Frank Van Praet 

Cardiac Surgeon
Head of department Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery,
OLV Clinic Aalst, Belgium


On the leading edge of cardiac surgery
and human patient care.

With more than 25 years of experience, Dr. Frank Van Praet is one of the leading specialists in adult cardiac surgery. He was a pioneer since the very beginning in minimally invasive and robotically assisted cardiac surgery. He has inspired and trained many teams and younger surgeons worldwide. As head of the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery of the OLV Clinic in Aalst, Belgium, he and his team are continuously improving patient care.

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What I do

As a surgeon at the OLV Clinic Aalst, Belgium, I am committed to offer an optimal state-of-the-art surgical solution for our patients. Their well-being is my greatest professional satisfaction. We invest in continuously improving our surgical strategies. Minimally invasive cardiac surgery is one of my passions.


In this technique, we operate trough a minimal opening in the right side of the chest helped by 3D Endoscopy. By avoiding to fully open the chest, we offer the patient the best outcome. In our experienced hands, this approach offers the patient a safer and better surgical result. There is a very high probability that valves can be repaired. The esthetical advantage is obvious.


Since more than 20 years, we have been pioneering the use of a robot for coronary bypass surgery. With the help of the robot, the left mammary artery is used as an optimal conduit for revascularisation. This surgery is performed through key-hole surgery in the left chest.


I am convinced that, if performed well, coronary surgery without the use of the heart-lung machine on the beating heart offers better results. More than 90% of my CABG patients can benefit from this experience.


Aortic valves are operated through a limited upper sternotomy. Some patients present with multiple valve problems
or coronary disease and heartfailure. By close collaboration with our cardiologists in our “Heart Team”, we discuss the best strategy for our patients. Hybrid approaches, combining transcathether technologies and standard cardiac surgery, can sometimes offer the best of both worlds to our patients.

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The Aalst Cardiac Academy

We continue our effort since many years to train teams worldwide and share our knowledge and experience.

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VIDEO Minimal Invasive Sugery 

During the Week of the Heart a dutch documentary was made, stretching the importance of prevention and screening. It highlights once more the significant role of the OLV Clinic Aalst, Belgium, in the development of optimal state-of-the-art surgical solutions for their patients. 

This video broadcast Dr. Frank Van Praet during a succesfull medical intervention.


OLV Clinic Aalst, Belgium

Aalst Cardiac Academy, Belgium

Orsi Academy, Belgium

Latest news

MAGAZINE OLV Hartcentrum annual handout 2019 – 2020 (Dutch version)

The cardiac team of the OLV clinic explains how they react and adapt to the changing environments in healthcare and technology and how they responded to the COVID-19 crisis.  Read the[…]

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PRESS A minimally invasive cardiac surgery, with robotic assistance

The Hindu Newspaper writes about doctors at Apollo Hospitals who performed a minimally invasive robotic hybrid revascularisation surgery to treat blockages in two major blood vessels of a 63-year-old patient.[…]

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VIDEO Week of the Heart: Minimal Invasive Sugery by Dr. Frank Van Praet

During the Week of the Heart a dutch documentary was made, stretching the importance of prevention and screening. It highlights once more the significant role of the OLV Clinic Aalst,[…]

Read more

Course pictures

The Aalst Cardiac Academy is an unique trainingcenter guided by Dr. Frank Van Praet. In trully hands-on courses he wants to prepare collegues to start their own mitral valve programm soon.