Consultant Profile

Professor Ulrich Von Oppell

Professor Ulrich Von Oppell MB BCh, FCS, FETCS, PhD
Practicing at:
Spire Cardiff Hospital
  • Cardiothoracic surgery
    • Cardiac surgery
Special clinical interests:

Mitral and Aortic heart valve repair & replacement surgery
Coronary artery bypass graft surgery – arterial revascularisation
Thoracic aortic aneurysm surgery
Surgery for heart arrhythmias – atrial & ventricular fibrillation
Grown up congenital heart disease surgery

Research interests:

Surgical techniques to improve our ability to repair heart valves
Surgical techniques to cure atrial fibrillation
Protecting the heart during heart surgery
Protecting the spinal cord during thoracic aneurysm surgery

Current NHS and /or university posts:

Consultant Cardiac Surgeon, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff & Vale University Health board
Honorary Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Cardiff

Year of first medical qualification:
Current membership(s) of professional, national and regional bodies:

Welsh Cardiovascular Society
European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Society of Cardiothoracic Surgery of Great Britain & Ireland
Society of Thoracic Surgery – United States of America
South African Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons

Contact Details 
Private secretary:
Case Manager - Cath
Private secretary telephone number:
Case Manager - 0792001 5989
Personal email address:
Background Information 
Professional profile:

My undergraduate and postgraduate training was completed at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. I then visited specialised centres in the U.S.A. to obtain additional surgical skills and completed a PhD on ‘protecting the heart during cardiac surgery’ at the University of Cape Town in 1992.

I was appointed to the Chris Barnard Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Groote Schuur Hospital, University of Cape Town, South Africa in 1993.  I then relocated to Cardiff, Wales in October 2001.

I have maintained my academic research interests having published 22 book chapters and more than 80 original manuscripts in professional journals on multiple aspects of heart surgery.

My clinical practice has high percentage of heart valve repair surgery as well as complex valve combined with aortic or coronary artery bypass graft surgery.  

The National Institute of Cardiac Outcomes Research( NICOR) monitors & reports surgical results in terms of risk stratified patient survival; which takes into account a patient’s other illnesses affecting other body organs, age, and lifestyle which affect a patient’s chances of surviving major heart surgery.  The current report (published 2014; available at shows that the risk stratified patient survival of all patients I treated (April 2010 to March 2013) was 99.2%.

Personal profile:

My research focus has been in developing new techniques and improving the safety and results of cardiac surgery. In 1999, I took a sabbatical at the University of Leipzig, Germany in, to obtain further surgical skills in off-pump as well as minimally invasive heart surgery, and continue to lecture widely in Europe.

I live on a small holding with my wife and two small children, who keep me very busy outside work.  I enjoy the rural life and horse riding.

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Professor Ulrich Von Oppell

Professor Ulrich Von Oppell Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at Spire Cardiff Hospital

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)