The University of Southern California

USC Cardiothoracic Surgery has been a leader in the treatment of cardiothoracic diseases for more than 10 years. As the founding Director of the USC CardioVascular Institute, Dr. Vaughn A. Starnes has built an interdisciplinary powerhouse comprised of clinicians and basic scientists who are exploring better and more innovative ways of treating heart disease.

Under the leadership of Dr. Vaughn Starnes, and that of Craig Baker, M.D., who was appointed chief of the division of cardiac surgery in 2017, USC surgeons have conducted more than 22,000 open heart surgeries to repair and replace valves or create coronary artery bypasses, and more than 12,300 surgeries for diseases of the lungs, esophagus and chest wall. 

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Our Patient-Centric Approach To Valve Treatment

All the knowledge and expertise in the world is worth nothing if the care is not delivered with compassion and empathy. Members of the USC Cardiothoracic Surgeons intimately understand the stress and worry that go hand-in-hand with cardiothoracic conditions. These consuming emotions not only affect the patient but envelop families as well.

We believe education and open communication, along with a compassionate approach to care, can help alleviate some of this worry and concern. Patient coordinators serve as "point people" to ensure that our patients and families are in constant contact with us, and that all questions are answered.

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Meet Our Heart Valve Specialists

The University of Southern California has assembled a special team of heart valve specialists that are committed to getting patients the best results. Our team consists of many leading surgeons and cardiologists that you can learn more about by clicking the links below:

Our Patients Say

I had MV repair completed at USC with Dr. Starnes and his 'team' September 13th.

He did as planned and repaired my mitral valve with a minimally invasive, nonrobotic approach. I'll quote directly ... Read more.

I did a lot of research to find and select Dr. Vaughn Starnes as my heart surgeon.

Now, 14 years after my surgery, I can't tell you how thankful I am that I located this incredible and dedicated ... Read more.

I listened to my cardiologist. He’s the one who said there is only one surgeon to see. That’s Dr. Craig Baker at USC. That was the best decision I ever made in my life.

Dr. Baker replaced ... Read more.

Have A Question? Call Liz at (866) 306-0952

Hi, my name is Liz Vela and I am the heart valve clinic coordinator for The University of Southern California.

Having spent a number of years as the patient advocate for Keck Hospital, I understand the unique needs of our patients and work with the entire CVI staff to create an environment of “patient first” from the front desk to the operating room every step of the way. Together, with my dedicated staff, we pride ourselves on bringing our patients and their families the answers they need when they need them. We are ... Read more.

Clinical References For Our Patients

To help you learn more about The University of Southern California, here are references for you: