The common perception that heart and lung transplants are complex is not misguided. Although complex, the success of heart and lung transplants is critically dependent upon the surgeon’s education, real-world experience, continued education and professional practice.
Dr. Hartmuth Bittner, a native of Germany, fluent in both German and English, has outstanding credentials and has performed the first lung transplant and the first successful heart transplants in central Florida. This website will, over time, describe his achievements in the field and professional ventures that have demonstrably saved lives. For now, an introduction to Dr. Bittner is in order.
Dr. Hartmuth Bittner, MD, PhD, FACS, has nearly three decades of practice, specializing in advanced and minimally invasive cardiac surgery and heart and lung transplantation. His degrees were conferred by the National Academy of Sports Science and Sports Medicine (BS), the University of Heidelberg Medical School (MD) and the Leipzig Heart Center, University of Leipzig (PhD). As a medical student, he was already a visiting anatomy lecturer at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Bittner completed his entire general, vascular, and cardiothoracic surgery and transplantation residency training and fellowship at Duke University Medical Center, North Carolina. The studies he published as part of the residency and PhD curriculum addressed brain death in organ donors and the heart as an endocrine organ. He is extensively published in peer reviewed journals and most recently known in the growing and cutting-edge field of immunotherapy in transplantation.
As the endowed Chair of Thoracic Transplantation in Leipzig, Dr. Bittner was also a longstanding member of the Eurotransplant International Foundation, which is Europe’s governing body for transplantation.
In September 2012 he performed the first lung transplant at Florida Hospital, Orlando. Details surrounding the minimally-invasive procedure were published in “Innovations” and presented before the International Society of Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery. As a result of the operation he co-authored the publication “Sternum sparing Thoracotomy Incisions in Lung Transplantation Surgery: A superior technique to the Clamshell Approach”. This minimally-invasive approach demonstrates higher success rates and shorter recovery times. As head of the most successful start-up heart-lung transplantation program in the nation, Dr. Bittner has performed numerous lung transplants using these minimally-invasive approaches. He achieved a success rate of 97.3 percent for one-year survival following lung transplantation and 100 percent in heart transplantation. To this day Dr. Bittner has completed over 100 heart transplants, 400 lung transplants, and has performed more than 4,000 cardiac cases including valve and coronary surgery.
Additional accomplishments achieved during his career include joining the American Health Council’s Board of Physicians as a leader in cardiothoracic surgery, and establishing and offering new interventions in the growing field of heart failure surgery at Largo Medical Center.
Dr. Hartmuth Bittner has dedicated close to three decades to his field, and he has given back to it at every opportunity. He shares his knowledge via invited lectures, contributing in national and international fora, and extensive professional publications in refereed journals.
We thank you for visiting this website to learn more about Dr. Bittner. We encourage you to come back and learn more his professional endeavors as we update the website.