Rubens, Fraser

Dr. Fraser Rubens is a Cardiac Surgeon at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and Professor in the Division of Cardiac Surgery in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa.


A native of Kingston, Ontario, Dr. Rubens completed his medical school training at Queen’s University in 1985. After completing his surgical training in Ottawa, Dr. Rubens undertook research training as a Fellow from the Medical Research Council in the Department of Pathology at McMaster University, for which he received a Masters of Science degree for work focusing on thrombosis and cardiovascular devices. In 1992 he returned to Ottawa to complete his cardiothoracic training and fellowship. Dr. Rubens was certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in General Surgery in 1990 and in Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery in 1994. He was promoted to the rank of Full Professor in the Department of Surgery in 2006.

Dr. Rubens has served as an internal scientific reviewer for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. He is a member of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, the American Heart Association, the Society of Thoracic Surgery, the American College of Surgeons, the American Association of Thoracic Surgery and the Canadian Society of Cardiac Surgeons. He is also on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery and currently serves as a statistical reviewer having reviewed over 400 submitted manuscripts. He was formerly an Associate Editor of Perfusion. Dr. Rubens was the Program Director for the Cardiac Surgery Residency Training Program at the University of Ottawa from 2005 to 2016. In January 2016, Dr. Rubens was appointed the Patient Experience Director with the Department of Surgery at The Ottawa Hospital. He is cross appointed as an adjunct Professor with the School of Public Health and Epidemiology at the University of Ottawa.

Dr. Rubens has won numerous awards for his dedication, mentoring and novel teaching techniques. In 2015, he was the recipient of Program Director of the Year from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

Research and clinical interests

Dr. Rubens established an active Canadian program in the surgical treatment of chronic pulmonary embolism for which more than 180 patients have benefited which is the second largest case series in North America. The program in Ottawa receives referrals from across Canada and has been recognized as a Center of Excellence by the Province of Ontario. Dr. Rubens has successful experience in minimally invasive surgery and novel surgical therapy for high risk patients undergoing cardiac surgery, and he has pioneered several key surgical techniques in Ottawa including radial artery bypass, descending thoracic aorta-coronary bypass, gastro-epiploic bypass, stentless valve surgery, arterial y-grafting, axillary artery cannulation, off-pump redo coronary surgery, mammary artery skeletonization, arterial grafting in the elderly and novel techniques in off-pump surgery. Dr. Rubens is recognized nationally as a leader in multiple arterial revascularization, having completed over 1400 cases of bilateral internal thoracic artery grafting of which over 1000 were completed using skeletonized techniques.

Dr. Rubens’ research has focused on improving the outcomes of patients undergoing surgery with the heart-lung machine and on clinical outcomes after cardiac surgery. Dr. Rubens has been the principal investigator for several peer-reviewed grants from the Canadian Institute of Health Research and the Heart and Stroke Foundation. His life-time grant/research funding is over $5.5 million dollars with $1.8 million as the PI. He has over 450 peer-reviewed publications, review articles, abstracts and book chapters. He is also a popular speaker, having given over 80 invited lectures in Canada and abroad on the pathophysiology of cardiopulmonary bypass, chronic pulmonary embolism, and blood conservation.


Selected publications:

  • Rubens FD, Wells GA, Coutinho T, Eddeen AB, Sun LY. (2022). Sex differences after coronary artery bypass grafting with a second arterial conduit. JTCVS, 163(2), 686-695.
  • Rubens FD, Ngu J, Malvea A, Samuels SJ, Burwash IG. (2021). Early midterm outcomes after valve replacement with contemporary pericardial prostheses for severe AS. Annals Thoracic Surgery, 112(1), 99-107.
  • Jabagi H, Tran D, Glineur D, Rubens FD. (2020). Optimal configuration for bypass of the left anterior descending artery during bilateral internal thoracic artery grafting. Ann Thorac Surg, 110(6), 1917-1925.
  • Jabagi H, Boodwani M, Tran D, Sun L, Wells G, Rubens FD. (2019). The effect of preoperative anemia on patients undergoing cardiac surgery: a propensity-matched analysis. Seminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, 31(2), 157-163.
  • Rubens FD, Rothwell DM, Al Zayadi A, Sundaresan S, Ramsay T, Forster A. (2018). Impact of patient characteristics on the Canadian Patient Experience Survey-Inpatient Care: cross-sectional analysis of an inpatient care survey from an academic tertiary care centre. BMJ Open, 8, 1-11. doi:
  • Rubens FD, Chen L, Ramsay T, Forster AJ, Wells GA, Sundaresan S. (2018). The development of a positive deviancy strategy to identify  excellence in patient experience. European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare, 6(4), 540-554.
  • Ngu J.M.C., Guo M.H., Glineur D., Tran D., Rubens F.D. (2018). The balance between short-term and long-term outcomes of bilateral internal thoracic artery skeletonization in coronary artery bypass surgery: a propensity-matched cohort study. EJCTS, 54(2), 413-421.
  • Jabagi H, Tran D, Hessian R, Glineur D, Rubens FD. (2018). Impact of gender on arterial revascularization strategies for coronary artery bypass grafting. Annals Thoracic Surgery, 105(1), 62-68.
  • Rubens FD, Gee YY, Ngu JMC, Chen L, Burwash IG. (2016, November). Effect of aortic pericardial valve choice on outcomes and left ventricular mass regression in patients with left ventricular hypertrophy. JTCVS, 152(5), 1291-98.
  • Rubens FD, Chen L, Bourke M. (2016, January). Assessment of the association of bilateral internal thoracic artery skeletonization and sternal wound infection after coronary artery bypass grafting. Ann Thorac Surg, 101(5), 1677-82
Dr. Fraser Rubens

Rubens, Fraser

Rubens, Fraser


Appointments and affiliations

Cardiac Surgeon
University of Ottawa Heart Institute

Division of Cardiac Surgery, Faculty of Medecine
University of Ottawa

Active Staff
Division of Cardiac Surgery
The Ottawa Hospital