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William F. Kessler, MD, FACS

Appointments: 1-512-324-3028


Baylor College of Medicine, MD

The University of Texas at Austin, BA, Biology


Residency, Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School

Residency, Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School

Fellowship, Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of California Los Angeles

Clinical Biography

William F. Kessler, MD, FACS, is a board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon in the Institute for Cardiovascular Health, a clinical partnership between Ascension Seton and UT Health Austin. Dr. Kessler serves as the Director of the Cardiac Transplantation and Circulatory Support program at Seton Medical Center and the Surgical Director Director of the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) program. His main focus is on the development of programs to treat advanced heart failure . He specializes in cardiac transplantation, implantation of left ventricular assist devices (LVADs), ECMO, complex mechanical circulatory support and transport strategies, surgery for congestive heart failure, adult congenital heart surgery, aortic root surgery, complex valve replacement and repair, coronary revascularization procedures, arrhythmia surgery and surgical electrophysiologic procedures including minimally invasive lead placement. Dr. Kessler is interested in minimally invasive techniques of valve replacement and is a surgical director of TAVR, or transcatheter aortic valve replacement, which includes transfemoral, transapical, and transaortic approaches to the aortic valve.

Dr. Kessler graduated with a bachelor's degree in biology with honors from The University of Texas at Austin. He then earned his medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine, where he was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society. He completed a residency in general surgery and a residency in cardiothoracic surgery at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas. He then completed an fellowship in cardiac transplantation and mechanical circulatory support fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Dr. Kessler is an active member of Alpha Omega Alpha, the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation, the Texas Transplant Society, the Parkland Surgical Society, the American Medical Association, the Texas Medical Association, and the Travis County Medical Society. He remains involved in clinical research and lectures frequently on topics of complex cardiac surgery.


  • Adult congenital heart surgery
  • Aortic root surgery
  • Arrhythmia surgery
  • Cardiac transplantation
  • Cardiothoracic surgery
  • Complex valve replacement and repair
  • Congestive heart failure surgery
  • Coronary revascularization
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
  • Left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation
  • Minimally invasive lead replacement
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)

Board Certification

  • American Board of Surgery
  • American Board of Thoracic Surgery
  • International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation

Awards & Honors

  • Austin Monthly Top Doctors
  • Cardiac Care Provider Award, American Heart Association
  • The Andrew Carnegie Hero Fund Commission Award and Medal


  • Institute for Cardiovascular Health - Seton Main
    Ascension Seton Medical Center - Main
    1201 W. 38th St.,
    Austin, TX 78705
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