Dr. Tavilla obtained his MD degree cum laudea from the University of Messina, Italy and stayed there for his general surgery residency and received his title as specialist in general surgery. He then moved to The Netherlands and completed his cardiothoracic surgery residency at the St. Antonius Hospital Nieuwegein, followed by a one-year residency in congenital heart surgery and lung surgery at the University Hospital in Nijmegen. In the same period, he obtained, cum laude, his specialization in Cardiovascular Surgery at the University of Bologna, Italy. He has been a consultant in cardiothoracic surgery and has held a senior position in several Dutch hospitals, including many years as Associated Professor at the Leiden University Medical Centre in Leiden.
Since the early nineties, Dr. Tavilla has focused on total arterial revascularization in coronary bypass using both internal thoracic arteries (ITAs) and the gastroepiploic artery (GEA). During the same period, he studied all aspects (anatomy, histology and clinical use) of the GEA, reporting the results in many papers published in high impact journals. Those papers were the basis of his PhD on total arterial revascularization using exclusively in-situ BITAs and GEA. He published another remarkable paper on the transabdominal use of the right gastroepiploic artery bypass to the right coronary artery avoiding sternotomy in re-operations using the off-pump technique. This patients-cohort is the largest experience with this technique worldwide. Referrals from all over the country and from other European countries came to him to undergo this operation. Furthermore, Dr. Tavilla published the 20-year follow-up on total arterial revascularization using exclusively both internal thoracic arteries and the right gastroepiploic artery as in-situ graft. This is, up to now, the longest follow-up on this technique ever published.
The cardiothoracic experience of Dr. Tavilla spans all aspects of adult cardiac surgery. He has a great amount of experience in complex and redo cardiac surgery as well as mitral valve repair. In minimal-invasive cardiac surgery, besides total arterial off-pump coronary revascularization, he has experience in performing TAVI and mini-Maze procedures.
Dr. Tavilla is the (co-)author of more than forty peer-reviewed papers published in prominent international journals and co-author in textbook chapters. Furthermore, he is the (co-)author of more than a hundred oral presentations, abstracts, and proceedings in international meetings. Dr. Tavilla is certified by the European Board of Cardiovascular Surgery and the Dutch Board of Cardiothoracic Surgery. He is a member of the Society for Thoracic Surgeons, The European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgery and The International Society of Minimal Invasive Cardiac Surgery. He serves on the Reviewers Board of the European Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery, The Annals of Thoracic Surgery and the European Heart Journal.