Special Clinical Focus

  • Treatment of acquired cardiac conditions in adults
  • Treatment of congenital heart conditions / abnormalities in children
  • Paediatric cardiac centre
  • Thoracic surgery
  • Vascular surgery

About us

Prof. Andreas Zierer is the Director of the Department of Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery and tenured Professor of the department of the same name at the medical faculty of the Kepler University in Linz. He is also personally the Director of the Department of Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery at the Wels-Grieskirchen Hospital. Thus, there is an Upper Austrian centre of reference for the treatment of cardiac, circulatory and vascular conditions in co-ordination with more than one hospital. Thanks to the pioneering research at the Kepler University Hospital in Linz and the close collaboration of both hospitals, a considerable number of patients are able to benefit from the latest insights and techniques.

Prof. Zierer is a specialist in aortic surgery, right heart insufficiency in chronic pulmonary hypertension, the surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation and cardiothoracic surgery. Prior to taking up his current duties at the Kepler University Hospital in Linz, he was in a senior position at nationally prestigious hospitals in Germany.

The Department of Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery provides the entire spectrum of surgical treatment options, in particular, for a variety of cardiac and lung conditions. Today, headed by Prof. Zierer in Linz, highly specialised cardiac experts are more frequently able to have recourse to minimally invasive techniques. These make a procedure on the beating heart possible, for example, without requiring a heart-lung machine, which would stop the heart during the surgery. For the patient, this means significantly more rapid recovery from the surgery since both the circulation and the tissues and bones are protected.

The cardiac specialists in Linz utilise all the established techniques for cardiac valve surgery and successfully introduce, frequently minimally invasively, mechanical or biological replacement valves. As well, however, the experts have successfully preserved the body's own valve in the area of the aortic valve and the mitral valve in many cases, instead of replacing these. This has significant advantages over valve replacement: the body does not exhibit a rejection reaction and, unlike a prosthetic valve, this needs no replacement after a number of years.

A further focus of the Department of Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery in Linz is the treatment of cardiac defects in children. The Paediatric Cardiac Centre performs many procedures for the first time in the world and in 1997, for example, successfully operated on a newborn infant with a hypoplastic left heart. The competence and experience of the team have brought the Kinderherz Zentrum renown far beyond Upper Austria.

Together with the heart as the central organ of the cardiovascular system, the specialists also treat vascular conditions throughout the body. Here, the focus is on diabetic foot syndrome as well as the classic surgery for varicose veins. Range of diagnostic and therapeutic services

Surgery for acquired heart disease in adults

The most frequently performed surgery is the so-called aortocoronary bypass operation, whereby we are able to provide the entire range of surgical options commonly available today: surgery using the heart-lung machine, surgery without the heart-lung machine (off-pump surgery), so-called all-arterial bypass (complete arterial revascularisation) and minimally invasive (MIDCAB) surgery. A further focus is surgery on the cardiac valves. Here, too, we have the opportunity to provide the entire range of valve replacement therapy. Both biological and mechanical valves, homografts (human valve), as well as the most complex valve replacement surgery, namely the Ross procedure, can be performed here. Particular focus, however, is placed on valve-preserving surgery. This is possible in the area of the aortic valve for downstream aneurysms. In the area of the mitral valve, already more than ¾ of our valve procedures are valve-maintaining procedures. As an additional procedure in open-heart surgery, we are now able to provide treatment for chronic or paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. Here, using the radio-frequency method, intraoperative measures are put in place which counter atrial fibrillation up to 70% of the time.

Aneurysm surgery

Aneurysms in the area of the arteries near the heart with the involvement of the aortic arch are performed here with protective cerebral perfusion, both valve-preserving and in combination with cardiac valve replacement. All forms of aneurysm (atherosclerotic, as well as complicated dissections) can be treated both surgically and using endovascular techniques. Both open surgical treatment and endovascular treatment are also carried out as emergencies. Aneurysms can be neutralised both with and without the heart-lung machine.

