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Univ.-Prof. Ernst Wolner, MD

Cardiac Surgery, Thoracic Surgery and Vascular Surgery

Ernst Wolner has many years of experience in the field of diagnostics and therapy of cardiac and vascular diseases.

He performed more than 10 000 surgical interventions and ranks among the most experienced and internationally acknowledged specialists in cardiothoracic surgery.

Thanks to his scientific activities, cardiac surgical techniques and procedures, in particular in the fields of mechanical circulatory support, have been developed.

The world’s first successful implantation of a centrifugal pump as a bridge to cardiac transplantation was performed by Dr. Wolner and attracted the attention of all other experts in that field. He is part of a small circle of pioneers in artificial heart research.

Ernst Wolner involves himself in health policy. For many years until 2014 he was the president of the Supreme Medical Council (Oberster Sanitätsrat) of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Health.

  • 1963 Doctorate of Medicine
  • 1972 Specialist in Surgery
  • 1973 Associate Professor of Surgery
  • 1981 Professor of surgery and Chairman of the University Hospital for Surgery II in Vienna
  • since 1982 Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Cardiothoracic Surgery Research
  • since 1994 Head of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Division at the General Hospital in Vienna (Allgemeines Krankenhaus Wien)
Professional Specialization
  • Surgery
  • Cardiac Surgery
  • Thoracic Surgery
  • Special field: Vascular Surgery
  • President and Member of the Supreme Medical Council (Oberster Sanitätsrat) of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Health (1989 – 2014)
  • Member of the Bioethics Commission (2010 – 2014)
  • Member of the Medical Council of the Federal Province of Vienna (Wiener Landessanitätsrates) (1996 – 2008)
  • Austrian Society for Surgery
  • Austrian Society of Cardiology
  • European Society of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Professorships / lectureships
  • Washington University
  • Stanford University
  • National University in Osaka
  • San Louis University
  • Senger Institut Charlotte, N.C.
  • University of Prague
  • Harvard University
  • Singapur University
  • University of Bucharest
  • Columbia University
  • Tokio Women College
  • Timișoara University
  • Med. College Virginia
      • 1970 Eiselsberg Award
      • 1975 Dr. Karl Renner- Prize
      • 1993 Corresponding Member of the German Society for Thoracic, Cardiac and Vascular Surgery
      • 1995 Member of the German Academy of Natural Sciences Leopoldina
      • 1999 Prize of the City of Vienna for Medical Sciences
      • 1999 Grand Decoration of Honor in Gold for Services to the Federal Province of Vienna
      • 2000 Doctor of Medicine honoris causa, University of Timișoara (Rumania)
      • 2002 E.S. Bücherl Award, European Society for Artificial Organs
      • 2006 Silver decoration of the federal Province of Lower Austria (Silbernes Komturkreuz des Landes Niederösterreich)
      • 2008 Decoration of the Federal Province of Burgenland (Komturkreuz des Landes Burgenland)
      • 2011 Honorary Member of the Austrian Society for Surgery
      • 2013 Honorary Member of the Austrian Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery
      • 2013 Barney Clark-Award, International Society Rotary Blood Pumps

Throughout his medical activity Mr. Wolner published more than 600 articles as an author or coauthor and wrote several scientific papers.


    • Lefèvre T, Kappetein AP, Wolner E, Nataf P, Thomas M, Schächinger V, De Bruyne B, Eltchaninoff H, Thielmann M, Himbert D, Romano M, Serruys P, Wimmer-Greinecker G. (2011). One year follow-up of the multi-centre European PARTNER transcatheter heart valve study.
    • Fleck T, Fleck M, Müller M, Hager H, Klepetko W, Wolner E, Wisser W. (2009). Extended videoscopic robotic thymectomy with the da Vinci telemanipulator for the treatment of myasthenia gravis: the Vienna experience.
    • Juraszek A, Dziodzio T, Roedler S, Kral A, Hutschala D, Wolner E, Grimm M, Czerny M. (2009). Results of open heart surgery in Jehovah’s Witnesses patients.
    • Trescher K, Bauer M, Dietl W, Hallström S, Wick N, Wolfsberger M, Ullrich R, Jürgens G, Wolner E, Podesser BK. (2009). Improved myocardial protection in the failing heart by selective endothelin-A receptor blockade.
    • Zimpfer D, Aharinejad S, Holfeld J, Thomas A, Dumfarth J, Rosenhek R, Czerny M, Schaden W, Gmeiner M, Wolner E, Grimm M. (2009). Direct epicardial shock wave therapy improves ventricular function and induces angiogenesis in ischemic heart failure.
    • Sandner SE, Zimpfer D, Zrunek P, Rajek A, Schima H, Dunkler D, Grimm M, Wolner E, Wieselthaler GM. (2009). Renal function and outcome after continuous flow left ventricular assist device implantation.
    • Holfeld J, Gottardi R, Zimpfer D, Funovics M, Schoder M, Holzenbein T, Weigang E, Lammer J, Wolner E, Grimm M, Czerny M. (2009). Bail-out visceral bypass grafting for acute intestinal ischemia after endovascular stent-graft placement in a complicated type B dissection.
    • Szerafin T, Niederpold T, Mangold A, Hoetzenecker K, Hacker S, Roth G, Lichtenauer M, Dworschak M, Wolner E, Ankersmit HJ. (2009). Secretion of soluble ST2 – possible explanation for systemic immunosuppression after heart surgery.
    • Aliabadi AZ, Mahr S, Dunkler D, Grömmer M, Zimpfer D, Wolner E, Grimm M, Zuckermann AO. (2008). Safety and efficacy of statin therapy in patients switched from cyclosporine a to sirolimus after cardiac transplantation.

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