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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, PhD, is the Chairman of the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Svensson is an internationally known cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon. His research has led to many innovative surgical treatments and techniques. Dr. Svensson is board-certified in thoracic, cardiovascular and general surgery. He is a Professor of Surgery at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. Prior to being appointed to Chair of the institute, Dr. Svensson’s leadership positions at Cleveland Clinic included Director of the Aorta Center; Director of the Marfan Syndrome and Connective Tissue Disorder Clinic; Director of Quality and Process Improvement, Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery; Director of Affiliate Cardiothoracic Surgery Programs; and Co-Director, Transcatheter Valve Program.

Specialty/Clinical interests: Aortic valve surgery, aortic valve and bicuspid valve repair, cardiac surgery, complex aorta surgery, surgery for thoracic aortic aneurysm, endovascular aorta treatment – thoracic, heart surgery for patients with Marfan syndrome, modified David's reimplantation procedure, percutaneous treatment for patients with valve disease, minimally invasive heart surgery, Marfan syndrome and connective tissue disorders

Number of Procedures Performed: Cleveland Clinic performs more than 4,000 heart surgeries each year. Of these, Dr. Svensson performs approximately 550 surgeries per year.

Success rates: Among top US hospitals for cardiac surgery, Cleveland Clinic’s volume is the highest with the best quality outcomes. You can view success rates for specific procedures at


Education and Training: Dr. Svensson was born in Barberton, South Africa. He completed his undergraduate work at Treverton College in Mooi River, South Africa. He earned his medical degree and PhD 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 general surgery at the Johannesburg Hospital, South Africa, and his training in cardiothoracic surgery at Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, for which he received a fellowship. He also completed a cardiovascular surgery fellowship and residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX.

In 2005, Dr. Svensson was named King James IV Professor of Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. His academic appointments have included Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Houston, TX; Clinical Instructor in Surgery at Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA; Clinical Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Tufts University, Boston; and Assistant Professor of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston.

Research, Publications and Speaking: Dr. Svensson has received numerous research grants and fellowships. He 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 surgical techniques. He is currently the principal investigator in a number of clinical research trials, including research to investigate percutaneous methods to replace and repair aortic and mitral valves.

Dr. Svensson is the author of 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 an invited speaker at hundreds of regional, national and international symposia and conferences. He is the former Associate Editor of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, and serves on several editorial boards, including the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Journal of Cardiac Surgery, and the Annals of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery.

Dr. Svensson chairs the American Association for Thoracic Surgery Guidelines Committee. He has chaired multispecialty guidelines writing committees for endovascular treatment with stents for the thoracic aorta, aortic valve surgery, and for the treatment of thoracic aortic disease.

About Dr. Svensson: “I believe my greatest strength as a heart surgeon is my ability to offer patients a variety of treatment approaches, from transcatheter to standard heart surgery, all geared toward maximizing safety and optimizing outcomes.

Leisure Activities: Traveling, photography, sailing, nature and hiking

Videos: To learn more about Dr. Svensson and his expertise, watch the videos listed at the top of this page or those listed on

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

2013, National Marfan Foundation, Hero with a Heart Award   

2008, King James IV Professor of Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

2007, Second Place, Cleveland Clinic Top 10 Innovations of 2007

2000, Who’s Who in Finance and Industry

1999, Top Doctors

1997, Who’s Who in Medicine

1997, Who’s Who in the World

1996, Who's Who in America

1996, Who's Who in Science and Engineering

1996-1998, Lahey Clinic Neurocognitive Research Grant

1994, Dana Fund Research Fellowship

1993, Lahey Clinic Research Grant

1992, Director's Award for Professional Leadership, Houston V.A.M.C

1992, V.A. Rag Research Fund Award

1991, DeBakey Heart Fund Research Award

Innovations & Patents

  • Minimally invasive valve surgery
  • Prevention of stroke and paralysis after heart surgery
  • Reduction of wound infections
  • Percutaneous valves
  • Percutaneous aortic root replacement
  • 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 the Expert Consensus and Guidelines Committee on the use of Endovascular Stent Grafts for Aortic Surgery


  • Fellow, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
  • Fellow, South African College of Surgeons
  • 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. 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, Cleveland Clinic tries to provide information as accurately as possible about its physicians' and scientists' connections with industry.

As of 7/2/2015, 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 Cleveland Clinic. To learn more about 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

  • Afrikaans
  • English
  • Swati
  • Swedish
  • Zulu

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