Pramod N. Bonde, MD, is a cardiac surgeon who performs a wide array of procedures, including heart bypass surgery, aortic valve, mitral valve repair/replacement, aortic aneurysm repair, LVAD and heart transplantation. He is an expert at performing so-called keyhole (minimally invasive) surgeries, instead of cracking open the chest. For patients, this approach can mean reduced pain and earlier recovery.
His open-heart surgeries, including valve repair/replacements and bypass surgeries, have given countless patients a new lease on life and enabled them to return to playing an active role in society.
Dr. Bonde is an associate professor of surgery (cardiac surgery) at Yale School of Medicine and surgical director of the mechanical circulatory support program. In the latter role, he develops and installs heart pumps to support the function of the heart and lungs. He leads a research group that includes close to a dozen physicians, engineers and student assistants, all working on developing fully implantable artificial hearts.
He has helped many patients with his pioneering use of left ventricle assist devices (LVAD), small pumps that are placed in the chest to improve the functions of the heart. LVAD devices are known as a “bridge to transplant” for patients whose hearts are no longer able to pump blood properly and who may be waiting for a transplant. More recently, Dr. Bonde and other cardiac surgeons are using LVADs as permanent solutions for patients who might not be transplant candidates. “These assist devices can save countless lives,” Dr. Bonde says.
He evaluates each patient carefully, and discusses options with patients and their families to determine which treatment is best for them. Sometimes that approach results in Dr. Bonde performing a relatively uncommon operation.
“I want to see patients going back to society where they belong,” Dr. Bonde says. “So I ask myself, Is this operation appropriate for him?” His ultimate goal is to help his patients go home to their families and friends and enjoy long productive lives.