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Arnar Geirsson, MD, FACS, FAHA

Cardiac Surgery
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Patient type treated
Accepting new patients
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Arnar Geirsson, MD, is chief of cardiac surgery for Yale Medicine, and a specialist in heart valve disease and thoracic aneurysm. Dr. Geirsson performs valve repairs on the mitral, tricuspid and aortic valves, as well as valve-sparing root operations. He has special interest in complex heart surgery such as multi-valve operation and re-operations in high-risk patients. “At Yale Medicine, we are fortunate to have an outstanding team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, cardiologists, nurses and operating room staff, as well as the infrastructure that allows us to take on any type of challenging cases with outstanding results,” Dr. Geirsson says.

An associate professor of surgery (cardiac surgery) at Yale School of Medicine, Dr. Geirsson believes one of the most important things a cardiac surgeon can do is to develop the kind of personal relationship that allows him to establish trust with the patient and patient’s family.

“We understand the prospect of undergoing cardiac surgery is difficult, for the patient as well as for the family,” Dr. Geirsson says. “Undergoing an open-heart operation is a life-changing event that can bring significant stress and anxiety. My care philosophy is to ensure I listen and respond to any complaints and concerns my patient may have.” If a patient needs surgery, he explains the procedure in detail, and makes sure he or she understands what to expect prior to and during their hospital stay. He also explains what their recovery will involve—including the amount of pain, immobility and restriction to expect. 

Whenever possible, Dr. Geirsson uses minimally-invasive surgical techniques, including right thoracotomy, small sternotomy, and percutaneous techniques. He also performs robotic coronary bypass operation, sometimes as part of a hybrid revascularization procedures.  “At Yale Medicine, our focus on innovation and research allows us to use the most advanced technologies to provide patients with smaller incisions, shorter hospital stays and less postoperative discomfort, whenever possible,” he says.

An active clinical researcher involved in both clinical trials and outcome research, Dr. Geirsson is interested in finding even better ways to treat valve disease, thoracic aneurysm disease and aortic dissection. He also conducts basic research to better understand how cardiac diseases develop, especially diseases that are related to aortic aneurysms and heart valves.  


  • Professor of Surgery (Cardiac)
  • Division Chief, Cardiac Surgery, Surgery

Education & Training

  • Chief Resident
    Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (2007)
  • Resident
    Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (2006)
  • Fellow
    Hospital of University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (2005)
  • Resident
    Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT (2005)
  • Chief Resident
    Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT (2005)
  • Fellow
    Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT (2002)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow
    Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT (2002)
  • Intern
    Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT (1999)
  • Intern
    Landspitali University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland (1998)
  • MD
    University of Iceland (1997)

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Íslenska (Icelandic)

Additional Information

  • Yale Cardiac Surgery
    Yale Physicians Building
    800 Howard Avenue, Ste 2nd Floor
    New Haven, CT, 06519