About Dr. Craig Baker,
Heart Valve Surgeon
Hello! My name is Dr. Craig Baker and I am a cardiac surgeon having graduated from Georgetown University in 1995. To date, I have performed approximately several thousand cardiac surgeries, of which 1,000 involved heart valve procedures. I regularly perform surgery at hospitals including USC Cardiac and Vascular Institute, Huntington Memorial Hospital, and Los Angeles County Hospital. Read more...
I believe my greatest strength is the efficiency and precision in which I conduct an operation. Having trained in both adult and pediatric heart surgery allows me to offer the full spectrum of available therapies. Practicing in an academic environment affords me the opportunity to offer leading technologies at the forefront of care.
I take a sincere interest in my patients and truly understand the impact and stress of heart related health problems. I have absolute confidence in my abilities to interpret diagnostic studies and provide therapy which is often life saving and immediately improves quality of life. One of the most rewarding aspects of being a cardiac surgeon is seeing the patient return in just a few weeks with renewed enthusiasm and energy.
30 Patient Reviews for
"Dr. Baker told me I would get better. I did. He saved my life. I am so grateful for USC."
-- Helen Marshall, heart valve surgery patient
"Dr. Baker answered all my pre-op questions in a clear and concise manner. He is very professional and put me at ease prior to the surgery. He visited me frequently during my recovery in the hospital and offered clear advice for my rehab. I can recommend him highly as a heart surgeon.
Additionally, the nursing staff at Keck USC was extremely professional, caring, and attentive. "
-- Jeff Quintana, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 08/13/2020
I like that he took his time to answer all my questions. I have experienced minimal pain during the first two weeks post surgery. Before surgery, I had no energy to do much. After surgery, I feel normal again. I would highly recommend Dr. Craig Baker for your valve replacement or valve repair surgeon."
-- Sandra Rodriguez, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 08/10/2020
I had an open wound with a major infection that was not resolved for 14 months. The original surgeon performed 9 surgeries attempting to remove the infection but was not able to.
After almost a year and a half of antibiotics, home health visits and my wife cleaning the same wound twice a day, nothing worked to heal me. I was actually getting worse.
Dr. Eric Woods referred me to Dr. Baker who saved my life. I am forever grateful for him and the staff at USC that was involved in getting me back on track.
I have lived in a nightmare for too long and now I am on the road to recovery... Finally!
Dr. Baker is a true gentleman and very professional."
-- Kenneth Hall, Aortic Valve, Valve Repair, Root Replacement, 05/05/2020
-- David Hutchcraft, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, Maze Procedure, 10/09/2019
Dr. Baker and his entire team were great. He is the only heart doctor that I would trust. Dr. Baker and his team saved my dad and there's no one like Dr. Baker and the USC team. Thank you for going above-and-beyond for my dad!!!"
-- Daniel Ayala, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 09/06/2019
-- Robert Adler, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 08/08/2019
The nursing staff is second to none and helped me through the recovery process and helped me gain my independence so I was confident going forward upon my discharge. "
-- Bonnie Diener, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, Maze Procedure, 08/01/2019
-- Daniel Chang, Aortic Valve, Valve Repair, 07/17/2019
-- Elaine Pratt, Mitral Valve, 04/18/2019
-- Lyudmila Jeragyan, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, 04/17/2019
-- Tuyetkhanh Dinh, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 03/25/2019
-- Jessica Canto, Aortic Valve, Pulmonary Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, Ross Procedure, 01/23/2019
Evaluation showed my aneurysm had expanded greatly in a short period to 9 cm. Consultation with my premier cardiac surgeons at Hopkins and the Massachusetts General Hospital, all pointed to Dr. Baker at USC Keck, the Chief of Cardiac Surgery, and Dr Vaughn Starnes, the Chief of Surgery at USC.
Reputed to be among the best aortic and cardiac surgeons in the US, my wife (a Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins) got in touch with Dr Baker immediately at night from the imaging facility at another hospital. Literally within 5 minutes, Dr Baker responded and arranged transfer. Drs Baker, Dr Starnes and team performed an aortic root graft and replacement of an old mechanical valve with a tissue valve.
The procedure was complex, with a 4-day ICU stay. Dr. Baker monitored everything conscientiously, stayed in touch with my East coast docs, was always kind and pleasant. I recovered beautifully. The care was stellar, and the facility was pristine. Nursing care was superior. Dr. Baker's skills, communication, and responsiveness is top of the line.
While there, several emergency aortic dissections were admitted. It is pretty clear that this is a center of excellence with Dr. Baker at the helm. "
-- Lewis Becker, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, Root Replacement, 01/16/2019
-- Dennis Slavin, Aortic Valve, Valve Repair, 01/15/2019
-- Layne Staral, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, Maze Procedure, 10/11/2018
-- Ida Kawasaki, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 07/16/2018
-- Larry Glover, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 07/12/2018
-- Brenda Herrera, Aortic Valve, Ross Procedure, 05/09/2018
2) By about 1pm I was in my dream that my two winnie dogs in my bed were at my feet keep rubbing both of my feet. Then I heard the voices of my wife and my sons & knew I just went through the operation of Mitral Valve repair.
