"Dr. Richard Shemin is a warm and caring physician who is always available for questions and follow up."
"Dr. Shemin has been following my aortic aneurysm for nine months, and performed a David valve-sparing aortic root replacement eight days ago. I am home, feel very well, and have almost no need for any pain medication.
My post-op x-Ray and echo verified the performance of the repair, and even my sternal scar is healing very nicely at one week.
Almost as important as his surgical performance was the way he treated my wife. He knew my wife is an ER nurse, so after repairing my aorta he went to the waiting room and asked my wife if she wanted to see before and after photos, which she definitely did. She gave me a very favorable report on his bedside manner explaining what he found and how he treated it. In addition to my surgery I know he is constantly involved in other complex heart surgeries, and I would not hesitate to recommend him to potential patients."
-- Daniel Spurgeon, Aortic Valve, 08/28/2014
"The talented Dr. Richard Shemin operated on my father doing a double valve replacement (aortic and mitral). This surgery was considered "high risk" because this was my dad's third open-heart surgery in his lifetime.
There were two factors to take into consideration 1). This would be his third open-heart surgery 2). His age (80).
Dr. Shemin saved my dad's life with this complex surgery and we couldn't thank him enough! His calm yet confident manor was what we needed as a family during this difficult time. We actually thought were going to loose our father in all honesty. But Dr. Shemin assured us he will do his very best and he did. He would answer all our questions and was very thorough in his explanations throughout my dad's recovery.
The surgery was a great success and my father is better than ever 8 weeks post surgery! He has returned back to his normal daily routine of walking and gardening. I would highly recommend Dr. Shemin as a high risk surgeon specializing in complex cardiac surgeries. He is the best in the country! Thank you Dr. Shemin from my family and I :)
-- Maece Seirafi, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, 08/15/2014
"Dr. Shemin is a first-class surgeon and one of the best in the world at minimally-invasive, robotic-assisted valve repair. He was able to fix the major leak in my mitral valve and did a fantastic job. He is incredibly smart and talented yet humble.
He goes out of his way to help people. "Excellence without exception" is one of the philosophies he lives by and it shows in his work."
-- Heiko Schwarz, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 04/22/2014
"Dr Shemin is the best surgeon I have ever had. He had to do the cut & sew method of the maze procedure. His bedside manner, post & pre surgical manner and over all care of myself & my family has been tremendous.
The staff at UCLA was top notch too & I would 100% recommend these fine medical providers. They saved my life & I am forever indebted to them.
Dr Shemin is a true asset to medicine & UCLA is lucky to have him as chief of cardio thorasic. If you want a GREAT & I mean GREAT cardiologist surgeon Dr Shemin is your man."
-- Ed Gibbs, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Maze Procedure, 04/17/2014
"Dr. Richard Shemin saved my life! If you are looking for an incredible heart surgeon who specializes in heart valves - look no further!
Dr. Shemin is the Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Ronald Regan Medical Center at UCLA Hospital in Southern California. He took on my case which was a #9 in difficulty (10 being the most difficult!) He performed my 5th Open-heart surgery while I was in kidney and liver failure from my heart valves being in shambles and not getting blood to my organs.
I had 7 previous heart surgeries. Four were aortic valve replacements and 3 where pacemaker surgeries all from the time I was age 21 due to a congenital defect in my aortic valve.
After one of my last surgeries in 2003, I finally went through a 10 year period of fairly good health. I was even able to lift weights, and worked up to bench pressing up to 250 lbs. Then in February of 2013 at age 59, I wasn’t feeling well but I didn’t know why. I eventually saw a kidney specialist who told me that I was in 4th stage kidney failure. My wife and I were shocked!
A few months later in May of 2013, I was back in the hospital where I was diagnosed with liver failure in addition to kidney failure. I felt like the ‘walking dead’. I was fortunately sent by my hospital doctor to Dr. Shemin at UCLA Medical Center for a further evaluation for heart surgery. He evaluated my ECHO and then ordered further diagnostic tests which verified my need for valve replacement.
When he performed my 5th open-heart surgery on August 1, 2013 he did not expect to do as much as he did! I ended up needing a bypass, a new pacemaker, the tightening of my tricuspid heart valve with a ring, and a complete replacement of my mitral valve with a new mechanical valve. He also put in a new aortic mechanical valve replacing the old valve that to his amazement was only being held on by 3 remaining stitches out of 20! Had one more stitch come loose, I would have died instantly. I knew I was providentially sent to him for this surgery just in time!
