Federico Benetti, champion of beating heart surgery

Cardiovascular News had the privilege of spending time with the famous Argentinean surgeon Federico Benetti during the recent EACTS meeting in Monaco. Since 1985, Federico Benetti has championed the resurgence of beating heart surgery. He pioneered the left anterior thoracotomy MIDCAB procedure, which he has further refined to a xiphoid approach – the xiphoid incision being a simpler, less painful approach than that through a left anterior thoracotomy. 

Federico’s father was Pablo Benetti, who performed the first open-heart operation in Argentina, and this meant that young Federico was exposed early on to a surgical influence. By the age of 14, Federico Benetti was already experimenting in heart surgery, but apart from that he said that his upbringing was normal, with a liking for football and water-skiing. According to Benetti, there was never any doubt in his mind that he would become a cardiac surgeon and he performed his first case at the remarkably young age of 24.

He was a student in Rosario, Argentina, and then trained in Sao Pablo, Brazil, under Dr Zervini. He then returned to Argentina and in 1978 began off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery (OPCAB). This meant that he was later referred to as ‘the father of beating heart surgery’. He faced a lot of resistance, but when he moved to Buenos Aires he felt he could develop the operation further, and by 1990 he had performed 700 cases off-pump and started to train people in the technique. 

In 1994, in Chicago, he showed the first minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass (MIDCAB) in the US and in October 1994 he performed the first European MIDCAB in Italy. This heralded, what Benetti called “a new era of minimally invasive cardiac surgery”. Surgeons at that time were somewhat surprised by his technological developments. 

In 1994, Benetti, Jack Taylor and Richard Ferrari set up the company CardioThoracic Systems (CTS), which was later acquired by Guidant. They developed the mechanical stabilisers and the positioners that enable beating heart surgery and Benetti said that he is responsible for six inventions. 

Benetti initially worked on his own and describes himself as a “great conceptual thinker”. He eventually surrounded himself with engineers and he is now part of the Guidant organisation, where he is able to pass on ideas and concepts. 

He described the 1996 Oxford meeting run by Stephen Westaby as a “pivotal event”. It enabled Benetti to really showcase beating heart surgery. He said: “Most surgeons there thought I was crazy but they became aghast when one of the patients operated on, the next day, walked to the podium said how happy he was. This was a great way of popularising the procedure.” According to Benetti cardiac surgery will now move towards “gentler surgery, even ambulatory care”. 

Benetti is now focusing his attentions on his foundation, which does social work in Argentina. He is troubled by the Argentinean economic and political situation. - See more at: http://www.cxvascular.com/cn-archives/cardiovascular-news-issue-2/federico-benetti-champion-of-beating-heart-surgery#sthash.UVObd8Oo.dpuf


Algunas publicaciones presentadas por el Dr. Benetti y su Fundación en las revistas médicas más prestigiosas del mundo.
Ver CV del Dr. Federico Benetti

  • Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery. Quality Medial Publishing, Inc. R Cohen, M. Mack, R. Landreneau, J. Fonger, editors. Emery. Techniques for MIDCAB Surgery. Chapter 4. 1997 by Hanley & Belfus, Inc. Second Edition of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery, Ambulatory Coronary Surgery. 2003. Daniel J. Goldstein, editors. Revascularización Coronaria Directa sin CEC. Actualización Cardiovascular, Edition Annual, Vol 5, Page. 77-95. Madrid. España. CIRUGÍA CORONARIA SIN CEC. Editorial Akadia, 1993.

  • MANAGED CARE AND THE CARDIAC PATIENT: THE EXPERIENCE IN ARGENTINA, Federico Benetti, MD, Carlos Ballester; MD. Edited by Ott, Tanner & Henderson. 1995. Hanley & Belfus, Inc. Philadelfhia, PA. Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery, Inc. Cohen, M. Mack, R. Landreneau, J. Fonger, Editors. Quality Medical Publishing, Inc. San Lois Missouri 1999, Cap 10, Historical Review.

  • Techniques for Minimally Invasive Direct Coronary Artery Bypass (MIDCAB) Surgery. Robert Emery. Capitulo 4. 1997 by Hanley, Inc. Minimally Invasive cardiac Surgery. Second Edition . Daniel Goldstein, MD. Mehmet C. Oz, MD, Humana Pres. Inc. 2004. Cap 11. Stem Cell Research and Therapeutics, Advances in Biomedical Research 1, Yanhong Shi, Dennos O. Clegg, Editors, SPRINGER, 2008.

