Surgeon Video Blog: “What Advice Would You Give Yourself If You Were A Patient?” By Dr. Vincent Gaudiani

For those unfamiliar with the name “Dr. Vincent Gaudiani”, I’m hopeful this video provides a unique opportunity for you to gain awareness and access to this special cardiac surgeon from Northern California. During his 25+ year career, Dr. Gaudiani has performed over 10,000 heart-related surgeries. Most importantly, Dr. Gaudiani has a way with patients that compels them to email me glowing surgical reviews, praise and success stories (e.g. George Avakian).

That said, I was excited to meet with and interview Dr. Vincent Gaudiani at the 47th annual Society of Thoracic Surgeons convention earlier this week. Here is Dr. Gaudiani’s response to the question, “What advice would you give yourself if you were a patient?”


Also, for those of you who are hearing impaired, I have provided a transcript below for your review.

Adam:  Hi, everybody.  It’s Adam and we are here at STS in San Diego and we’re answering your questions that you posted at  W are very fortunate to be here with Dr. Vincent Gaudiani who I’ve known for several years now.  Vincent, Dr. Gaudiani, practices in northern California and the question is:  As a surgeon, if you were to become a patient, knowing all that you know, what advice would you give yourself if you were actually that patient?

Dr. Gaudiani:  It’s an excellent question, and the first part of the answer is cardiac surgery, more than any other specialty, is about outcomes.  So, whoever you decide to go to, you should be able to find out what their outcomes have been over quite a long period of time, not the last three cases.  You know, that’s the way our brains were designed, to do stories.  What happened last week.  What happened over the last five years.  How good are their outcomes because it’s very hard to be who you are if you die during the operation or you had a serious complication.  So once you actually know numbers, five year results for instance, then the next thing I’d do is go and talk to several people who have good results and ultimately choose someone who you’re comfortable with, someone with whom you feel comfortable as a person because it’s much more likely that you will do well and that you’ll be emotionally whole afterwards if you feel like you were cared for by someone who you, yourself, were comfortable with as a person.  So those would be my two highest recommendations and then after that, look into the hospital and the various other things, but the two key ideas are how good are this person’s results or this unit’s results and am I comfortable with this man.  Thanks, Adam.

Adam:  Those are great points and just a follow-up question… As I remember this — as a patient — I get lots of questions sometimes.  How do I get the surgical results from the surgeons?  How do I know can I trust what they’re saying?  Do they publish them?

Dr. Vincent Gaudiani:  That’s a good – That’s an excellent question, and the answer to that is first of all, very shortly if not already, Consumers Union has some preliminary stuff out that they got from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons which is sort of the overall group that guides cardiac surgery and that’s – we’re actually – we’re at a meeting there today.  Adam and I are both at this meeting.  So, STS has these results and they will make them public and they are making them public on a website.  But the surgeon, himself, should show you results in a published form or on a website because you want to make sure they do a lot of this kind of surgery and that they’ve done it well in the past.  So, just being told that they’ve done it well is not – wouldn’t be enough for me.  I’d actually want to see the numbers and then make sure you’re comfortable with them as a person.

Adam:  Great.  Well, as always, you’ve been a great supporter of our website, helping out, contributing, giving your advice and counsel.  You’ve also done incredible things for many of the patients who may actually be watching this who have come to you for surgery, so on behalf of all those patients, I just want to say thank you and keep up the great job and look forward to chatting with you in the future.

Doctor Gaudiani:  Same goes with you, Adam.  You’ve done a great job helping people to know what to do when they have to face a valve operation.  Good for you.

Adam: Thanks so much!

Keep on tickin!

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick

Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of

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