Cardiothoracic Surgery

Andrea J. Carpenter, MD, PhD

Clinical Professor, Residency Program Director

Personal Statement:

Dr. Carpenter is certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery specializing in all aspects of adult cardiac surgery. She is particularly interested in valvular heart disease performing minimally invasive surgical aortic valve replacement, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and complex reconstruction of the aortic root and aortic arch.

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft surgery was the thing that captured her attention during medical school after seeing  the impact that heart surgery had on patients. “I was amazed to see people who were fearful to walk from the bedroom to the kitchen before surgery walking into the clinic after surgery relieved of their heart pain and back to a normal life with their family. So, I headed into highly challenging surgical training to be a heart surgeon and have never doubted the decision”.

Dr. Carpenter came to surgery and to UT Health by a rather circuitous route. Growing up in the NC mountains where girls were told they could not be professionals, she cast about to discover what she was really meant to be. After college at Appalachian State University and a brief stint skiing at Alta, she returned to education earning a M.S. at the University of Utah and then Ph.D. at Penn State studying Physiology.

She took post-doctoral training at the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine and then joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins as a Research Associate. “As a research scientist I still felt I wasn’t quite where I belonged, so with encouragement from my department chair I went  back to school to study medicine. As a third year student at GW School of Medicine I discovered heart surgery”. That education was supported by the Air Force and she entered surgical training at David Grant USAF Medical Center, Travis AFB. This was followed by Thoracic Residency at UC Davis in Sacramento, CA.

After residency she was assigned to Wilford Hall where she was promoted to Flight Commander of Cardiothoracic Surgery after only one year in practice.  During her years at Wilford hall she recalled how  wonderful San Antonio is as home. After 14 years and achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, she joined the faculty full time in 2003.

Today, Dr Carpenter is the Residency Program Director of Integrated Thoracic Surgery at the Long School of Medicine and holds the rank of clinical professor. She is fully committed to thoracic surgical education and is a national leader in the evolution of thoracic surgery education. “The next generation of thoracic surgeons needs far more complex knowledge and skill than prior generations. Devising methods to train such highly complex and competent surgeons has kept my drive to be the best we can be fresh and exciting. I can hardly describe the joy of seeing these young surgeons succeed”.

Dr. Carpenter is fully committed to healing the hearts of San Antonio while training the highest quality surgeons for the future. Appointments and referrals are available through the Medical Arts and Research Center of UT Health San Antonio.


MD, George Washington University, Washington, DC, 1989

PhD in Physiology, Pennsylvania State University, 1981

MS in Physical Education, University of Utah, 1977

BS in Physical Education, Appalachian State University, 1974


Clinical development of therapies for valvular heart disease including transcatheter valve implants and repair techniques.

Basic science research investigating role of inflammatory mediators (IL-18) in heart failure in collaboration with Bysani Chandrasekar, PhD at Tulane University.

Awards & Accomplishments


Employee of 1st Quarter 2005: Award received from University Health System, San Antonio TX, 2005

Meritorious Service Medal: For service as Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland AFB, Texas, 2002

Dare To Soar: Air Force award for excellence in patient care, 2002

Cardiothoracic Surgery Subspecialty Chair: Cardiothoracic Surgery Section 49th Annual Symposium Society of Air Force Clinical Surgeons, 2002

Alley-Sheridan Scholar: The Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education, 1999

Cardiothoracic Surgery Subspecialty Chair: Cardiothoracic Surgery Section 46th Annual Symposium Society of Air Force Clinical Surgeons, San Antonio, TX, 1999


American Association of Thoracic Surgeons: Editorial Board

American College of Surgeons

San Antonio Cardiovascular Society

Society of Thoracic Surgeons: National Database Workforce

Southern Thoracic Surgical Association: Vice President

Women in Thoracic Surgery: Past President



Fenton KN, Novick WM, Entwistle JW 3rd, Moffatt-Bruce SD, Sade RM; Cardiothoracic Ethics Forum. Global health initiatives in cardiothoracic surgery: Ethical considerations and guidelines. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2021 Jun;161(6):2114-2118.

Carpenter AJ. Cardiothoracic surgeons in pandemics: Ethical considerations J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2020 Aug;160(2):456-459.

Carpenter AJ. The proximal descending aorta is a “cruel mistress” and should not be ignored J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2020 Jul;4:S00(20):31996-31996.

Hui DS, Carpenter AJ. Commentary: From virtual to reality J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2020 Jul;161(1):184-185.