  • A. N. Patel, L Geffner. R. F. Viña, H. C. Urschel, Jr., R Kormos, F. Benetti, Cardiothoracic Surgery University of Pittburgh, Pisttburgh, P.A., 
    Cardiothoracic Surgery, Benetti Foundation, Rosario, Argentina, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX. Surgical Treatment for Congestive Heart Failure using Autologous Adult Stem Cells Transplantation Early Results, Supplement to The Journal of HEART AND LUNG TRANSPLANTATION, Vol 23, Number 25, Editorial ELSEVIER, February 2004.

  • A. N. Patel, L Geffner. R. F. Viña, H. C. Urschel, Jr., R Kormos, F. Benetti, Cardiothoracic Surgery University of Pittburgh, Pisttburgh, P.A., 
    Cardiothoracic Surgery, Benetti Foundation, Rosario, Argentina, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX. Surgical Treatment for Congestive Heart Failure using Autologous Adult Stem Cells Transplantation Early Results, American Association of Thoracic Surgery, Toronto, Canada, April 2004.

  • Surgical Treatment for congestive heart failure with Autologous adult stem cell transplantation: A prospective randomized study. Amit Patel, Md., Geffner Luis, MD, Roberto Fernandez Viña, MD, Jorge Saslavsky MD, Federico Benetti, MD. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Vol 130, Nº 6, 1631, Diciembre 2005.
    Federico Benetti MD, Geffner Luis, MD. STEM CELLS para la regeneración Celular, Metrociencia, Volumen 14, Nº 2, Julio 2005.

  • Benetti F. Minimally invasive coronary surgery (the xiphoid approcha). European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery 16 (Suppl. 2) (1999) S10-S11.

  • Benetti F, Rizzardi J, Concetti C, Bergese M, Zappetti A. Minimally aortic valve surgery avoiding sternotomy. European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery 16 (Suppl. 2) (1999) S84-S85.

  • Guido Sani, Federico Benetti, massimo Mariani, Giangranco Lisi, Michele Toscano. Arterial myocardia revascularization without cardiopulmonary bypass through a small thoracotomy. Eur J Cardio-thoracic Surg 1996; 10:699-701.

  • Guido Sani, Federico Benetti, massimo Mariani, Giangranco Lisi, Michele Toscano. New horizons in coronary surgery. Leadership Médica 1996; 3: 12-18.

  • Benetti F. J. Mariani M. A. Ballester C., Direct coronary surgery without cardiopulmonary bypass in acute myocardial infarction.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 1996; 37:391-5.

  • Sani Guido, Mariani Massimo, Benetti Federico, Maccherini Massimo, Ciomarelli Pierpaolo, Biagioli Bonizella, Toscano Michele. Coronary surgery without cardiopulmonary bypass. Cardiologia, Organo Ufficiale della Societa Italiana de Cardiologia. Vol. 40- N°11, Noviembre 1995.

  • Gianfranco Lisi, Massimo Maccherini, Massimo Mariani, Guido Sani, Pasquale Totaro,Federico Benetti, Federico Bizzarri, Giuseppe Mazzesi, Pier Paolo Giomarelli, Bonizella Biagioli, Michele Toscano. Bypass aorto-coronario sin circulación extra-corpórea. (Coronary artery bypass surgery without cardiopulmonary bypass) Arch Chir Torac Cardiovasc 1995; 17(1): 24-25.

  • Pier Paolo Giomarelli, Boniezell Biagioli, Guido Sani, Federico Benetti, Massimo Mariani, Massimo Maglioni, Rossano Maremmi, Marco Garosi,
    Gregorio Finamore, Michele Toscano. Modificazioni emodinamiche dopo anestesia per chirurgia coronarica senza circolazione extracorporea (CEC). (Hemodynamic changes after anaesthesia in coronary surgery without cardiopulmonary bypass). Arch Chir Torac Cardiovasc 1995; 17(1): 16-17.

  • Subramanian V. A., Sani B., Benetti F. J., Calafiore A. M. Minimally invasive coronary bypass surgery: A multicenter report of preliminary clinical experience. Circulation 1995 (Nov).

  •  Benetti F. Mariani M. A., Sani G. et al. Video-assisted minimally invasive coronary operations without cardiopulmonary bypass: a multicenter study. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. 1996; 112(6):1478-84.

  • Westaby S, Benetti F. J. Less Invasive Coronary Surgery: Consensus From the Oxford Meeting. Annals of Thoracic Surgery 1996; 62: 924-931.
    Benetti F. J. Mariani M. A., Rizzardi J. L. Benetti Y. Minimally invasive aortic valve replacement. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. 1997;113(4):806-7

  • Benetti F.J. Rizzardi J.L., Pire L, Polanco A. Mitral valve replacements under video assistance through a minithoracotomy.
    Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 1997; 6394):1150-2.