Adult Cardiac Surgery

The UNC Cardiac Surgery program offers a full range of surgical treatment of heart disease. We specialize in treating adult patients with complex medical issues such as heart failure, valvular disorders, diabetes, end-stage renal disease requiring hemodialysis, and blood clotting disorders. We truly believe that our patients come first, and we develop an individual plan of care for each patient. Our multidisciplinary team includes two heart surgeons, an adult nurse practitioner, a pharmacist, a case manager, and specially trained nurses.

A separate team treats children who need heart surgery. For information on UNC's Pediatric Cardiac Surgery program, click here.

Cardiac surgeons work closely with physicians from the Division of Cardiology and Division of Vascular Surgery to provide the best care for patients.

UNC Hospitals has an intensive care unit and a step-down unit that are dedicated to the care of patients after cardiothoracic surgery. The Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit recently received the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence. It is the only intensive care unit in the state of North Carolina to receive this prestigious award.

Heart Surgeons and Nurse Practitioner

Heart Surgeons

Thomas G. Caranasos, MD

Specialties: Adult cardiac and thoracic surgery including heart and lung transplantation. Special interest in aortic surgery including the ascending, arch pathology, thoracic aorta and aortic root, transcatheter aortic valve surgery (TAVR), mitral and aortic valvular surgery, minimally invasive approaches to cardiac surgery, video assisted thoracic surgery.

Benjamin E. Haithcock, MD

Adult cardiac surgery and heart transplantation; ventricular assist device (VAD) implantation. Thoracic oncology including cancer of lung and esophagus, lung transplantation, minimally invasive thoracic surgery, lung and esophageal surgery.  Research on lung cancer (CALGB trial of lobectomy versus sublobar resection for small (<2cm) peripheral non-small cell lung cancer); use of lungs from non-heart-beating donors for transplantation.


Physician Assistants

Kevan Haas, MS, PA-C

Andrew Shirlen, MMS, PA


Susan Marti, BSN, RN, Nurse Coordinator

Megan Randall, MSN, ANP, FNP, Nurse Practitioner

Tracy Vernon-Platt,  MSN, APRN Nurse Practitioner




For an appointment with UNC Adult Cardiac Surgery physicians, call  (984) 974-2872.

We prefer that any test results be faxed or CDs with images be mailed to us prior to the first appointment so that we can review all information before seeing the patient. If you have questions about what is needed, call Susan Marti, RN, at (919) 966-3381.

  • Fax test results to Susan Marti at 919-966-3475.
  • Mail CDs of images to:

Susan Marti, RN
UNC Division of Cardiothorac Surgery
3040 Burnett-Womack Building, CB #7065
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7065



New patients are seen on Tuesdays and Wednesdays; appointment dates and times are negotiated with each patient. The patient will be told where to come to the appointment. The cardiac surgery clinic is located within the Transplant clinic, located on the 4th floor of the Main Hospital (N.C. Memorial Hospital).

Patients who have had surgery are seen for follow-up appointments on Wednesday afternoons at the Transplant clinic, on the 4th floor of the Main Hospital (N.C. Memorial Hospital).

Patients who have received a Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) are seen on Tuesday mornings in the Transplant clinic, on the 4th floor of the Main Hospital.