Carpenter AJ. We can make better decisions regarding revascularization strategies for early coronary artery disease J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2020 May;S0022(20):31106-31106.

Hui DS, Carpenter AJ. Invited Commentary: Representation of Women in The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Authorship and Leadership Positions Ann Thorac Surg 2020 May;109(5):1604-1604.

Varghese TK Jr, Entwistle JW 3rd, Mayer JE, Moffatt-Bruce SD, Sade RM; Cardiothoracic Ethics Forum.. Ethical Standards for Cardiothoracic Surgeons‘ Participation in Social Media Ann Thorac Surg 2019 Sep;108(3):666-670.

Das NA, Carpenter AJ, Yoshida T, Kumar SA, Gautam S, Mostany R, Izadpanah R, Kumar A, Mummidi S, Siebenlist U, Chandrasekar B. TRAF3IP2 mediates TWEAK/TWEAKR-induced pro-fibrotic responses in cultured cardiac fibroblasts and the heart. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2018 Aug;121:107-123. doi:10.1016/j.yjmcc.2018.07.003. Epub 2018 Jul 5. PubMed PMID: 29981796.

Aroor AR, Das NA, Carpenter AJ, Habibi J, Jia G, Ramirez-Perez FI, Martinez-Lemus L, Manrique-Acevedo CM, Hayden MR, Duta C, Nistala R, Mayoux E, Padilla J, Chandrasekar B, DeMarco VG. Glycemic control by the SGLT2 inhibitor empagliflozin decreases aortic stiffness, renal resistivity index and kidney injury. Cardiovasc Diabetol. 2018 Jul 30;17(1):108. doi:10.1186/s12933-018-0750-8. PubMed PMID: 30060748; PubMed Central PMCID:PMC6065158.

Blackmon SH, Carpenter AJ. Nina Starr Braunwald’s Career, Legacy, and Awards: Results of a Survey of The Thoracic Surgery Foundation Award Recipients. Ann Thorac Surg. 2018 Aug;106(2):633-636. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2018.02.033. Epub 2018 Mar 16. PubMed PMID: 29555243.

Carpenter AJ. Simulation is a valuable tool for team training. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2018 Jun;155(6):2525. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2018.01.046. Epub 2018 Feb 8. PubMed PMID: 29548586.

Padilla J, Carpenter AJ, Das NA, Kandikattu HK, López-Ongil S, Martinez-Lemus LA, Siebenlist U, DeMarco VG, Chandrasekar B. TRAF3IP2 mediates high glucose-induced endothelin-1 production as well as endothelin-1-induced inflammation in endothelial cells. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2018 Jan 1;314(1):H52-H64. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00478.2017. Epub 2017 Sep 29. PubMed PMID: 28971844; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5866390.

Mummidi S, Das NA, Carpenter AJ, Kandikattu H, Krenz M, Siebenlist U, Valente AJ, Chandrasekar B. Metformin inhibits aldosterone-induced cardiac fibroblast activation, migration and proliferation in vitro, and reverses aldosterone+salt-induced cardiac fibrosis in vivo. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2016 Sep;98:95-102. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2016.07.006. Epub 2016 Jul 14. PubMed PMID: 27423273.

Mokadam NA, Lee R, Vaporciyan AA, Walker JD, Cerfolio RJ, Hermsen JL, Baker CJ, Mark R, Aloia L, Enter DH, Carpenter AJ, Moon MR, Verrier ED, Fann JI. Gamification in thoracic surgical education: Using competition to fuel performance. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2015 Nov;150(5):1052-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2015.07.064. Epub 2015 Jul 26. PubMed PMID: 26318012.

Carpenter AJ. Invited Commentary. Ann Thorac Surg. 2015 Jul;100(1):113. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2015.03.097. PubMed PMID: 26140761.

Carpenter AJ. Two internal thoracic arteries really are better. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2014 Oct;148(4):1266-1266.e9. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2014.08.039. Epub 2014 Sep 6. PubMed PMID: 25260271.

Venkatesan B, Valente AJ, Das NA, Carpenter AJ, Yoshida T, Delafontaine JL, Siebenlist U, Chandrasekar B. CIKS (Act1 or TRAF3IP2) mediates high glucose-induced endothelial dysfunction. Cell Signal. 2013 Jan;25(1):359-71. doi: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2012.10.009. Epub 2012 Oct 17. PubMed PMID: 23085260; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3606809.