Professor Olaf Wendler

Cardiothoracic surgery

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Last updated: 12 Nov 2020

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About me

I have been a Consultant in cardiothoracic surgery for 15 years. In this role, I have performed more than 5000 open cardiac operations.

During my last 5 years at the University at the Saarland in Germany, I was the Lead of the Cardiothoracic Department and the Deputy to Prof HJ Schaefers (Chair for Cardiac Surgery). In this role, I was responsible for the organisation and running of the clinical service of the department with around 1200 open cardiac operations per year. In addition, I was the Lead Surgeon of the heart and lung transplant program.

When I became Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at King’s College Hospital in August 2004, I started to establish a modern type of cardiac service with a particular focus on arterial revascularisation and heart valve surgery. I became Lead Surgeon of the cardiothoracic department in 2006.

One of my areas of specialism is complete arterial bypass surgery and I have further developed a technique of “T-graft” revascularisation using only two skeletonized conduits, mostly the left internal mammary artery and one radial artery.
I have a particular interest in heart valve surgery with a focus on preservation of native heart valves. In patients with mitral valve regurgitation due to degenerative and endocarditic disease I achieve repair rates of around 95%. In patients with aortic regurgitation and aortic root dilatation I replace the aortic root and preserve the native aortic valve in a “David’s” type of surgery in those with anatomically intact valves. I am also specialised in aortic root replacements using stentless bioprostheses in elderly patients and those with complicated aortic valve endocarditis and aortic root pathology.

I perform all kinds of surgery on the thoracic aorta and in this context I cooperate regularly with my vascular surgical colleagues at King’s. In this cooperation, I perform aortic arch replacements using the “Elephant-Trunk” technique in patients with mega-aortic-syndrome, as the first stage treatment to facilitate endovascular treatment of the thoraco-abdominal aorta.

In my role as Lead for Cardiothoracic Surgery and as Clinical Director I established the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) Program at King’s which started with the first transapical aortic valve implantation in the UK in July 2007. Since then, we have developed the largest programme of this type in the UK at King’s Health Partners. We have participated in all European multicentre trials on this treatment and King’s now has an international reputation for this new type of interventional/surgical approach.

Areas of interest

Heart Valve Surgery; Mitral Valve Repair; Aortic Valve Repair; Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation; Transcatheter Mitral Valve Implantation; Transcatheter Mitral Valve Repair; Aortic Root Replacement; Aortic Root Repair; Bicuspid Aortic Valve Disease; Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Surgery; Carcinoid Heart Valve Disease; Coronary Artery Disease; Arterial Coronary Bypass Surgery; Cardiac Arrhythmia Surgery; Minimal Invasive Surgery;

You can find Prof Wendler's publications on:
Search for "Wendler O".

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Procedures completed

  • K4100

    Bypass for coronary artery(ies) (including harvesting of grafts and endarterectomy) - (1-5)

    Bupa Cromwell Hospital (1-5)

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