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About Victor Pretorius, MBChB
Victor (Gert) Pretorius, MBChB, is a board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon who specializes in lead management. Pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) deliver energy to the heart through thin, flexible wires called leads. When these leads are not working properly - because of infection, damage, or surrounding scar tissue - they need to be removed.
Dr. Pretorius performs a minimally invasive procedure called laser lead extraction to cut through scar tissue surrounding the lead, allowing it to be easily removed. Dr. Pretorius is surgical director of UC San Diego Health's heart transplant program, which provides comprehensive and compassionate care from a multidisciplinary team of experts in the fields of advanced heart failure, cardiac surgery and cardiac transplantation.
As an associate professor in the Department of Surgery at UC San Diego School of Medicine, Dr. Pretorius publishes papers about the procedure and presents his findings at conferences around the world.
He completed a fellowship in pulmonary thromboendarterectomy at UC San Diego School of Medicine and a residency in cardiac surgery at University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. He earned his medical degree (MBChB) from the University of Pretoria School of Medicine in his native South Africa. Dr. Pretorius is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada (FRCSC). FRCSC is equivalent to board certification in the U.S. Prior to his residency training.
Dr. Pretorius was a general practitioner for five years in South Africa before immigrating to Canada. His broad experience helps him appreciate the needs of his patients on a holistic basis.
UC San Diego Health Links
For more information, see Cardiovascular Services.
- University of Pretoria School of Medicine, Pretoria, South Africa
- UC San Diego, School of Medicine, San Diego, CA
- University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
Date Joined Staff
Conditions and Treatments
- Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery
- Heart and Lung Transplantation
- Aortic Surgery
- Off-Pump Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting
- Maze Procedure and Laser Lead Extraction
- Pacemaker and ICD Lead Extraction
- Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Implantation
- Heart Attack (Acute Myocardial Infarction)
- Heart Failure
- Heart Muscle Disease
- Heart Valve Disease
- Heart Valve Repair
- Heart Valve Replacement
- Heart Valve Surgery
- Laser Lead Extraction
- Lead Extraction
- Myocardial Infarction
- Pulmonary Thromboendarterectomy (PTE)