DR. MARK J. RUSSO, MD, MS

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Dr Mark J Russo,
MD, MS

Heart Surgeon

Expert in Valve Surgery, ​Complex Aortic Disease, ​TAVR, and Mitraclip

Dr Mark J Russo, MD, MS

Heart Surgeon

Professor of Surgery
Chief, Cardiac Surgery
Director, Structural Heart Disease
Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Expert in Valve Surgery, Complex Aortic Disease, TAVR, and Mitraclip

Dr. Russo is Professor of Surgery,
Chief of Cardiac Surgery, and
Director of Structural Heart Disease
at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Dr. Russo is an internationally-known expert in the treatment of heart valve disease.

Dr Russo is one of the most experienced transcatheter valve surgeons in the U.S.

He has participated in 500+ successful organ transplants and has co-authored 50+ publications on organ transplantation.

Expertise

Dr. Russo specializes in complex and reoperative aortic and valvular surgery. To achieve the best possible patient outcomes, Dr. Russo uses leading-edge technologies including minimally-invasive, transcatheter, and hybrid approaches; valve-preserving techniques; and advanced cardio-pulmonary support. He is one of the few heart doctors in the United States skilled at open, minimally-invasive, and catheter-based cardiac therapies. 

 

Dr Russo is among the most experienced transcatheter surgeons in the U.S and has taught these novel procedures to physicians throughout the world. He is also an experienced heart transplant surgeon, participating in over 500 successful organ transplants.

 

Dr. Russo is a thought leader in minimalist and rapid recovery approaches, which focus on using least invasive cardiac therapies and other strategies designed to minimize pain, minimize hospital stay, and achieve the fastest possible recovery for patients.

RWJ

Expertise

An internationally-known expert in the treatment of heart valve disease, Dr Russo is one of only a small number of heart doctors in the U.S. skilled at open, minimally invasive, and catheter-based procedures. Dr. Russo is one of the most experienced transcatheter valve surgeons in the U.S. He is a thought leader in minimalist and rapid recovery approaches, which focus on using less invasive treatments and other strategies designed to minimize pain, shorten hospital stay, and provide the fastest possible recovery for patients.

Dr. Russo specializes in complex and reoperative aortic and valvular surgery. To achieve the best possible patient outcomes, Dr. Russo uses leading-edge tech nologies including minimally-invasive, transcatheter, and hybrid approaches; valve-preserving techniques; and advanced cardio-pulmonary support. 

He has participated in 500+ successful organ transplants and has co-authored 50+ publications on organ transplantation.

Commonly Performed Procedures

Minimally invasive valve surgery is a specialized approach to treating heart valve disease that avoids the need to “crack the chest.” This method uses sophisticated instruments to perform the surgery through a smaller incision at the side of the chest and offers the patients less pain and faster recovery. We perform nearly all of our isolated valve surgeries minimally invasively.

 

An aortic aneurysm is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of main blood vessel in the body. The risk of aortic catastrophe, including dissection and rupture, increases dramatically with an aneurysm. Surgery may be recommended when the aorta is larger than 4.5-6 cms. Factors including family history, lifestyle, and need for other heart surgery guide decisions about surgery.​

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), also known as transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), is a minimally invasive approach to the treatment of aortic stenosis. In most patients, it requires no incision and typically patients are discharged within 1 day. Dr Russo is among the most experienced TAVR surgeons in the US.

A “bypass” or “cabg” surgery is the most commonly performed heart surgery. It is necessary when the coronary arteries, which provide blood to the heart become narrow preventing sufficient blood from passing through, and thus depriving the heart of oxygen and nutrients. RWJUH has CABG outcomes that exceed national benchmarks.

When other treatments are insufficient, a heart transplant is a surgical procedure offered to patients with the most severe damage to the heart. RWJUH is one of a limited number of centers in the US that offer advance heart failure surgery, including heart transplant. Dr. Russo has participated in 500+ successful transplant surgeries.

The MitraClip device is a small clip that helps your mitral valve to close more completely. The procedure does not require opening the chest or stopping the heart. Instead, through a vein in the leg, a thin tube (called a catheter) is guided to the mitral valve. Dr. Russo is among the highest volume Mitraclip operators in the Northeast.​​

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To schedule an in-person or telemedicine consultation with Dr. Russo,
please call 732-235-7231 or send an email

Commonly Performed Procedures

Minimally invasive valve surgery is a specialized approach to treating heart valve disease that avoids the need to “crack the chest.” This method uses sophisticated instruments to perform the surgery through a smaller incision at the side of the chest and offers the patients less pain and faster recovery. We perform nearly all of our isolated valve surgeries minimally invasive. Read More

An aortic aneurysm is a bulging, weakened area in the wall of main blood vessel in the body. The risk of aortic catastrophe, including dissection and rupture, increases dramatically with an aneurysm. Surgery may be recommended when the aorta is larger than 4.5-6 cms. Factors including family history, lifestyle, and need for other heart surgery guide decisions about surgery. Read More

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), also known as transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), is a minimally invasive approach to the treatment of aortic stenosis. In most patients, it requires no incision and typically patients are discharged within 1 day. Dr Russo is among the most experienced TAVR surgeons in the US. Read More.