Surgery for congenital cardiac conditions / defects in children

Paediatric cardiac surgery is one of the emphases at our University Hospital.
The Paediatric Cardiac Surgery Team can be contacted by telephone on +43 (0)5 7680 83 - 78230.

Kinderherz Zentrum

The Kinderherz Zentrum provides the highest quality care for children, adolescents and adults with cardiac defects in accordance with the most up-to-date medical knowledge.
Together with a large number of other cardiac procedures performed for the first time, surgery on a newborn infant with a hypoplastic left heart was successfully performed for the first time in 1997. The expertise of the Team is renowned beyond the borders of Upper Austria: in the meantime, patients from across the country, above all, with severe complex cardiac defects, are referred here. Together with prenatal diagnosis, the focus of the Kinderherz Zentrum at the Kepler University Hospital, above all, is on the early correction of complex cardiac defects, as early as at the neonatal stage or in infancy, as well as the treatment of children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, probably the most severe cardiac defect. So, a good 1/3 of all children undergoing cardiac surgery are neonates, while, overall, 2/3 are younger than 1 year. The results achieved here in Linz are in keeping with the results of the best international centres.

The continual involvement of the parents, with comprehensive information, psychological care of the parents and the older children before, during and after an in-patient stay, the option of a parent’s admission with the child and unlimited visiting hours, is important to us. Our declared objective is to make an optimal quality of life possible for children with congenital heart defects.

Range of services at Med Campus III.
  • Anaesthetics and intensive care medicine
  • Paediatric cardiac surgery
  • Cardiovascular perfusion

Range of services at Med Campus IV.
  • Paediatric cardiology
  • The Paediatric Cardiac Clinic
  • Cardiac catheter - paediatric and adolescent examinations
  • NICU – Neonatology Intensive Care Unit
  • Interdisciplinary intensive care unit – ICU
  • Cardiac arrhythmias, electrophysiology
  • Specialist clinics
  • Paediatric anaesthesiology
  • Psychological treatment and accompaniment of paediatric cardiac patients and their families

Specialist fields
  • EMAH – adults with congenital cardiac defects
  • MRI –Magnetic Resonance Imaging at the Kinderherz Zentrum, Linz
  • Intrauterine cardiac procedures

Thoracic surgery

A further focus is thoracic surgery, that is, primarily pulmonary surgery. All minimally invasive procedures, as well as pulmonary resection, including extended procedures (also with the heart-lung machine) are performed at our University Hospital.

Vascular surgery

Here, we provide the entire range, both of arterial and of venous surgery. We provide all surgical options in the field of the arterial system, starting with the vessels of the aortic arch (carotid arteries), up to the replacement of the pelvic vessels (prosthetic bifurcation), and peripheral vascular surgery (for peripheral artery occlusive disease). Diabetic foot syndrome forms a focus treated in close collaboration with our own Internal Medical Department and Dermatology Department. This is shown by an increasing number of peripheral reconstructions, including crural and plantar bypasses. As a speciality, a homograft (a frozen donor artery) can still be provided in procedures in the infected area. Classic varicose vein surgery is a further focus of our vascular surgery activity.

Special Offers / Arrangements / Rooms

The following hotels are in the vicinity:
  • Marriot Courtyard, Europaplatz 2; 4020 Linz; +43-732-69590
  • Prielmayrhof, Weissenwolfstrasse 33, 4020 Linz office@prielmayerhof.at
Leading Medicine Guide

of selected experts in the specialist field Heart Surgery

Hotels in the vicinity

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Airports near

  • Flughafen Linz9,9 km

Railway stations in the vicinity

  • Linz Hauptbahnhof2,7 km

Additional staff

ao. - Thomas Schachner - Heart Surgery - Linz

ao. Univ.-Prof. Dr.
Thomas Schachner


Prim. - Rudolf  Mair - Heart Surgery - Linz

Prim. Priv.-Doz. Dr.
Rudolf Mair

Leiter Department für Kinderherzchirurgie