Hello! My name is Dr. Luis Castro and I am a cardiac surgeon having graduated from Stanford School of Medicine in 1984. To date, I have performed approximately 5,000 cardiac surgeries, of which 3,000 involved heart valve procedures. I regularly perform surgery at hospitals including Sequoia Hospital Heart and Vascular Institute. Read more...
I believe my greatest strength is the team of wonderfully talented people that partner with me at Sequoia Hospital to produce “best results” that are nationally and internationally recognized in cardiac surgery. This level of achievement comes from tremendous experience by all members alike. World-class outcomes can only result from concentrating efforts at a single center to achieve the highest level of team excellence.
"If I was to need valve surgery again, there would be no doubt I would only want Dr. Castro leaving his fingerprints on my heart."
-- Shelly Gould, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 10/14/2011
"I had aortic valve replacement in September of 2014 performed by Dr. Castro. I have had an outstanding experience which I would like to share as it may help others like me.
I was very scared of surgery which was unfortunately unavoidable. As a result, I did a lot of searching, reading and even watching the surgery on YouTube. I spoke to several doctors and surgeons as well.
The key is to find who the best surgeons for this type of surgery is, and Dr. Castro is there in the top 5-10 in the world - or at least among ones I could find or have access too. The hospital where he and his team operate, Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, specializes in heart surgery and is rated in top 10 or 15. (Stanford is not even in this group).
To me Dr. Castro is the best surgeon in the world! How do I justify that?
(a) He is very fast. The amount of time you spend on heart/lung machine, while your heart is stopped is very important. (the more time you spent – the more likely you will get out brain damaged). For most surgeons the time your heart is not beating is close to 1hr or more. Dr. Castro did mine in 29 minutes (his average is 30min). I heard the fastest he did is 17 minutes.
(b) Second important point is the team. Dr. Castro has been 15 years at Sequoia and he and his team can read each other’s mind. To be that fast, one needs a good team, and Dr. Castro has that. He is very much liked by his team, his nurses and hospital staff. They love him and this is very important too.
(c) Dr. Castro’s mortality rate in the last 3 years is ZERO. He would not undertake any new procedure unless it has zero mortality rate. He cares about that. Thus, you can be sure that he does not want to ruin his record, so you will be fine. However, the week I was released he operated on 89 year old lady changing both valve: aortic and mitral. This is confidence!
(d) He is very calm and (I heard never loses his temper under pressure). This is very important if things go wrong.
(e) He is not overworked or over-committed, by his choice. He operates Tuesdays and Thursdays, so he is fresh and rested for your surgery. The rest of the days he is seeing patients in the hospital and he and his team were at my bedside every day I was there.
(f) His two anesthesiologists (Dr. Bradly and Dr. Paris) are the two angels. They were extremely important to me as I was not going to go into this surgery, neither willingly (nor alive). They will talk to you, calm you down and suddenly – you wake up - and it is all over!
(g) The care after surgery works very well in Sequoia. I slept most of the time and every time I woke up, I felt stronger. The nurses would take good care of you and I would recommend that you do not have visitors – they may tire you (that may apply even to your wife or husband). You do not need them as you will be totally taken care off by the excellent staff of nurses.
(h) The incision Dr. Castro made is quite small – about 4” and the scar is not very visible. To me this is unimportant, but if you are a lady and care for it – he does a great job with that too.
Finally, Dr. Castro is very approachable, down to earth and very charming. Once you meet him, your heart will tell you: “stop, do not look any further – I want this guy!” He will call you back personally, answer your email and I suspect, if you ask him to give you a ride home from the hospital – he will do it. But please do not! Many people need him critically, so be respectful of his time.
My recovery was fantastic. I heard from Dr. Castro that some people went to meetings 3 weeks after the surgery. The normal recovery time is 6 weeks.
I went to work in 1 week! (not that I did much, but I made the point) However the day after I worked 3 hrs, second week part time, third week overtime and in the fourth week I even picked up another consulting job. (my work is desk / computer job, so not very hard). However, I hope I did beat every record in recovery time!
It has been 5 weeks since my surgery and I feel very strong, walking without getting tired and I have energy like never before. "
-- Vojin G Oklobdzija, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 09/17/2014
We chose to fly in from out of state, based on (a) the world-class morbidity and mortality statistics of this program, (b) the mini-sternotomy option, and (c) the remarkably open and welcoming approach of Dr. Castro and his staff.
