University of Southern California

USC Cardiothoracic Surgery has been a leader in the treatment of cardiothoracic diseases for more than 10 years. Under the leadership of Vaughn A. Starnes, M.D., USC surgeons have performed more than 15,000 open heart surgeries for heart valve valve repair and heart valve replacements and coronary artery bypasses, and more than 10,000 surgeries for diseases of the lungs, esophagus and chest wall.

Our surgeons, along with their extensive clinical, research, and administrative staff, offer comprehensive state of the art therapy for all heart valve diseases - using standard and minimally invasive approaches - including aortic stenosis and mitral regurgitation. 

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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. Although our practice is university-based, its values are grounded in traditional doctor-to-patient care -- providing personalized service every day of the week.

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Meet Our Heart Valve Specialists

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.

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

Hi, my name is Liz Vela and I am the heart valve clinic coordinator for 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 CVTI 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 University of Southern California, here are references for you: