doctor tharakan

Dr. Ajit K. Tharakan

MBBS, MD, MS, MCh, AB (surgery), AB (Cardiothoracic Surgery), FACS

Cardiovascular Thoracic Surgeon

Ajit Tharakan, MD, is the Chief of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery at the Oklahoma Heart Institute. He is the surgical director of the Advanced Heart Failure and Mechanical Circulatory Support program. He received his medical school at Sri Ramachandra Medical College, India. He completed his Cardiothoracic Surgery residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital, teaching hospitals of Harvard Medical School. Dr. Tharakan has over 25 years of experience in complex cardiothoracic surgery and offers minimally invasive surgeries, LVAD, ECMO, adult congenital heart surgery, and more.

doctor ajit tharakan
I believe it is a privilege to take care of the sick and the patient is the most important person in every healthcare system. My team of nurses, physicians and OR personnel believe in excellence and attention to detail in every step of the complex field of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery. This applies to every part of the preoperative, intraoperative and post operative care of the patient.

25+ Years of Experience

5000+ Surgeries Completed

Chief Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgeon

Current Positions

  • Chief and Consultant Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgeon

    Oklahoma Heart Institute & Hillcrest Medical Center

  • Surgical Director

    Mechanical Circulatory Support and Advanced Heart Failure, OHI

Education and Training

  • Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

    Chief Resident Cardiothoracic Surgery


  • Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

    Chief Resident Cardiac Surgery

    2007- 2008

  • School of Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

    Chief Resident General Surgery, Hugh E. Stephenson Department of Surgery

    2003- 2006

  • School of Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

    Research Scholar, Hugh E. Stephenson Department of Surgery



  • Christian Medical College & Hospital, Vellore, Tamilnadu, India

    Chief Resident Cardiothoracic Surgery

    MCh- CVTS

    1999- 2001

  • St. John’s Medical College Hospital, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

    Surgical Resident General Surgery

    MS (General Surgery)

    1995- 1998

  • Sri Ramachandra Medical College & Research Institute, Sri Ramachandra Hospital, Madras, Tamilnadu, India

    Medical School and Resident Intern


    1988- 1994

  • Don Bosco Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Madras , Tamilnadu, India

    Higher Secondary School Certificate

    1986- 1988

Academic Appointments

  • Clinical associate Professor of Medicine- University of Oklahoma College of Medicine

    2017- Present
  • Associate Professor & Division Chief Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery Hugh E. Stephenson Department of Surgery,Columbia, MO

    2016- 2017
  • Assistant Professor & Division Chief Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery Hugh E. Stephenson Department of Surgery, Columbia, MO

    2009- 2016

Certification and Licenses

  • American Board of Thoracic Surgery

  • American Board of Surgery

  • Oklahoma Medical Board

  • Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts

  • ECFMG Certification

  • Membership Exam, The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

  • M.Ch. (Master of Chirurgie), Tamilnadu M.G.R. University

  • M.S. General Surgery, Bangalore University

  • Diplomate of National Board of Examiners, New Delhi, India

  • Tamilnadu Medical Council

  • Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS degree)

Procedures Offered

  • Coronary artery bypass surgery including high risk redo coronary bypass surgery and off pump bypass surgery

  • Surgery for heart failure

    • Mechanical support for cardiogenic shock
    • ECMO -venoarterial and venovenous
    • Impella and Tandem heart devices
    • Implantation of Durable Mechanical support devices
    • LVAD- Heartmate 3 Implantation
  • Heart valve surgery

    • Aortic valve surgery
    • Aortic valve repair
    • Mitral valve repair
    • Minimally invasive right thoracotomy mitral repair
    • Surgery for infective endocarditis
    • Transcatheter valve interventions
  • Aortic surgery

    • Valve sparing aortic root surgery (David & Yacoub root surgery)
    • Composite aortic root replacements
    • Ascending and arch replacements
    • Total arch replacements
    • Frozen elephant trunk replacements of the arch and descending thoracic aorta
    • Aortic surgery for Marfan and other connective tissue disorders
  • Surgery for Adult Congenital heart diseases

    • Redo Fontan revisions
    • Redo Valve and conduit revisions
  • Surgery for lung cancer

    • Lobectomies
    • Segmentectomies
    • Wedge resections
    • Robot assisted lung surgery
  • Surgery for esophageal diseases

    • Ivor-Lewis esophagectomy
    • Transhiatal esophagectomy
    • Robotic assisted Minimally invasive esophagectomy ( RAMIE)
  • Surgery for tracheal diseases

    • Tracheal resection and reconstruction
    • Dilations
  • Surgery for Cardiac arrhythmias

    • Maze procedure
    • Robotic assisted exclusion of left atrial appendage
  • Surgery for pericardial diseases

  • Surgery for Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Honors and Awards

  • Castle Connolly's Top Doctors

  • Recognized as MU’s top faculty achiever

  • Coulter Award for translational research – Near infra-red navigation system (NAVI) for image-guided surgery in coronary artery bypass grafting

  • MSHP Student Presentation Best Poster Award 2014, Analysis of the Safety and Efficacy of Recombinant Factor Vll a Use in Acute Aortic Dissection Repair

  • Nomination for Kenneth Schwartz Compassionate Caregiver Award

  • Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, University of Missouri

  • FIRST Rank in ABSITE Examination, University of Missouri

  • Dr. Susheela Santhosam GOLD MEDAL for Excellence in the field of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery

  • Delivering the Difference (memo of merit for exceptional service)

  • FIRST Rank and GOLD MEDAL in the state of Tamil Nadu, India Board Certification Examination in Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (M.Ch.)

  • Best Paper Award Surgical Society of Bangalore



  • American College of Surgeons Fellow

    2015- Present

  • Society of Thoracic Surgeons (active member)

    2015- Present

  • Society of Thoracic Surgeons (candidate member)

    2008- 2014

  • Cardiorenal Medicine (Journal Reviewer)

    2014- Present

  • Annals of Thoracic Surgery (Journal Reviewer)

    2012- Present

  • Alpha Omega Alpha, Honor Medical Society, University of Missouri


  • Massachusetts Medical Society


  • National Academy of Medical Sciences, New Delhi- Member


  • Diplomate of National Board of Examiners, New Delhi, India