Since the surgery on August 1st, my kidney function has gone from 15% to 60% and my liver function has returned to normal! I am back to work at my job full time and working out at the gym again. Now that the ‘pump’ is working again and getting blood to my organs, I feel like a brand new man!
I am greatly indebted to Dr. Shemin and his wonderful staff and to God who was overseeing this surgery as well as the other 8 before it! Dr. Shemin is not only a great heart surgeon, but also a kind and caring doctor who treats you like his own family!"
-- Irvin Solt, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, 08/01/2013
"Great care and a terrific person. "
-- Nancy Scott, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 01/15/2013
"My surgery experience with Dr. Richard Shemin and his entire team was incredible. I can honestly say there was not one single "bad" part to my surgery & recovery. Dr. Shemin explained the surgery to me, showed me examples of what would happen, then several team members met me before surgery & continued my education. It was one of the most interesting, educational, and enjoyable, yes enjoyable experiences of my life. And...it saved my life. Having Dr. Shemin do my surgery was like I won the lottery and had the premier rock star of heart surgery working on ME. WOW! Thank you Dr. Shemin and EVERYONE at UCLA for your 5-star care."
-- Christine Singer, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, Root Replacement, 11/21/2012
"Richard Shemin, MD is a wonderful surgeon whose skill is matched by his commitment to the patient. He took time with me to explain all my options, He was sincere and supported by a wonderful team. He told me he would be honored to be my surgeon and meant it. A humble doctor, not always common. I am grateful for his care and the care of his entire team from beginning to end."
-- John Lee, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, Mini-Thoracotomy / Port Access, 06/13/2012
"On June 12, 2012, I underwent open heart surgery at the UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center. Prior to my surgery, I met with several potential surgeons to determine which one would perform my operation. I was most impressed with Dr. Shemin and we agreed for him to perform the surgery.
Prior to my operation I had a series of tests performed at the UCLA, including an angiogram by Dr. Lee. Based on these tests, Dr. Shemin determined I required a new aortic heart valve, 3 bypasses, and one blocked artery to be cleared.
It is now one month after my surgery and I feel wonderful! Dr. Shemin did an outstanding job! The care that I received from him, his administrative and medical staff, including the doctors and nurses both in ICU and recovery, was truly outstanding. Every doctor, nurse, and care partner attended to my needs in a professional manner and made me feel relaxed and as comfortable as possible. Even the facility, the rooms I was provided, and the quality of the meals were first rate.
As for the follow-up, my wife was able to call a charge nurse at the Center at any time to obtain medical advice.This was most helpful!
It is my hope that you will pass this email along to the administrative and medical staff to let them know how much I appreciated all that they have done for me. I surely will recommend the Center to anyone that inquires as to my experience."
-- Arthur Cherdack, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 06/12/2012
"After having had the Ross procedure on August 6 and another fix on September 6 (28 days later), I was a basket case. I had so many issues that I spoke to several top surgeons. After confirming with Dr. Shemin, I kneww he was the right man to make me whole again. It was to be a very difficult procedure with the disected arorta, suture leak, aneurysm, bad aortic valve and quite possibly a bad pulmonary as well. The staff, hospital nursing and Dr. Shemin were terrific. It was a very long surgery, I think 9 hours and it went perfect. I was up walking the next day. The pain was minimal. We had the aortic valve replaced with a St Jude Mechanical valve. I don't know all the medical terms as I was just the patient, I leave the technical stuff to Dr Shemin. This doctor is the most caring individual I have yet to meet. He cares about his patients and is the BEST!"
-- Steven Snider, Aortic Valve, Pulmonary Valve, Valve Replacement, Root Replacement, 05/15/2012
"I am a 53 yr old man who thought I was in outstanding shape, I'm employed as a police detective and have been for the past 31 yrs.
