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Lars Svensson, MD, PhD


Lars Svensson, MD, PhD
Department: Heart and Vascular Institute
Institute Chair
Location: Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Mail Code J1-227
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195
Lars Svensson, MD, PhD
Department: Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Location: Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Mail Code J4-1
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195
Type of Doctor:
Adults Only

Biographical Sketch

Lars Georg Svensson, MD is Chairman of the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute, Director of the Aorta Center and Marfan Syndrome and Connective Tissue Disorder Clinic, Director of Quality and Process Improvement, and a staff cardiac surgeon in the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at Cleveland Clinic. He is also a professor of surgery at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and Case Western Reserve University.

Dr. Svensson is board-certified in general, vascular, thoracic and cardiac surgery. He specializes in adult cardiac surgery; cardio-aortic and aortic surgery, including combined valve and aneurysm surgery; minimally invasive mitral and aortic valve surgery; mitral and aortic valve repair operations (including bicuspid valve repairs and modified David Reimplantation operation), blood conservation; prevention of stroke and paralysis after aortic surgery; Marfan syndrome; peripheral vascular surgery; Percutaneous valve surgery; and the Maze procedure.   Dr. Svensson is experienced in treating professional athletes with aorta disease, such as Boston Celtics player Jeff Green.

He was born in Barberton, South Africa. He completed his undergraduate work at Treverton College in Mooi River, South Africa and earned his medical degree and Ph.D. in blood flow pathophysiology from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, where he received numerous fellowships and awards.

Dr. Svensson received his training in cardiology and in general surgery at the Johannesburg Hospital and his training in cardiothoracic surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, for which he received a fellowship. He also completed a cardiovascular surgery fellowship and residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

In 2005, Dr. Svensson was named King James IV Professor of Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. He has also held academic appointments including Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Houston; Clinical Instructor in Surgery at Harvard Medical School; Clinical Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Tufts University in Boston; and Assistant Professor of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. He has been the recipient of numerous research grants and fellowships and has been listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in Science and Engineering, Who's Who in Medicine, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in Finance and Industry, and in Top Doctors.

Dr. Svensson has contributed to advances in protecting the brain, spinal cord, and kidneys during major cardiac and aortic surgery and has been instrumental in developing minimally invasive keyhole surgery. He is currently the principal investigator in a number of clinical research trials, including research to investigate percutaneous methods for replacing or repairing aortic and mitral valves.

He has authored the reference text book "Cardiovascular and Vascular Diseases of the Aorta" and has authored or co-authored hundreds of journal articles, reviews, book chapters, abstracts, and commentaries. He has been invited to lecture at hundreds of regional, national, and international symposia and conferences. He is the former associate editor of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery. He also serves on several editorial boards, including the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Journal for Minimal Invasive Cardiac Surgery, Journal of Cardiac Surgery, and the Annals of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery.

He has chaired the multispecialty guidelines writing committees for endovascular treatment with stents for the thoracic aorta and the guidelines committee on aortic valve surgery.  He was a member of the multispecialty guideline committee on treatment of thoracic aortic disease.

Dr. Svensson is a Fellow in these professional societies: The Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, The Colleges of Medicine of South Africa, the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada in Vascular and Cardiothoracic Surgery, the American College of Surgeons, the American College of Cardiology, and the American College of Physician Executives.  In 2011 he was made an honor member of the Society of Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland. In addition, he is an active member of several other professional organizations, including the DeBakey International Society.

In his leisure time, Dr. Svensson enjoys photography and sailing.

View Dr. Svensson's Presentations for Medical Professionals:  Evolution of aortic valve and aortic surgery - Parts I and II

Professional Highlights

  • Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Tufts University in Boston
  • Instructor at Harvard University
  • Houston VAMC Chairman of Cardiovascular Surgery
  • Lahey Clinic Board of Governors, Director of Surgery Operating Rooms, and Finance Committee
  • Director of Aortic Surgery Center, Cleveland Clinic
  • Directs and Supervises, Cleveland Clinic Affiliate Cardiac Surgery Programs Processes and Quality of Outcomes

Education & Fellowships

Residency - Baylor College of Medicine
Cardiothoracic Surgery
Houston, TX USA
Fellowship - Baylor College of Medicine
Cardiovascular Surgery
Houston, TX USA
Fellowship - Cleveland Clinic
Cardiovascular Surgery
Cleveland, OH USA
Residency - Johannesburg General Hospital
General Surgery
Johannesburg South Africa
Doctorate - University of Witwatersrand
Johannesburg South Africa
Internship - Johannesburg General Hospital
Cardiology & Surgery
Johannesburg South Africa
Medical School - University of Witwatersrand Faculty of Medicine
Johannesburg, South Africa South Africa
Undergraduate - Treverton College
Mooi River, South Africa 3300 South Africa


  • Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada- Thoracic & Cardiovascular Surgery
  • Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh- General Surgery
  • Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada- General Surgery

Specialty Interests

Aortic valve surgery, cardiac surgery, complex aorta surgery, surgery for thoracic aortic aneurysm, endovascular aorta treatment – thoracic, heart surgery for marfan syndrome, modified david's reimplantation procedure, percutaneous valve treatment, minimally invasive heart surgery, marfan syndrome

Awards & Honors

  • Awarded Second Place, Cleveland Clinic Top 10 Innovations of 2007
  • Awarded the King James IV Professor of Surgery by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, 2008
  • Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, 2000
  • Top Doctors, 1999
  • Who’s Who in Medicine, 1997
  • Who’s Who in the World, 1997
  • Who's Who in America, 1996
  • Who's Who in Science and Engineering, 1996
  • Lahey Clinic Neurocognitive Research Grant, 1996-1998
  • Dana Fund Research Fellowship, 1994
  • Lahey Clinic Research Grant, 1993
  • Director's Award for Professional Leadership, Houston V.A.M.C, 1992
  • V.A Rag Research Fund Award, 1992
  • DeBakey Heart Fund Research Award, 1991

Innovations & Patents

  • Minimal invasive valve surgery
  • Prevention of stroke and paralysis after heart surgery
  • Reduction of wound infections
  • Percutaneous valves
  • Developed techniques for Aortic Valve Repair and Bicuspid Valve Repair
  • Developed operations for Aortic Arch Surgery (Elephant Trunk Procedure)
  • Developed methods for Reducing Stroke after Heart Surgery
  • Developed Techniques to Reduce Paralysis after Descending Aortic, Thoracoabdominal, and Endovascular Stent Graft Surgery
  • Chaired Expert Consensus and Guidelines Committee on the use of Endovascular Stent Grafts for Aortic Surgery


  • American College of Physician Executives
  • American Association for Thoracic Surgery 
  • American College of Surgeons
  • American College of Cardiology
  • The European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery

Treatment & Services

Specialty in Diseases and Conditions

Industry Relationships

Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists may collaborate with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries to help develop medical breakthroughs or provide medical expertise or education. Cleveland Clinic strives to make scientific advances that will benefit patient care and support outside relationships that promise public benefit. In order for the discoveries of Cleveland Clinic physicians' and scientists' laboratories and investigations to benefit the public, these discoveries must be commercialized in partnership with industry. As experts in their fields, Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists are often sought after by industry to consult, provide expertise and education.

To assure professional and commercial integrity in such matters, Cleveland Clinic maintains a program that reviews these collaborations and, when appropriate, puts measures in place to minimize bias that may result from ties to industry. The Cleveland Clinic publicly discloses the names of companies when (i) its physicians/scientists receive $5,000 or more per year (or, in rare cases, equity or stock options) for speaking and consulting, (ii) its physicians/scientists serve as a fiduciary, (iii) its physicians/scientists receive or have the right to receive royalties or (iv) its physicians/ scientists hold any equity interest for the physician's/scientist's role as inventor, discoverer, developer, founder or consultant.* In publicly disclosing this information, the Cleveland Clinic tries to provide information as accurately as possible about its physicians' and scientists' connections with industry.

As of 5/23/2014, Dr. Svensson has reported the financial relationships with the companies listed below. In general, patients should feel free to contact their doctor about any of the relationships and how the relationships are overseen by the Cleveland Clinic. To learn more about the Cleveland Clinic's policies on collaborations with industry and innovation management, go to our Integrity in Innovation page.

Royalty Payments. Dr. Svensson receives or has the right to receive royalty payments for inventions or discoveries commercialized through the companies shown below:

  • Posthorax GmbH

Public Health Service-Reportable Financial Conflicts of Interest. Cleveland Clinic scientists and physicians engage in basic, translational and clinical research activities, working to solve health problems, enhance patient care and improve quality of life for patients. Interactions with industry are essential to bringing the researchers’ discoveries to the public, but can present the potential for conflicts of interest related to their research activities. Click here to view a listing of instances where Cleveland Clinic has identified a Public Health Service (PHS)-Reportable Financial Conflict of Interest and has put measures in place to ensure that, to the extent possible, the design, conduct and reporting of the research is free from bias.

* Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists subscribe to the guidance presented in the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals and the AdvaMed Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals. As such, gifts of substantial value are generally prohibited.

Languages Spoken

  • English