3) I felt some discomfort on my chest, knowing that it was open. I slept well that day, asking for pain pills in the evening, when I felt thirsty and was given small ice pieces to chew on. I was not allowed to drink fluid yet.
4) I stayed in ICU till noon the next day when I was moved into a private room. Dr Baker came see me and I thank him. That night I sit up (with help) & was able to email ALL my friends that I did the operation & recovering.
5) For the next 4 days my heart was monitored with the help of pacemaker, it was jumping back to normal. On Saturday I was allowed to go home.
6) For the next 3 weeks I walked a mile very day. I eat well and gained a few pounds. I feel better every day than the previous day. I have no pain.
7) The stitches were removed on the 4th week and I was told I can drive again after 4 weeks. I am back to normal and Life is good.
Thanks Dr Baker!"
-- Vincent Lee, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 05/07/2018
After surgery Dr. Baker came to see me often and also has an incredible staff of doctors and nurses working with him. His bedside manner is also top notch. I just can't say enough good about Dr. Baker and the staff at the Keck Hospital. He saved my life and I will forever be in debt with a debt I can never repay. I thank God every time I take a deep breath that he put men like Dr. Baker here on earth that have a passion for saving lives. You see this heart in my chest doesn't just beat for me. It also beats for my 16 year old son and my wonderful wife who took care of me.
Dr. Baker is my living angel here on earth. I just know he has wings underneath that white jacket of his."
-- Gregory Fontes, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Maze Procedure, 04/19/2018
And that is where I make my second huge understatement. Dr. Baker managed to completely repair my mitral valve despite the fact that there was more damage than he expected. I went from having a valve that was losing approximately 30% and greater blood flow to not even having a slight heart murmur. My heart is essentially brand new and I most likely will never need another operation. I now have a full life expectancy and already am feeling like myself only three weeks after the procedure (open heart surgery).
Dr. Baker's commitment to cardiac surgery and the wellness of his patients is already legendary. Now I know it first hand. I am forever indebted to him for essentially saving my life and allowing me to experience my daughters becoming adults. I would be remiss if I didn't credit Dr. Fernando Roth (my cardiologist) for his sage advice in recommending Dr. Baker and for providing the most incredible care. Dr. Roth is another brilliant man who pursues his career with the kind of passion that we would hope other physicians would aspire to."
-- Larry Koonse, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 08/13/2015
For open heart surgery, it was a great experience. My valve repair went smoothly, and I was able to start back at work about 10 days later. Yesterday, two weeks after the surgery, I walked 6.5 miles. I am extremely pleased with Dr. Baker, his team, the hospital, and certainly with the results."
-- Michael Phillips, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 07/28/2014
-- Leslie Holtzclaw, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Median Sternotomy, 10/24/2013
-- Joyce Proano, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 09/24/2013
-- Christopher Reyes, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 12/29/2012
-- Deborah Ko, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Maze Procedure, 08/16/2012
-- Francis Bonahon, Aortic Valve, Root Replacement, David Procedure, 05/30/2012
-- Leo Gaynor, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 03/29/2012
-- Christopher Reyes, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 12/29/2011
-- Dave Cutchall, Aortic Valve, Valve Repair, Median Sternotomy, 02/29/2008
My Specialities &
My heart surgery specialties include:
- Aortic valve surgery
- Mitral valve repair and replacement
- Minimally invasive and complex valve repair and replacement procedures
In addition, I have research and clinical interests specific to:
- Adult congenital heart disease
- Surgical education
Education, Training & Certificates
Dr. Craig Baker, heart surgeon, graduated from Georgetown University in 1995.
After medical school, Dr. Baker completed five residency programs at the USC School of Medicine and the USC Department of Surgery. Dr. Baker also completed a Congenital Fellowship at the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles in 2006.
Dr. Baker is board-certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. He is also a member of The Society of Thoracic Surgeons.
On July 1, 2017, Dr. Baker was appointed to the position of Chief of USC Cardiac and Vascular Institute at USC. Dr. Baker is also the Vice Chair of Surgical Education and the Program Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Department of Surgery, Cardiovascular Thoracic Institute of USC.
with Dr. Craig Baker, MD
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Baker, you can:
- Call (323) 649-8831 right now
- Request an appointment by clicking here.
The office of Dr. Baker is located at 1520 San Pablo Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033. To get driving directions to this office, please click the map below.
> Click for driving directions to Dr. Baker’s office.
News & Online References Featuring Dr. Craig Baker
Here is the latest news featuring Dr. Craig Baker:
- Helen & Dudley: Patient Success Stories of Dr. Baker
- Dr. Craig Baker Appointed Chief of Cardiac Surgery at USC
- Surgeon Spotlight: Meet Dr. Craig Baker, Professor of Clinical Surgery
- COVID-19 Innovation: Telemedicine & Heart Surgery
- Expert Surgeon Profile: Craig Baker, MD, at Keck Medicine of USC in Los Angeles, California
Page last updated: July 21, 2021