A “bypass” or “cabg” surgery is the most commonly performed heart surgery. It is necessary when the coronary arteries, which provide blood to the heart become narrow preventing sufficient blood from passing through, and thus depriving the heart of oxygen and nutrients. RWJUH has CABG outcomes that exceed national benchmarks.  Read More

When other treatments are insufficient, a heart transplant is a surgical procedure offered to patients with the most severe damage to the heart. RWJUH is one of a limited number of centers in the US that offer advance heart failure surgery, including heart transplant. Dr. Russo has participated in 500+ successful transplant surgeries.  Read More

The MitraClip device is a small clip that helps your mitral valve to close more completely. The procedure does not require opening the chest or stopping the heart. Instead, through a vein in the leg, a thin tube (called a catheter) is guided to the mitral valve.  Dr. Russo is among the highest volume Mitraclip operators in the Northeast.  Read More

To schedule an in-person or telemedicine consultation with Dr. Russo,
please call 732-235-7231 or send an email

Research

Dr. Russo has coauthored more than 200 published manuscripts, abstracts, and textbook chapters focused on improving health care quality, outcomes, and access for patients with cardiovascular disease. His specific areas of interest include the adoption and diffusion of novel cardiac therapies, artificial intelligence in clinical decision making, large dataset analysis, access to care, and less invasive therapies and rapid recovery strategies.

 

Dr. Russo holds leadership roles for numerous national and international clinical trials. The findings of his work have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the Lancet, the Journals of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and Circulation and reported by major media outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC News, U.S. News & World Report, and Newsweek.

Clinical Trials at RWJUH

The study is a prospective, multi-center, randomized controlled pivotal clinical trial to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the EVOQUE System with optimal medical therapy (OMT) compared to OMT alone in the treatment of patients with at least severe tricuspid regurgitation. Subjects will be followed at discharge, 30 days, 3 months, 6 months and annually through 5 years.

This study will establish the safety and effectiveness of the SAPIEN M3 System in subjects with symptomatic, at least 3+ mitral regurgitation (MR) for whom commercially available surgical or transcatheter treatment options are deemed unsuitable.

The SUMMIT-Tendyne trial (Abbott) evaluates the safety and effectiveness of using the Tendyne Mitral Valve System for the treatment of symptomatic mitral regurgitation or mitral annular calcification in patients who are not appropriate for conventional mitral valve surgery. In the randomized arm, patients are treated with either the Tendyne device or MitraClip, while patients in the non-randomized and MAC arms receive the Tendyne device. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03433274

CLASP IID/F is a prospective, multicenter, randomized, controlled pivotal trial to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of transcatheter mitral valve repair in patients with degenerative/functional mitral regurgitation with the Edwards PASCAL Transcatheter Valve Repair System compared with the commercially available device (Abbott MitraClip).

RESTORE is a prospective, multicenter, non-randomized trial designed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the HARPOON™ Beating Heart Mitral Valve Repair System in patients with severe degenerative mitral regurgitation (DMR).

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement vs OMM (randomized) for asymptomatic severe AS The EARLY TAVR trial (Edwards) looks at transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) as an effective treatment for patients with asymptomatic aortic stenosis. Patients are randomized to either treatment with TAVR or clinical surveillance until the develop symptoms, at which point they are eligible to be treated with TAVR.  Read More

This study objective is to establish the safety and effectiveness of the Edwards SAPIEN 3/ SAPIEN 3 Ultra Transcatheter Heart Valve in subjects with moderate, calcific aortic stenosis. Patients are randomized to S3 TAVR device or medical management.  Read More

ALIGN-AR evaluates the safety and probable benefit of the transfemoral JenaValve Pericardial TAVR System in patients with symptomatic severe aortic regurgitation. Patients who are high risk for open surgical aortic valve replacement/repair are eligible. RWJUH is one of only 15 centers in the U.S. that can offer this therapy that has been granted a “Breakthrough Device Designation” by the US Food and Drug Administration. This designation is reserved for investigative therapies designed to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition and where preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the therapy may demonstrate substantial improvement over existing therapies on one or more clinically significant endpoints, such as substantial treatment effects observed early in clinical development.

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement for severe AS with a novel device evaluates the safety and efficacy of Acurate (Boston Scientific) valve for transcatheter aortic valve replacement. For patients with severe aortic stenosis who are at intermediate or greater risk for SAVR. Patients are randomized to Acurate or commerical TAVR device. Read More

Dr. Russo has published more than 200 scientific articles and abstracts.