I was shocked to learn about my heart condition as I'm sure everyone is that gets that type of news. I had no symptoms and felt completely
normal. Aortic valve replacement was something I really never heard of or should I say paid attention to, until of course it happens to you
or a loved one. I did my research including; best heart valve surgeons in California, the procedure itself and the recovery. Kind of frightening stuff, after reading some of the blogs I must say it did not help much. What I mean to say is I was still pretty scared about the whole thing. I chose Dr. Richard Shemin for my surgery which took place at UCLA one of the best decisions of my life, there are no words to decribe the care that Dr. Shemin, his assistant Mary and his staff showed me. UCLA and its medical team treated me as if I were a family member, everyone was so kind and caring and experts at their jobs, which put me more at ease both before and after the surgery. Now to speak to the surgery itself, I think that the days and weeks leading up to the surgery (wondering) was worse than the procedure itself. 10 hrs after surgery I was up and walking a little, after that each day I felt stronger, I've been out of the hospital three weeks and I feel really good, not saying I'm ready for jumping jacks yet but I feel a lot better than I expected. I highly recommend Dr. Shemin, I dont think you can find a doctor with more experience and knowledge with heart valve replacements, great bedside manner and a good sense of humor which he needed dealing with me. Thank you so much Doctor for giving me my life back, you're the best. Lastly, to those of you about to go through this surgery, hang in there it is not near as bad as you may think. God Bless."
-- Dewaine Fields, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 03/29/2012
"I am a 68 year old female. My medical history included probable cardiomyopathy and arrhythmia, which had been misdiagnosed as simply "a slow heart". In 1985 I had my first peacemaker implanted, was declared pacemaker dependent and am now on my third one. In 1995, I suffered congestive heart failure, which for a long time, was diagnosed as "bronchitis" by another doctor. When they finally identified my condition as congestive heart failure, they did my first open heart surgery and implanted an annuloplasty on my mitral valve. I am permanently on Coumadin, and occasionally on Lasix. Recently, the annuloplasty began to fail, and I also developed a problem in my tricuspid valve. We had no idea as to whom to entrust this complicated situation, but we were very fortunate to find Dr Richard Shemin, after long an intensive research by my husband, an obsessive retired engineer... Besides his reputation as an excellent heart surgeon, Dr. Shemin turned out to be a very kind and empathetic professional -- a rare combination these days! Dr. Shemin performed my second open heart surgery on March 12, 2012. He replaced my damaged mitral valve and its annuloplasty with a St Jude mechanical valve, and at the same time, repaired my tricuspid valve with a metal ring.
Dr Shemin's extraordinary skill & empathy & kindness were all instrumental in a successful surgery and recovery. We are very glad to have found Dr. Shemin, and do not hesitate to recommend him to everyone we know, in the US and abroad! "
-- Irene Enriquez, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, 03/12/2012
"Dr. Richard Shemin was kind, generous, personable and a superb surgeon. He is warm and friendly and extremely professional. I was not able to have the mini-sternotomy due to some unexpected anatomical issues, but my scar is hardly noticeable and begins lower on the chest wall than usual enabling me to wear most anything without the scar showing. This is an extremely routine procedure for UCLA even though they had to also repair my ascending aortic aneurysm. As a result of the thousands of these procedures UCLA and Dr. Shemin does, as a retired Registered Nurse, I always felt very confident in the outcome."
-- Pat Culley, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, 01/10/2012
"Dr. Richard Shemin, MD was very efficient, competent. I had no complications at UCLA. They KNOW what they are doing. Dr. Shemin is excellent."
-- Pat Culley, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, 01/10/2012
"I am an almost 94-year old with 3rd time mitral valve replacement. Dr. Richard Shemin was kind and brave to operate on me that no other surgeon would dare to take the risk. "
-- Peter Pham, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 12/20/2011
"Dr. Richard Shemin, his team and UCLA are the best of the best! I came to Dr. Shemin with Endocarditis on a Bicuspid Aortic Valve with Severe Insufficiency. Dr. Shemin and his team performed a Mini Sternotomy Aortic Valve Replacement (Mechanical), saving my life. Dr. Shemin was present at every stage of the process: consult, surgery, ICU, hospital recovery and long-term follow-up. Dr. Shemin and his team consulted the UCLA Infectious Disease team as well as updating my referring Cardiologist and Infectious Disease doctor. At every step in the process, Dr. Shemin and his team were available to answer our questions. My two young children, my wife and I are extremely grateful to Dr. Shemin, his team and UCLA for my full and rapid recovery, thank you for doing what you do and doing it well, saving lives. Dr. Shemin is AMAZING, technically competent, experienced AND a pleasant human being."