Early on Dr. Castro readily accepted our request for a FaceTime interview, answered all of our questions and welcomed follow up contact. His office arranged the angiogram for the day prior to surgery, and arranged housing for us in the Sequoia House. He has remained accessible weeks after the surgery.
As expected (from the level of excellence reflected in the statistics) the entire program was on top of its game. Cardiology, Anesthesia, Nursing, Respiratory Therapy, Physical Therapy all delivered top level service.
We were not surprised when immediately after surgery Consumers Reports listed this program as one of only 15 in the country to achieve CR's highest ranking."
-- Ronald Bliss, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, 07/02/2014
He and his team visited at least once a day while I was in the hospital. Although we are from out of town, he has continued to follow up with me and has offered to consult with my local cardiologist. The nursing staff was also excellent. The facility was a bit dated, but a brand new hospital is set to open very soon, so that will no longer be true. I am three weeks post surgery and doing very well. "
-- Barbara Hoth, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, 07/02/2014
He is truly an amazing surgeon and I was most fortunate to have been under the care of Dr. Castro and his surgical team! Dr. Castro, in addition to being a skilled surgeon, is professional, kind, and a truly genuine person. He was very thorough with my care as well as my follow-up care and always listened to all of my concerns.
My experiences with Sequoia Hospital's Cardiac Surveillance Unit, doctors, and nurses, were exceptional. I felt genuinely cared for by the staff. I cannot say enough positive comments about my experience with Dr. Castro, his surgical team and Sequoia Hospital. I would not hesitate to recommend Dr. Castro, his surgical team, and Sequoia Hospital to my family and/or friends."
-- Patricia K., Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 06/14/2014
The surgery itself was very successful, thanks to Dr. Castro's approach and to the team that he assembled, and my recovery has been smooth, rapid, and free of complications since my surgery a month and a half ago. Dr. Castro continues to be available for any follow up questions and concerns that I may have, which is a further extension of his caring, patient-centered approach to consultations and treatment.
After conducting extensive research into treatment and caregiver options prior to surgery, I am certain that I made the right choice in selecting Dr. Castro to perform this critical valve repair operation."
-- Paul K., Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Mini Sternotomy, 06/03/2014
-- David Baga, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 05/20/2014
-- Daniel SWISHER, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 05/08/2014
-- Jim Ciamarro, Aortic Valve, Valve Repair, 08/13/2013
I'm riding my dirt bike, jogging and riding my mountain with no issues whatsoever. I feel 20 again. Thanks Dr. Castro. "
-- charles weems, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 07/11/2013
-- kent dorwin, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 05/15/2013
-- mickey king, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 03/22/2013
-- Linda Gaudet, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 11/28/2012
-- Aaron Blum, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Mini Sternotomy, 07/19/2012
-- Dr. Joseph Busey, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, Root Replacement, 07/18/2012
-- Betty Vieira, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 06/25/2012
-- Joanne Layne, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Maze Procedure, 06/14/2012
-- Constance Codding, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, 06/09/2012
-- Tracy Collins, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 05/15/2012
-- Gary Norris, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 04/26/2012
-- Jan Tepper, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 04/19/2012
-- Gladys Francis, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 03/14/2012
-- DiMitri Hage, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 02/28/2012
-- Kenneth Campbell, Aortic Valve, Valve Repair, 02/23/2012
-- Christopher Watkins, Aortic Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, 02/23/2012
-- Marilyn Bolei, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 02/09/2012
-- Dorayne Likely, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, 01/24/2012
-- Dean Forbes, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 01/09/2012
-- Shelly Gould, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 10/14/2011
-- Alfred Kildow, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, 09/29/2011
-- Patrick C., Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 10/01/2010
-- Ken Klug, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Mini Sternotomy, 08/23/2010
-- Brian R, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 03/10/2010
-- Jo Ann Bunton, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, 10/16/2009
-- Vallangiman Srinivasan, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, 10/09/2009
-- Martin Harband, Aortic Valve, Median Sternotomy, 05/11/2009
-- Eddie Williams, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, 11/08/2008
Specific to heart valve surgery, you should know that I have several specialties including:
In addition, I have research and clinical interests specific to:
Dr. Luis Castro, heart surgeon, graduated from Stanford School of Medicine in 1984.
I am the medical director of cardiac surgery at Sequoia Hospital Heart and Vascular Institute. I practice with Dignity Health Medical Group – Sequoia Cardiovascular Surgery.