DR. K R Balakrishnan

About DR. K R Balakrishnan

Director - Cardiac Science | Chief Cardiothoracic & Transplant Surgeon

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Leading Heart Transplant Surgeon in Chennai,India

With over 30 years’ experience, Dr. K R Balakrishnan is a highly respected surgeon in Fortis Malar Hospital, Chennai where he holds the position of Director and Consultant in Cardiothoracic Surgery. In addition, he serves on the Green Lane Hospital, New Zealand Cardiothoracic Surgery department, Oregon Health Science University, and St Vincent Hospital, Oregon, USA Cardiac Surgery department respectively as a consultant.  He is also known to travel frequently across the world to give talks to patients and cardiologists covering various topics in the field of cardiology. With his diverse background and achievements, Dr. K R Balakrishnan has successfully provided comprehensive diagnostic and therapeutic care to local and international patients alike.


Dr. K R Balakrishnan obtained his MBBS degree, from the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Pondicherry in 1976, followed by a Masters in Surgery with a sub-specialization in General Surgery from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi in 1980. Here, he was bestowed upon the honor of the prestigious Hiralal gold medal in surgery to acknowledge and recognize his excellence in the field of surgery. He then proceeded to study M. Ch in Cardiothoracic Surgery from KEM Hospital, Mumbai in 1982 where he was awarded a distinction in M. Ch – the first ever recipient to be awarded by Bombay University in Cardio-Thoracic Speciality.

Over the years, Dr. K R Balakrishnan has peer-reviewed and co-authored many journals in the field of medicine & cardiology like the Role of inflammation in atherosclerosis: immunohistochemical and electron microscopic images of a coronary endarterectomy specimen in 2006, Severe coronary artery disease with coarctation of the aorta: role of off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting in the year 2005 – amongst others. His work has been published in some of the highest-ranking medical journals while he has also been recognized as a very prominent figure in the field of clinical research.

Clinical Expertise

While his expertise lies in End-stage heart failure management, some of the other conditions he diagnoses and treats are complex congenital heart diseases like switches in infancy, paediatric cardiac surgery, congestive heart failure, cardiac syncope, lung transplants, cardiac arrhythmia, dilated cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, dyslipidaemia, hypertension, and valvular heart disease. He also performs aortic valvuloplasty, repair of TAPVR, carotid artery stenting, atrioventricular canal defects, chronic total occlusions (CTOs), complex PTCA and coronary stenting, homograft conduits arterial, left main stenting, aortic root replacement, mitral valvuloplasty, peripheral artery angioplasty, and stentings, Ross procedure and transradial coronary intervention.


Dr. K R Balakrishnan has made great strides in developing the practice of Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Surgery, and Cardiac Surgery in India. Some of his notable achievements in the field are as below:

  • Dr. K R Balakrishnan has had extensive experience in the management of end-stage heart failure having being accredited with India’s First LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device) in 2012 and HVAD (HeartWare Ventricular Assist System) pump implant in 2013 as destination therapy.
  • He has also performed over 250 successfully heart transplant procedures and a remarkable, 16,000+ heart operations for patients suffering from a wide array of coronary diseases and disorders.
  • In recognition of his professional and research achievements and to celebrate his contributions to healthcare and medical research in the country, he was felicitated with a FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry) Special Jury Award in 2017.
  • Always on the lookout to advance knowledge and practice of cardiovascular medicine in India, Dr. K R Balakrishnan co-invented the innovative dual poppet heart valve – a new model heart valve prosthesis which he jointly invented with Dr. Albert Starr, Green Lane Hospital, New Zealand.
  • He was one of the pioneering members of India’s First Comprehensive Centre for Heart Failure Management – a successful treatment facility at Fortis Malar Hospital, Chennai.
  • Throughout the years, Dr. K R Balakrishnan has gained extensive research experience in specialized fields such as molecular biology of ventricular hypertrophy. He has also collaborated with various institutions and spearheaded several innovative surgical techniques such as Pulsatile and continuous flow LVADs which has helped in maintaining a high level of cardiac care for Indians.
  • Dr. K R Balakrishnan has been invited to speak on all aspects of cardiac disease and disorders at numerous forums both at home and overseas, and to the public as well as to various groups of physicians such as general practitioners and fellow specialists.