-- Mike S., Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, 12/01/2011
"DR. RICHARD SHEMIN, MY SURGEON, WAS SPECTACULAR. HE GAVE YOU A SENSE OF CONFIDENCE RIGHT FROM THE START. HIS BEDSIDE MANNER WAS WONDERFUL. HE IS A VERY DEDICATED SURGEON. DR. SHEMIN IS ALWAYS IN THE OPERATING ROOM. HIS STAFF IS VERY PROFESSIONAL AND VERY CLEAR ABOUT WHAT WAS TO BE DONE. WE LIVE IN PHOENIX EVEN THOUGH THE SURGERY WAS PERFORMED IN LOS ANGELES. WE CAME TO UCLA ON A RECOMMENDATION FROM OUR CARDIOLOGIST IN PHOENIX. DOCTOR SHEMIN IS A VERY CARING DOCTOR. ANYONE NEEDING HEART SURGERY SHOULD SEE HIM."
-- JOAN MIRABELLA, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, 11/29/2011
"Dr. Shemin is both technically experienced in aortic repair and a wonderful human being. I received minimally invasive surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm and was discharged in 48 hours. I have never felt better. "
-- Joe Aguayo, Aortic Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, 08/28/2011
"Dr. Richard Shemin and his staff were caring, responsive and professional. They took the time to answer all our questions before, during the hospital stay and after. I felt normal again three months after my robotic mitral valve repair surgery. "
-- Karen Miller, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 08/23/2011
"Dr. Richard Shemin is a patient man who took all the time pre-op to answer my many questions and concerns. He was also there post-op to do the same. Truly an outstanding man and surgeon with a great bedside manor. I had an outstanding result."
-- Vita Mainardi, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 08/16/2011
"There is not one thing I can say that is not spectacular about Dr. Richard Shemin and his staff. He is brilliant, honest, personable, approachable, reliable, and he saved my life. What else can I say. If you look up the word "MENTSH" in the Yiddish dictionary you should see his picture."
-- Jeff Pheffer, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 08/11/2011
"Minimally invasive procedure with robotic surgery by Dr. Richard Shemin went great. Not much pain, very fast recovery, excellent result. Dr. Shemin is one of the best heart surgeons in the world."
-- Kim Le, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 07/20/2011
"Dr. Shemin had a good bedside manner. I've had a great result. I drove within a week and was able to work within 3 weeks. "
-- Thomas Nowak, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini-Thoracotomy / Port Access, 03/09/2011
"I have been totally pleased with Dr. Shemin. His work on my mitral valve with robotic surgery has improved my life tremendously. Plus, his bedside manner is great. I am very happpy with the result of my operation. I would recommend Dr. Shemin to anyone."
-- Sue Pawlowski, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 12/09/2010
"Dr. Richard Shemin is a very excellent, gifted, confident cardiothoracic surgeon with amazing training and extensive experience. He is a surgeon that God works miracles through. It was not easy for me for the six months that I was searching for a surgeon. When I came across Dr. Richard Shemin’s profile on the internet, I knew immediately that he was the surgeon that I wanted to operate on me. I quickly called my wife and showed her Dr Shemin’s profile. I told her that he was the surgeon for my surgery. She asked me how that would be possible since he is in another state and would be out of network per the insurance policy. I told her that with God all things are possible. I was concerned about choosing a surgeon especially since I have a history of prior aortic valve replacement (24 years ago at age 19) which needed to be changed, and also an ascending aortic aneurysm that needed repair. I fully understood the need to have a well-trained cardiothoracic surgeon with good experience to do the work. At the time my aorta was dilated to 5.9 cm. I called Dr Richard Shemin‘s office and spoke to a staff member who was very professional, empathetic and helpful. I immediately scheduled an appointment and purchased flight tickets to Los Angeles for the date of my appointment. When we met with Dr. Shemin, he was very professional, and personable. He explained every beat of the surgery, recovery process and possible dangers associated with the surgery. He also told us about UCLA and their family oriented philosophy which I found to be true and very helpful to me. I certainly believe that most patients would appreciate same. Dr Shemin made me and my wife very comfortable with our decision. After my surgery, when I woke up Dr Shemin came to see me with some of his team members. He was available to see me most of the time while I was an inpatient. One thing that I most appreciated was that Dr. Shemin came to see me on a day that I called his office while inpatient, and left a message through his staff that I needed to speak with him. Thanks to Dr. Shemin and his team I am now new and improved! I am 8 weeks post-op today and thank God for Dr. Shemin’s skills. "
-- Chidozie Eze, Aortic Valve, Root Replacement, 10/03/2010
"My chest was opened 4 1/2". Richard Shemin, MD is a outstanding surgeon. He has a very good bedside manner."