His work has appeared in leading medical journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, and Circulation.​

Research

Dr. Russo has published more than 200 scientific articles and abstracts. He holds leadership roles for numerous national and international clinical trials, and his work has appeared in prestigious medical journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, and Circulation.

Dr. Russo has coauthored more than 200 published manuscripts, abstracts, and textbook chapters focused on improving health care quality, outcomes, and access for patients with cardiovascular disease. His specific areas of interest include the adoption and diffusion of novel cardiac therapies, artificial intelligence in clinical decision making, large dataset analysis, access to care, and less invasive therapies and rapid recovery strategies.

To schedule an in-person or telemedicine consultation with Dr. Russo,
please call 732-235-7231 or send an email

Clinical Trials at RWJUH

ALIGN-AR evaluates the safety and probable benefit of the transfemoral JenaValve Pericardial TAVR System in patients with symptomatic severe aortic regurgitation. Patients who are high risk for open surgical aortic valve replacement/repair are eligible. RWJUH is one of only 15 centers in the U.S. that can offer this therapy that has been granted a “Breakthrough Device Designation” by the US Food and Drug Administration. This designation is reserved for investigative therapies designed to treat a serious or life-threatening disease or condition and where preliminary clinical evidence indicates that the therapy may demonstrate substantial improvement over existing therapies on one or more clinically significant endpoints, such as substantial treatment effects observed early in clinical development.

The study is a prospective, multi-center, randomized controlled pivotal clinical trial to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the EVOQUE System with optimal medical therapy (OMT) compared to OMT alone in the treatment of patients with at least severe tricuspid regurgitation. Subjects will be followed at discharge, 30 days, 3 months, 6 months and annually through 5 years.

This study will establish the safety and effectiveness of the SAPIEN M3 System in subjects with symptomatic, at least 3+ mitral regurgitation (MR) for whom commercially available surgical or transcatheter treatment options are deemed unsuitable.

CLASP IID/F is a prospective, multicenter, randomized, controlled pivotal trial to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of transcatheter mitral valve repair in patients with degenerative/functional mitral regurgitation with the Edwards PASCAL Transcatheter Valve Repair System compared with the commercially available device (Abbott MitraClip).

The SUMMIT-Tendyne trial (Abbott) evaluates the safety and effectiveness of using the Tendyne Mitral Valve System for the treatment of symptomatic mitral regurgitation or mitral annular calcification in patients who are not appropriate for conventional mitral valve surgery. In the randomized arm, patients are treated with either the Tendyne device or MitraClip, while patients in the non-randomized and MAC arms receive the Tendyne device.

The objective of this randomized controlled trial (RCT) is to compare the clinical outcome of MitraClip™ device versus surgical repair in patients with severe primary MR who are at moderate surgical risk and whose mitral valve has been determined to be suitable for correction by MV repair surgery by the cardiac surgeon on the local site heart team.

This study will establish the safety and effectiveness of the SAPIEN M3 System in subjects with symptomatic, at least 3+ mitral regurgitation (MR) for whom commercially available surgical or transcatheter treatment options are deemed unsuitable.

This study objective is to establish the safety and effectiveness of the Edwards SAPIEN 3/ SAPIEN 3 Ultra Transcatheter Heart Valve in subjects with moderate, calcific aortic stenosis. Patients are randomized to S3 TAVR device or medical management.  Read More

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement for severe AS with a novel deviceEvaluates the safety and efficacy of Acurate (Boston Scientific) valve for transcatheter aortic valve replacement. For patients with severe aortic stenosis who are at intermediate or greater risk for SAVR. Patients are randomized to Acurate or commerical TAVR device. Read More

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement vs OMM (randomized) for asymptomatic severe AS The EARLY TAVR trial (Edwards) looks at transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) as an effective treatment for patients with asymptomatic aortic stenosis. Patients are randomized to either treatment with TAVR or clinical surveillance until the develop symptoms, at which point they are eligible to be treated with TAVR.  Read More

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Awards

For his work, Dr. Russo has received awards from leading scientific and professional organizations, including:

  • American Heart Association (AHA)
  • European Society of Cardiology (ESC)
  • Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
  • Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS)
  • Thoracic Surgery Directors Association (TSDA)
  • Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
 

Dr. Russo was the 2nd recipient of the President’s Award from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), the largest organization of thoracic and cardiovascular surgeons in the world.  In addition, he was been named a “Top Doctor” by NJ Magazine, a “Healthcare Hero” by Horizon Blue Cross, a Finalist for “New Jersey Physician of the Year” by NJBIZ, and “Best in Medicine” by American Health Council.

Dr. Russo holds leadership roles for numerous national and international clinical trials.

