD public reporting has evolved to include aortic valve replacement (AVR) surgery and CABG+AVR. Public reporting from the CHSD was added in 2015, and public reporting from the GTSD is scheduled to begin in 2016. Currently, STS Public Reporting Online includes more than 400 STS National Database participants. Consumer Reports and U.S. News & World Report have both relied upon STS Public Reporting Online data for their respective hospital ratings programs.,[3][4]

The STS/ACC Transcatheter Valve Therapy (TVT) Registry is a benchmarking tool developed to track patient safety and real-world outcomes related to the transaortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure. Created by STS and the American College of Cardiology (ACC), the TVT Registry is designed to monitor the safety and efficacy of this new procedure for the treatment of aortic stenosis. The TVT Registry, which launched in December 2011, has since added mitral valve procedures. To date, more than 400 sites have entered more than 63,000 patient records.

In 2016, the Society launched a patient information website. The Patient Guide to Heart, Lung, and Esophageal Surgery is available in English and Spanish and provides easily understandable information, videos, and graphics on adult heart disease, pediatric and congenital heart disease, lung, esophageal, and other chest diseases, and heart and lung transplantation.[5][6]


To meet the needs of an expanding specialty, a group of established young thoracic surgeons, led primarily by Dr. R. Adams Cowley of Baltimore, met in the late 1950s to exchange ideas concerning the feasibility of another thoracic surgical society.[7]

By April 1963, a committee comprising Dr. Cowley (Chairman), Dr. Francis X. Byron of Los Angeles, Dr. Clifford F. Storey of San Diego, Dr. J. Maxwell Chamberlain of New York, Dr. John D. Steele of San Fernando, Calif., Dr. Byron H. Evans of Fresno, Calif., Dr. Edgar P. Mannix of Manhasset, NY, Dr. Earle B. Kay of Cleveland, and Dr. John E. Miller of Baltimore, recommended that the a new society for thoracic and cardiovascular surgery be established.[8] A planning committee was appointed, and an STS constitution was finalized in August 1963 at the home or Dr. Robert K. Brown in Denver. Officers and councilors were elected on October 31, 1963, and included Dr. Paul C. Samson as president, Dr. Thomas H. Burford as vice president, Dr. Byron as secretary, and Dr. John E. Steele as editor of The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.[9]

The first STS Annual Meeting was held in St. Louis in January 1965. To avoid programming conflicts with the American College of Surgeons meeting, traditionally held in the fall, and the American Association for Thoracic Surgery meeting, traditionally held in the spring, STS Annual Meetings are held at the end of January, usually in a warm climate.

The initial management activities of STS were conducted from the office of Dr. J. Maxwell Chamberlain in New York. By 1969, when membership in the Society had grown to approximately 700, it was decided that management activities would be handled by a professional management organization. Smith, Bucklin and Associates (SBA) managed STS from 1969 to 2002, but in the later years of the SBA era, the Society's leadership felt the organization had grown so robust that it was time to hire a staff of dedicated STS employees.

The transition to self-management was successfully implemented under the direction of Mark B. Orringer, MD, who completed his term as STS President, and William A. Baumgartner, MD, his successor as President.

On June 1, 2002, STS opened its headquarters office in the American College of Surgeons building in Chicago with 9.5 full-time employee equivalents, including Executive Director & General Counsel Robert A. Wynbrandt, and a membership that had grown to more than 4,100. In 2004, a dedicated STS office in Washington, DC, was established; By 2016, the STS staff in Chicago and Washington had grown to approximately 60 full-time employees, and membership had grown to more than 7,100.

STS manages and provides staff support for five affiliate organizations, including its charitable arm, The Thoracic Surgery Foundation. The managed organizations are Cardiothoracic Surgery Network (CTSNet), Southern Thoracic Surgical Association, Thoracic Surgery Directors Association, Thoracic Surgery Foundation, and Women in Thoracic Surgery.

Strategic Plan[edit]

In January 2016, the STS Board of Directors officially updated the Society's strategic plan. The mission, to "Enhance the ability of cardiothoracic surgeons to provide the highest quality patient care through education, research, and advocacy," remained unchanged; however, the vision and core values were refreshed. The vision is "Improving lives of patients with cardiothoracic disease", and the Society's core values are Quality, Innovation, Professionalism, Inclusiveness, and Teamwork.


  1. ^ Larry, Larry (2012-11-19). "Comprehensive Guidelines for Stable Ischemic Heart Disease Released - Forbes". Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  2. ^ Ferguson TB Jr, Dziuban SW Jr, Edwards FH, Eiken MC, Shroyer AL, Pairolero PC, Anderson RP, Grover FL (2000-03-01). "The STS National Database: current changes and challenges for the new millennium. Committee to Establish a National Database in Cardiothoracic Surgery, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons". Ann Thorac Surg. 69: 680–91. PMID 10750744. 
  3. ^ "How We Rate Hospitals". 2015-06-01. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  4. ^ "FAQ: How and Why We Rate and Rank Hospitals". 2015-07-21. Retrieved 22 July 2015. 
  5. ^ "The Patient Guide to Heart, Lung, and Esophageal Surgery". 2016-01-05. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
  6. ^ "STS Launches Website for Patients". 2016-01-05. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 
  7. ^ Ann Thorac Surg Ellison 37 (1): 1. | accessed=1 February 2013
  8. ^ John Alexander Society Minutes, April 8, 1963
  9. ^ Ann Thorac Surg 2014;97:S2-S4. Rainer WG and Merrill W. Accessed March 7, 2014.

External links[edit]