Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University has a glorious history: In 1958, open-heart surgery undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass firstly in China was performed successfully in the department, which played the role of a milestone in the history of cardiac surgery in china. The department became to recruit postgraduates in 1964, formed the first medical special department center of PLA in 1978, and had the right to confer master degree and doctor degree in 1978 and 1987 respectively. The department was approved as one academic branch of postdoctoral research station of clinical medicine by the State Council in 1995, followed by a major construction discipline of national "211" project in 1997. In 2001, it was evaluated as Institute of Cardiovascular Disease of PLA (determined by reexamination in 2005), and were identified as training center for diagnosis and treatment of coronary heart disease of World Health Foundation. In 2002, it was considered as "National Key Discipline (Cardiothoracic Surgery) " by the Ministry of Education (determined by reexamination in 2007), and became the first training base of minimally invasive cardiovascular surgery in China, as well as a training base for cardiovascular surgeons of Chinese Doctor Association.
Through continuous efforts and exploration of many experts and professors during the past 50 years, the department has developed into a national key discipline, Institute of Cardiovascular Disease of PLA and postdoctoral research station with rational talent echelon and professional structure, which has internationally advanced and nationally first-rate comprehensive strength in medicine, education and research. 7 internationally renowned experts are invited as visiting professors, and the department is also responsible for cultivating international students. There are 170 scientific and technical personnel in the department, including 6 professors, 8 associate professors, 2 doctoral supervisors, 6 master student supervisors and 14 lecturers. More than 90% surgeons have Doctor’s degree or have studied from overseas. The department is composed of three ward areas, an ICU, six operating rooms, and an independent laboratory. There are 9 clinical specific groups in the department: congenital heart disease group, pediatric cardiac surgery group, valvular heart disease surgery group, coronary heart disease surgery group, aneurysm surgery group, thoracoscopic surgery group, interventional surgery group, ICU group, and extracorporeal circulation group. The clinical department opens 240 beds and completes nearly 3,500 cardiac operations each year, ranked 3rd in China. More than sixty-percent of the operations are very complicated and/or high risk with the youngest patient being two days old and the oldest being 83 years old. The success rate for surgeries is 98.3% making it one of the highest ranked centers in the nation. The department is well known for its work with video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery, hybrid cardiovascular surgery, and the early treatment of chest trauma. Also, biological heart valve research is a key element of the department. A total of 38 heart transplantations and two combined heart-lung transplantations have been performed in the department, as well as the first combined transplantation of the liver, heart, and kidney in Asia. The department is also known for its superior surgical techniques in the treatment of high-risk congenital heart disease, coronary heart disease, and aneurysms.
The department had sequently received 2 pivotal projects funded by national scientific and technical key task, 2 priority subjects of national 11th five-year scientific and technological support plan, 1 major projects provided by the state "863" plan, and over 110 subjects supported by the military, provincial or national Natural Science Foundation. The department is also awarded: the second prize of National Technology Award once, great technological achievements of National 8th Five-Year plan once, the 1st award of ministerial or provincial scientific achievements for 4 times, while 2nd award for 18 times.