-- Jack Marks, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, Root Replacement, 03/23/2010
"Dr. Shemin is an excellent surgeon. He and his staff treated me with care and compassion. He was very willing to answer my many questions personally and I never felt I couldn't ask him anything. Not only have my followup echoes been perfect my scar is hardly noticeable even just after 2 years. I would highly recommend Dr. Shemin and UCLA. "
-- Lori McMahon, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, 09/09/2009
"I was dying at the age of 37. I found Ddoctor Shemin at UCLA Hospital. Once I met Dr. Shemin he made me feel so comfortable about getting an operation. Dr. Richard Shemin showed me what was wrong with my heart in full detail, then in the waiting period before my surgery date he called me to make sure I was okay and if I had any concerns or questions before my surgery. He did an incredible job with my 10-hour surgery and checked up on me all through my waiting period while I was in the hospital. I am so thankful for what this man did in his part in saving my life. I would say to anyone who needs a heart operation that this man will take incredible care and do a stand up job."
-- Jeff Powell, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Maze Procedure, 04/01/2009
"Dr. Richard Shemin and his staff were wonderful. I had my aortic valve replaced via the minimally invasive procedure. I was in the hospital only 4 days and had a quick uneventful recovery at home. I was able to return to work full time 3 weeks after surgery. I am extremely happy with Dr. Shemin and the entire staff at Reagan UCLA Medical Center. "
-- LEO HERNANDEZ, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, 01/06/2009
"Redo of an aortic valve replacement. Dr. Richard Shemin, Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at UCLA was topnotch. Recommended as the best by my first surgeon, Dr. Gus Vlahakes, from Mass.General Hospital in Boston."
-- Barbara Watson, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 09/16/2008
"Dr. Richard Shemin is a great surgeon and a great person who is dedicated to his profession and to his patients...a very caring surgeon. I was very happy to see him visiting me all the time while in hospital."
-- Eva Hishmeh, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 09/02/2008
"Dr. Shemin is considered to be one of the best Cardiothoracic Surgeons in the country. He has operated on me twice. Once for an aortic valve replacement (St. Jude) and the second time to repair an aortic aneurysm. He is a talented surgeon and has a fantastic bedside manner. I highly recommend him. "
-- B. Christian Francis, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 07/21/2008
"Dr. Richard Shemin provided excellent consultation, did minimally invasive surgery. He operates out of UCLA Medical Center. His follow up and bedside manner were excellent. I feel fortunate to have Dr Shemin perform the surgery - one of the best in the world...."
-- Jim Specht, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 05/15/2008
"Dr. Richard Shemin is a warm and caring physician who is always available for questions and follow up. He has a stellar reputation and credentials and is skilled at using the DaVinci Robot in his surgeries to minimize invasive procedures and infection. I am happy to recommend him."
-- Leslie Lafayette, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 01/23/2008
"Outstanding bedside manner. Excellent in pre-op period in laying out the procedure, explaining how life would be following surgery, how to monitor INR values. Able to make decisions post-op quickly and decisively."
-- Rocky Davidson, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, 11/10/2007
> See 35 more patient testimonials
"Somewhere in my training for the 1994 Marine Corp Marathon, I learned that my heart had been enlarging to the point where my bicuspid Aortic valve needed replacing. After a 4 hospital search for a surgeon that I felt could provide me with a surgical solution that made it possible to live an unc-ompromised lifestyle, I selected Richard Shemin, then head of thoracic surgery at Boston University Medical Center, who is now at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. At the time I was 44 years old with a wife and two young boys ages 6 and 4. Dr. Richard Shemin recommended the Ross procedure which called for replacing my aortic valve with my own pulmonic valve. That valve was replaced with an human tissue valve. In the 17 years since my surgery, the Ross procedure has pretty much disappeared as a solution for aortic valve replacement because of problems associated with scaring and leakage. This, fortunately, has not been an issue for me. In 2004, I finally ran the Marine Corp Marathon (26.2 miles). Since then I’ve run 3 half marathons, 13.1 miles each, and walked 2. I have run every year since the surgery, hiked to heights for back country skiing and watched my 6- and 4-year olds grow to men while enjoying every minute of their development as men and athletes. Why was I so fortunate to have my surgery succeed when so many others with the same procedure failed? I credit one person, Dr. Richard Shemin. After 17 years I was recently reacquainted with Dr. Shemin in his new role as head of cardiac surgery at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. I would recommend him to anyone dealing with valve replacement.
-- Richard Geswell, Aortic Valve, Pulmonary Valve, Median Sternotomy, Ross Procedure, 08/09/1994