Vassilios S. Avlonitis


Consultant cardiac surgeon


Vassilios Avlonitis graduated from Athens Medical School in 1997. Between 1997-2001, he completed basic surgical training at St Thomas’ Hospital and at Newcastle-upon-Tyne hospitals.

Vassilios worked as a researcher in lung transplantation at the University of Newcastle and was awarded a PhD in 2005. During his appointment at the University of Newcastle, he attracted over half a million pounds through research grants. Subsequently, he became a specialist registrar in cardiothoracic surgery and trained as a cardiac surgeon in Plymouth and Bristol.

In 2011-12, he worked as a senior fellow in cardiac surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Centre, New York, USA, where he trained in mitral repair and aortic root surgery. After returning from the United States, he was employed as a locum consultant cardiac surgeon at the Bristol Heart Institute between 2012-2013.

In May 2013, he was appointed as a consultant cardiac and mitral surgeon at St Thomas’ Hospital. Since February 2016, he has been patient safety lead for cardiac surgery. In March 2018, he was appointed as clinical service lead in cardiac surgery at St Thomas’ Hospital.

Vassilios specialises in mitral repair and minimally invasive mitral surgery. He leads the mitral team meetings. In these meetings, patient cases of mitral valve disease are assessed by a specialist team of doctors, the repairability of the mitral valve is determined and the case is directed to the appropriate surgeon.

Education and training

  • CCT in cardiothoracic surgery, 2012
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Education, University of Dundee, 2011
  • FRCS(C-Th) Glasgow, 2010
  • PhD in Transplantation, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 2005
  • MD, Athens, 1997

Research interests

  • Clinical trials
  • Lung injury


  • Ronald Edwards Medal 2004, Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery of Great Britain and Ireland.
  • Medawar medal nomination 2004, British Transplantation Society.
  • American Transplant Congress 2005 Travel Grant, British Transplantation Society.
  • Travelling Fellowship 2011-2012, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.


Vassilios has published in the area of Lung Transplantation and Organ Donation, as well as in Cardiothoracic Surgery in general. Below is an example of his published work.

  • Avlonitis VS, Wigfield CH, Kirby JA, Dark JH. Treatment of the brain-dead lung donor with aprotinin and nitric oxide. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2010 Oct;29(10):1177-84.
  • Avlonitis VS, Wigfield CH, Golledge HDR, Kirby JA, Dark JH. Early hemodynamic injury during donor brain death determines the severity of primary graft dysfunction after lung transplantation. Am J Transplant 2007; 7(1): 83-90.
  • Avlonitis VS, Wigfield CH, Kirby JA, Dark JH. The hemodynamic mechanisms of lung injury and systemic inflammatory response following brain death in the transplant donor. Am J Transplant 2005; 5(4): 684-693.
  • Avlonitis VS, Krause A, Luzzi L, Powell H, Phillips JA, Corris PA, Gould FK, Dark JH. Bacterial colonization of the donor lower airways is a predictor of poor outcome in lung transplantation. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2003; 24: 601-607.

Last updated: April 2022

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