Illya M. Yemets

Director and Surgeon-in-Chief,
Professor of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery
Ukrainian Children’s Cardiac Center, Kyiv

24 Melnykova str., 04050 Kyiv, Ukraine


Dr. Yemets graduated from Kyiv Medical University in 1979. In 1991 with support of Rotary International he trained as cardiothoracic resident at Sydney Children’s Hospital.

In 1992 Dr. Yemets performed the first neonatal open heart surgery in Ukraine and former USSR countries. For this achievement he has been awarded with Honored Doctor title.

From 1993 through 1998 Dr. Yemets worked as a clinical fellow at Children’s Hospital Sydney, Toronto Hospital for Sick Children, Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne and Hospital J. Cartier Paris. He obtained PhD degree in 1997. From 1997 he served as Chief of Pediatric cardiac surgery at Kyiv Institute of Cardiovascular Surgery. Dr. Yemets obtained his Doctor of Medical Sciences degree in 2002.

In 2003 Ukrainian Children’s Cardiac Center (UCCC) was founded by Dr. Illya Yemets who became its Director.

In December 2010 Dr. Yemets was appointed a Minister of Health of Ukraine. He resigned in May 2011 to return to clinical practice.

In 2009 Dr. Yemets suggested to use umbilical cord blood for pediatric cardiac surgery in the first hours of life. The results of this research were presented at European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgery 24th Annual Meeting, Geneva 2010 and American Association for Thoracic 91st Meeting, Philadelphia 2011 as a first such experience in the World. These were recently updated with report at American Association for Thoracic 96th Annual Meeting in Baltimore on May 16th 2016.

Dr. Yemets major clinical interests are congenital heart surgery, neonatal heart surgery and adult congenital heart disease. His research interests include congenital heart surgery in the first hours of life, use of umbilical cord blood in congenital heart surgery, prenatal diagnostics of congenital heart disease and valve repairs without use of allogenic tissue, hemostasis and blood preservation in cardiac surgery.

Dr. Yemets performs 150-200 surgeries per year including arterial switch, Ross operation, TAPVC repair, truncus arteriosus repair etc.  He is author and co-author of 300 scientific publications.

Since its foundation in 2003 Ukrainian Children’s Cardiac Centre developed into the center of excellence for Ukraine and is amongst the biggest in Europe by case volume and complexity. In thirteen years we had 166013 outpatients and 29940 admissions. We operated on 15454 patients, 6876 of them were children under one year of age. Now we perform about 1500 pediatric cardiac surgeries annually with mortality rates around 1%.

For the last five years Dr. Yemets closely works with EurasiaHeart Foundation led by Prof. Paul R. Vogt, chief of Cardiac Surgery Department at Klinik im Park in Zurich, Switzerland who is a permanent consultant in our Center. During those five years we visited and successfully operated children in Almaty, Chimkent (Kazakhstan), Tashkent, Bukhara (Uzbekistan), St. Petersburg (Russian Federation), Yangon (Myanmar) and Phnom Penh (Cambodia).



Chasovskyi K, Mykychak Y, Rudenko N, Vorobyova H, Yemets I. Five-year Experience With Arterial Switch Operation in the First Hours of Life. Seminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. February 2017. doi:10.1053/j.semtcvs.2017.01.011.

Babliak OD, Mykychak YB, Motrechko OO, Yemets IM. Surgical treatment of pulmonary atresia with major aortopulmonary collateral arteries in 83 consecutive patients†. European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. 2017;52(1):96-104. doi:10.1093/ejcts/ezx043.

Kalfa D, Belli E, Bacha E, et al. Primary Pulmonary Vein Stenosis: Outcomes, Risk Factors, and Severity Score in a Multicentric Study. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2017;104(1):182-189. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2017.03.022.

Vida VL, Guariento A, Milanesi O, Gregori D, Stellin G. The natural history and surgical outcome of patients with scimitar syndrome: a multi-centre European study. European Heart Journal. October 2017:ehx526-ehx526. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehx526.

Mykychak Y, Fedevych O, Maksymenko A, Yemets I. Simultaneous arterial switch and totally anomalous pulmonary venous connection repair in a 5-hour-old child, complicated by pulmonary venous stenosis. Interactive CardioVascular and Thoracic Surgery. 2017;24(5):809-810. doi:10.1093/icvts/ivw452.

Fedevych O, Yachnik O, Mykychak Y, Ivanov Y, Borodinova O, Yemets I. Ross-Konno Procedure With Cylinder Mitral Valve Replacement in 49 Days Old Infant. World Journal for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery. May 2017:215013511668817. doi:10.1177/2150135116688173.

Borodinova O, Ostras O, Raad T, and Yemets I

Successful Surgical Excision of a Large Cardiac Fibroma in an Asymptomatic Child: A Case Report

World Journal for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery 2150135116634287, first published on May 3, 2016 doi:10.1177/2150135116634287

Chasovskyi K, Fedevych O, McMullan D, et al. Tissue perfusion in neonates undergoing open-heart surgery using autologous umbilical cord blood or donor blood components. Perfusion. 2015;30(6):499-506. doi:10.1177/0267659114550234.

Mykychak YB, Bohuta LY, Ivanov YY, et al. Cerebral Thromboembolism From Ligated Blalock-Taussig Shunt in an Adult Patient. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2016;101(1):361-363. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2015.03.065.

Sekelyk R, Mykychak Y, Fedevych O, Yemets I. Anomalous origin of circumflex coronary artery from right pulmonary artery associated with coarctation of the aorta: a case report of surgical treatment. World J Pediatr Congenit Heart Surg.

2014 Jan 1;5(1):97-9. doi: 10.1177/2150135113505294.

Chasovskyi K, Fedevych O, Vorobiova G, Zhovnir V, Maksimenko A, Boychenko O,

Lysak Y, Cohen G, Yemets I. Arterial switch operation in the first hours of life using autologous umbilical cord blood. Ann Thorac Surg. 2012 May;93(5):1571-6.

doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2012.01.104.

Fedevych O, Chasovskyi K, Vorobiova G, Zhovnir V, Makarenko M, Kurkevych A, Maksymenko A, Yemets I. Open cardiac surgery in the first hours of life using autologous umbilical cord blood. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2011 Oct;40(4):985-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ejcts.2011.01.011.