John Puskas, MD, MSc

John Puskas, MD, MSc

Dr. Puskas is Professor of Surgery, Emory University School of Medicine, and Associate Chief, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. He specializes in adult cardiac surgery. He began performing coronary bypass operations on beating hearts without using a heart-lung machine in 1996, and performed the world's first triple off-pump bypass surgery using minimally invasive coronary artery bypass graft instrumentation in 1997. Since 2010 he has worked with Dr. Michael Halkos to advance the field of hybrid coronary revascularization and leads a national multi-centered NIH – sponsored study of outcomes with this technique.


  • Cardiothoracic Surgery (Board certified since 1996)
  • Surgery (Board certified since 1994)

Areas of Expertise

  • Atrial fibrillation ablation therapy
  • Cardiothoracic surgery - minimally-invasive
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery - off-pump
  • Robotic surgery
  • Tracheal surgery
  • Valve repair/replacement

Groundbreaking Research and Clinical Trials

He has conducted various high profile studies investigating the medical benefit of off-pump cardiac surgery, such as the 2000-2004 SMART study that established the efficacy of off-pump coronary bypass in providing complete revascularization and graft patency rates equivalent to conventional coronary artery bypass graft surgery, while reducing morbidity and hospital length of stay. Dr. Puskas founded and directs the Emory Cardiothoracic Surgery Clinical Research Unit, which is devoted to developing and investigating new techniques and technologies in cardiothoracic surgery through rigorous clinical trials. He is Principle Investigaor within the NIH-sponsored Cardiothoracic Surgery Network, and has earned numerous national and international awards for his published research. Dr. Puskas is a Past President of the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery.

Major or Recent Publications

  • Hybrid coronary revascularization versus off-pump coronary artery bypass for the treatment of left main coronary stenosis.
    Halkos ME, Rab ST, Vassiliades TA, Morris DC, Douglas JS, Kilgo PD, Liberman HA, Guyton RA, Thourani VH, Puskas JD.
    Ann Thorac Surg. 2011 Dec;92(6):2155-60.
  • Hybrid coronary revascularization versus off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting for the treatment of multivessel coronary artery disease.
    Halkos ME, Vassiliades TA, Douglas JS, Morris DC, Rab ST, Liberman HA, Samady H, Kilgo PD, Guyton RA, Puskas JD.
    Ann Thorac Surg. 2011 Nov;92(5):1695-701; discussion 1701-2.
  • Hybrid coronary revascularization for the treatment of left main coronary stenosis: A feasibility study.
    Rab ST, Douglas JS Jr, Lyons E, Puskas JD, Bansal D, Halkos ME, Guyton RA, Vassiliades TA.
    Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2011 Sep 27. doi: 10.1002/ccd.23312.
  • Long-term results of the endoscopic atraumatic coronary artery bypass.
    Vassiliades TA Jr, Reddy VS, Puskas JD, Guyton RA.
    Ann Thorac Surg. 2007 Mar;83(3):979-84; discussion 984-5.


  • American Association for Thoracic Surgery
  • American College of Chest Physicians
  • American College of Surgeons
  • International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Society of Thoracic Surgeons