The American Health Council recognizes Hartmuth B. Bittner, MD, PhD, FACS as “Best in Medicine” for his outstanding contributions to the medical field. Dr. Bittner performs cardiothoracic surgery and vascular surgery. Additionally, he is also involved in a dedicated leadership role where he conducts cardiothoracic research. During his 28-year career, Dr. Bittner gained skills and knowledge in minimally-invasive cardiac surgery, minimally-invasive aortic and mitral valve repairs and replacement, advanced heart failure surgery, heart and lung transplantation and coronary revascularization and off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery.
After first serving as a diplomat, dissertation and researcher in cardiovascular research at the National Academy of Sports Sciences in Cologne, Germany in 1982, his interest in biology and medicine study grew. He enrolled at the University of Heidelberg Medical School and earned a medical degree in 1989. Additionally, he served as a visiting anatomy lecturer at Harvard Medical School.
He relocated to the United States where he completed a residency and fellowship in general surgery and cardiothoracic surgery at Duke University Medical Center in 1999. That same year, he accepted an assistant professor of surgery role at the University of Minnesota and remained there until 2002. Later that year, he established and directed the thoracic transplant program at the Heart Center of the University of Leipzig in Germany for 10 years. During his tenure, he focused on minimally-invasive cardiac surgery as well as advanced techniques in cardiac operations. He held a faculty appointment at the University of Leipzig as a professor of surgery and endowed chair of clinical and experimental thoracic organ transplantation. After departing from that role in 2012, he then served as the director of the Heart and Lung Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support and chief of Advanced Cardiac Surgery at the Florida Hospital in Orlando.
In 2016, he accepted the Director of Heart Failure Surgery at the Largo Medical Center and in 2017 the Director position of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Currently, Dr. Bittner serves as president and founder of the Gulf Coast Cardiothoracic Surgery Institute and vice-chief of the Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at Tampa General Hospital. Dr. Bittner is committed to advancing both his professional knowledge in the cardiothoracic industry. He has published several works, including “The Effects of Brain Death on Pulmonary Hemodynamics,” and “Nitric Oxide Improves Vascular Impendence and Efficiency Following Cardiac Transplantation in the Setting of Recipient Pulmonary Hypertension,” both of which he presented at the XVI World Congress on Diseases of the Chest in 1996. He has served as a primary and secondary author in more than 150 peer-reviewed medical journals and his most recent abstract was accepted for presentation at the Heart Valve Society in March 2016. He is the recipient of the American Colleges of Chest Physicians’ Young Investigator Award in 1994 and 1996 and the Thoracic Surgery Directors Association Award of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons in 1997 and is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
Dr. Bittner is a member of several professional associations, including the Society for Thoracic Surgeons, the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation, the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, the International Society for Minimally-Invasive Surgery, the European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgery, the Florida Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons, the Sabiston Surgical Society at Duke University Medical Center and the Cardiothoracic Surgery Network. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, golf and spending time with his family.
Holding a prosperous and successful career, Dr. Bittner attributes his success to his hard work, his perseverance and his strong sense of belief in what he does. He plans to maintain his success by sharing his experiences and expanding his team.
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Director of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at Largo Medical Center
- Largo Medical Center is a Joint Commission accredited, 425-bed statutory teaching hospital serving the community from three campuses.
- As Florida’s largest healthcare provider, HCA is dedicated to providing quality care and improving the health of the diverse communities they serve. In keeping with this commitment, we work in partnership with other organizations to provide a wide range of community benefit programs and services.
President and Founder of the Gulf Coast Cardiothoracic Surgery Institute
- Gulf Coast Cardiothoracic Surgery Institute (GCCSI) was formed in 2015 with a professional commitment to providing outstanding patient care in cardiothoracic surgery.
- GCCSI matches leading-edge technology with a philosophy of compassionate concern for our patients and their families. Their surgeon and staff of GCCSI are dedicated to ensuring that the surgical procedures performed are consistent with both the advanced technology presently available and the wishes and desires of its patients. It is also within their mission of GCCSI to train junior surgeons to enable them in realizing their goals to become excellent cardiothoracic and transplant surgeons under the supervision of its senior leader.
- Society for Thoracic Surgeons
- International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation
- American Board of Thoracic Surgery
- International Society for Minimally-Invasive Surgery
- European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgery
- Florida Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons
- Sabiston Surgical Society at Duke University Medical Center
- Cardiothoracic Surgery Network