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Dr. K R Balakrishnan

Dr. K R Balakrishnan

With over 30 years of experience in the field of medical sciences, Dr. K R Balakrishnan is associated with Fortis Malar Hospital as the Director of Cardiac Science; Chief Cardiothoracic and Transplant Surgeon.  Having successfully performed over 250 transplant surgeries and 16,000 heart operations independently, Dr. K R Balakrishnan has been widely recognized in the medical fraternity as a pioneer in Indian Cardiac Care.

Dr. K R Balakrishnan has played a significant role in elevating the Indian medical practices on a global scale and is the first surgeon in India to have completed over 250 successful heart transplants and Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) implant surgeries on patients from across India as well as from Africa, Russia, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the USA.

Considered India’s best surgeon in heart transplants, Dr. K R Balakrishnan has performed breakthrough surgeries in the field of Cardiac Transplant like India’s First LVAD in 2012 and HVAD pump implant in 2013, India’s first paediatric heart transplant surgery on a two-year nine-month-old international patient from Russia and many more.  He has also a played an instrumental role in establishing India’s First Comprehensive Centre for Heart Failure Management at Fortis Malar Hospital, Chennai and is considered “the” expert in the management of end-stage heart failure.

Highlights of Dr. K R Balakrishnan’s medical journey:

  • Dr K R Balakrishnan has won two patents, one for a Low Cost Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) and the other for the development of a ‘Flexible Magnetic Membrane’.
  • Performed India’s first paediatric heart transplant surgery on a two-year nine-month-old international patient from Russia.
  • Dr. K R Balakrishnan saved a patient with cardiac arrest using a new artificial Heart Pump.
  • Implanted a mechanical device (LVAD) as an alternative to heart transplant on a 58-year old.
  • Dr. K R Balakrishnan revived a man with a heart transplant, 45 minutes after his heart had stopped beating.
  • He used Artificial Heart Technology (ECMO) to aid heart transplant on a 38-year old woman from Delhi.

Awards and Recognitions:

  • Dr K R Balakrishnan was awarded the First Prize in surgery (1976) by the Jawaharlal Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research, Pondicherry, India.
  • He also stood first in the area of Obstetrics and Gynecology(1976) and Medicine, awarded by the University of Madras.
  • He received the HiralalGold Medal in Surgery awarded by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
  • Dr. K R Balakrishnan ranked first in Cardiothoracic Board finals, University of Bombay which was the first distinction ever to be awarded by the university in this specialty.
  • Recently, Dr. K R Balakrishnan was awarded the Double Helical National Health Award, 2017 for Pioneering work in Heart Transplant Surgery in India


Dr. K R Balakrishnan’s initial medical years were spent as a Senior Registrar to Sir Brian Baratt-Boyes, at the Cardio Thoracic Unit, Green Lane Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand. From 1987 to 1988 he was a Fellow in Cardiac surgery at the Oregon Health Sciences, University and St. Vincent Hospital.  He then worked in Portland, Oregon, with Dr. Albert Starr from 1989 to 1990. Then he moved to Madras where he worked at the Railway Hospital, Perambur as Specialist Cardiac Surgeon from June 1990 to August 1994.

In his free time, Dr Balakrishnan enjoys music and is a gifted musician himself; he plays the saxophone, mouth organ, tabla and the veena.

departments: Cardiology
positions: Chief of Heart Transplant & CTVS Program
treatments: Cardiothoracic & Transplant Surgeon
locations: Bannerghatta Road, Cunningham Road