For his work, Dr. Russo has received awards from leading scientific and professional organizations.

Awards

For his work, Dr. Russo has received awards from leading scientific and professional organizations.


Including:

  • American Heart Association (AHA)
  • European Society of Cardiology (ESC)
  • Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
  • Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS)
  • Thoracic Surgery Directors Association (TSDA)
  • Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Dr. Russo was the 2nd recipient of the President’s Award from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS), the largest organization of thoracic and cardio-vascular surgeons in the world. In addition, he was been named a “Top Doctor by NJ Magazine,” a “Healthcare Hero” by Horizon Blue Cross, a Finalist for “New Jersey Physician of the Year” by NJBIZ, and “Best in Medicine” by American Health Council.

To schedule an in-person or telemedicine consultation with Dr. Russo,
please call 732-235-7231 or send an email

Background

Dr. Russo is a graduate of Phillips Academy in Andover, MA. He received a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Rochester–where he served as Captain of the Varsity Baseball team and Commencement Marshall as the member of the graduating class whom “most embodies the ideals of the College.” He later earned a Master’s in outcomes research from Dartmouth Medical School. He obtained his Medical Doctorate with Distinction in Research from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City; as a medical student, he received the Dean’s Awards “in recognition of remarkable intelligence and exceptional patient care abilities, and thereby promise for the future of medicine.” He completed residencies in General Surgery and Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City; at Columbia, he was awarded the Blakemore Prize for “best body of research by a graduating resident.” He also completed Post-Doctoral Research Fellowships at Columbia University and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute within the National Institutes of Health. ​


Previously, he was Assistant Attending-in-Cardiothoracic-Surgery at New York/ Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia. Prior to joining RWJBarnabas Health, he was Co-Director of the Aortic Center, Director of Cardiac Surgery Research, and Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.


Dr. Russo is a Diplomate of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery (ABTS); a member of the STS and American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS); a Board member for the patient advocacy group, Heart Valve Voice; and one of only 65 surgeons in the world with membership in the prestigious 21st Century Cardiothoracic Surgical Society.

Dr. Russo is a thought leader in minimalist and rapid recovery strategies, which focus on using less invasive treatments and other strategies designed to minimize pain, minimize hospital stay, and provide the fastest possible recovery for patients.

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Background

Dr. Russo is a Diplomate of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery (ABTS); a member of the STS and American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS); a Board member for the patient advocacy group, Heart Valve Voice (HVV); and one of only 65 surgeons in the world with membership in the prestigious 21st Century Cardiothoracic Surgical Society.

Dr. Russo is a graduate of Phillips Academy in Andover, MA. He received a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Rochester–where he served as Captain of the Varsity Baseball team and Commencement Marshall as the member of the graduating class whom “most embodies the ideals of the College.” He later earned a Master’s in outcomes research from Dartmouth Medical School. He obtained his Medical Doctorate with Distinction in Research from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City; as a medical student, he received the Dean’s Awards “in recognition of remarkable intelligence and exceptional patient care abilities, and thereby promise for the future of medicine.” He completed residencies in General Surgery and Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York City; at Columbia, he was awarded the Blakemore Prize for “best body of research by a graduating resident.” He also completed Post-Doctoral Research Fellowships at Columbia University and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute within the National Institutes of Health.

Previously, he was Assistant Attending-in-Cardiothoracic-Surgery at New York/ Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia. Prior to joining RWJBarnabas Health, he was Co-Director of the Aortic Center, Director of Cardiac Surgery Research, and Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.

  • Heart Disease on OnCall: Health + Medicine – PBS
  • TAVR Whats your Wrinkle – WOR Radio’s
  • Expanded TAVR Indications – TCTMD
  • New cardiac therapies – Medical Necessity
  • The Rise of Telemedicine – TVT
  • 34yo home after new heart – Miracle Transplant
  • “Options for Heart Valve Pts” – HeartValveVoices
  • Dr. Russo discusses Aortic Stenosis- Mended Hearts
  • TAVR during the Pandemic -SCAI/CIAS
  • Life Saving Heart Procedure – Jena Valve
  • RWJUH Unveils Technology and Innovation Hub
  • 30 Years after an Aortic Dissection a Solution is Found
  • Unforgettable Heart – Miracle Transplant
  • RWJ – Sameday discharge after Heart Valve Surgery
  • NJBIZ – Dr Russo named a Healthcare Hero ​
  • Alternative Treatment for the “Forgotten” Valve
  • USAToday – Cutting Edge Cardiac Fixes ​
  • Healthgrades – TAVR dont hesitate
  • Back in the Game – Ex NFLers Heart Transplant

PBS: Heart Disease OnCall

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Newest heart valve options

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Miracle transplant at RWJUH

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To schedule an in-person or telemedicine consultation with Dr. Russo,
please call 732-235-7231 or send an email