About Dr. Fardad Esmailian,
Heart Valve Surgeon
Hello! My name is Dr. Fardad Esmailian and I am a cardiac surgeon having graduated from George Washington University School of Medicine in 1987. To date, I have performed approximately 5,000 cardiac surgeries, of which over 2,500 involved heart valve procedures. I regularly perform surgery at Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai. Read more...
I believe my greatest strength is my technical skills and great patient outcomes. My approach to helping patients is guided by knowledge and extreme attention to details. I do my best to build strong relationships with patients by providing excellent care for them before, during and after their surgery.
I do my best to communicate often with patients, their families and with the physicians who referred them to my team.
I am also a professor of surgery and enjoy serving as a researcher and teacher of other doctors.
11 Patient Reviews for
"When my cardiologist diagnosed me with a bicuspid aortic valve with a narrowing of the valve, I was told that I needed surgery. This narrowing of the valve is called stenosis and can lead to heart failure. This condition is the most common congenital heart defect and up to 2% of us are born with it. When my cardiologist referred me to Dr. Fardad Esmailian at Cedars-Sinai, I did my homework and discovered that he had performed around 1,000 of the heart valve procedures that I needed. And past experience does make a difference in successful outcomes. Then, when I came to meet Dr. Esmailian, he spoke to me with a very calm and pleasant demeaner. His very direct presentation of my diagnosis and treatment gave me comfort and confidence. Dr. Esmailian’s bedside manner is at all times very relaxed and very professional. I instantly knew why Dr. Esmailian is one of the top ranked heart surgeons in the world. I knew I was in the right hands.
On the day of my surgery, the staff at Cedars made me feel welcome and cared-for from the very beginning. Everyone was wonderful, from the nurses – who were real troopers; to the food ordering staff, and even the janitors. I had chosen a pig valve to replace my own valve and was told that my left atrial appendage could also be removed, reducing the chances of a stroke from a blood clot. I was a bit uncomfortable with the tubes in my mouth after surgery. But the nurses helped me through it and made a challenging situation manageable. I was also resolved to be a good patient, and to do what I was told and not to disobey the orders of my doctors and nurses. I remained true to their wishes and followed their advice as to what I could be ready for in terms of returning to normalcy. This “good patient” approach made my time in the hospital more pleasant and helped my recovery to progress smoothly.
The next part of my recovery was a good rehab program. Following that regimen, my return to normalcy progressed well. Today, I am back to scuba diving for lobsters and to spear fishing. My dives are in the range of ten to seventy feet, and I hope to be in shape to go even deeper again, soon. It feels so great to have my life back. I was all too happy to send a picture of myself holding a fish that I caught after surgery to Dr. Esmailian, who made my catch and certainly many other catches possible!"
-- Glen Richard Fritzler, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Maze Procedure, 09/21/2021
"It was a scary time for my wife and me when we found out I needed aortic valve replacement surgery and a double bypass.
Fortunately, my cardiologist is the best doctor I have ever known. He holds a position of distinction in a leading university medical center where they do this type of surgery so we were surprised when he recommended we go to Cedars-Sinai and see Dr. Esmailian.
After meeting with Dr. Esmailian and his team and researching his record, our fear was replaced by a very confident and positive feeling about moving forward. This is truly a special doctor who has a great team of expert doctors, physician assistants, nurses and technicians. We have heard nothing but praise for his work, even from our outside professional services (cardio rehab, home nurse, etc.).
From the first meeting throughout the process, we knew we were in the right place with the right doctor. If we called with a question, we always received a very prompt and knowledgeable response, usually from Vivian Burkhart, NP-BC, who could not have been more helpful. We appreciate Dr. Esmailian and his team more than we know how to say."
-- John Stallings, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 07/01/2021
My cardiologist referred me to Dr. Esmailian as “one of the best doctors at Cedars.” When I met with Dr. Esmailian, he was the nicest guy. He explained everything and answered all my questions and made me feel much more comfortable. It was a big surgery and took a lot of skill. Afterwards, the care I received from the entire team of nurses in the ICU was all wonderful. They are amazing and do all they can to save and help patients. The entire staff was so friendly and nice and did everything they could to please me. As I recovered, I could breathe better, and I felt like I had my life back.
My follow-up’s with Dr. Esmailian after surgery were great as he told me I had recovered well. Dr. Esmailian is my hero and I just love him. I recommend him to anyone who needs heart surgery."
-- Abbas Haider, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Root Replacement, 03/27/2021
In October 2019, my cardiologist did a Trans Esophageal Echocardiogram on me. When he saw that my aorta was damaged by the extra flow of blood from a weak valve, he said that I would need surgery right away. The diagnostic test was important because I had no symptoms this time. In 2004 I had suffered from fatigue, but in 2019, I was completely asymptomatic.
This time, my cardiologist recommended that I see Dr. Esmailian at Cedars-Sinai. I needed to have a four-inch section of my aorta replaced along with my new valve. Meeting Dr. Esmailian was very comforting. He must be so busy with so many patients. Yet, he was so generous with his time and he never made me feel rushed. Dr. Esmailian was personable and he made me feel at ease. I was able to go into surgery without anxiety, feeling comfortable and confident. The surgery took about 8 hours. I marveled at the sheer skill of what Dr. Esmailian and his team do, and how they can rebuild part of the heart and stay so incredibly focused for so long. The post-operative care was wonderful.
The first night in the ICU was a great experience considering that I was just waking up from major surgery. A guy was assigned to me to help with post-operative pain and he was very helpful, as my sternum and ribs had to heal. The next day I was transferred to a regular room and to my amazement, they had me up and walking in the hall right away. Those first walks were slow, of course, but extremely helpful. The nurses were fabulous, and Dr. Esmailian visited on his rounds several times. I was really tired for the first few weeks. When I got home, I tried to help with the dishes but had to sit right back down and sleep for three hours. In addition to having a great surgeon like Dr. Esmailian, and the great nurses at Cedars, it has been a great blessing to have such a supportive and understanding spouse. Experiences like this teach the value of creating care networks with doctors, nurses, and family. I strongly recommend Dr. Esmailian to other patients looking for a heart surgeon. Dr. Esmailian is superb at every aspect of what he does, from the surgery itself, to talking to patients and making them feel comfortable all the way through the process. I have joked with my wife by saying that I am not sure when Dr. Esmailian will retire, but I would gladly expedite my next surgery just so that Dr. Esmailian can do it! "
-- Daniel Dupont, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 11/19/2019
-- Richard Monoson, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 04/16/2019
-- Steve Godbey , Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 04/12/2018
Through dumb luck I had a preliminary meeting with Dr. Esmailian and knew instantly that he was the surgeon for me. I sensed that he was a true healer and that I wouldn't find anyone better. The surgery went well and I've fully recovered without any problems. Dr. Esmailian is the kind of Dr. that you pray you'll have when you have major surgery."
-- Lynn Koller, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, 04/09/2018
I arrived in the ICU at Cedars in an induced coma. And it was here that Dr. Esmailian entered our lives. My internal organs were all compromised and my kidneys on the verge of collapse. I had thoracentesis to draw off many liters of fluid in both lungs. The bacteria had eaten holes in the back of my eye and the retina fell off causing blindness in one eye. Three of my heart valves were leaking and signs of brain problems were emerging. My only hope was to repair the heart valves. I was brought out of my coma just long enough for Dr. Esmailian to explain the surgery. Dr. Esmailian was honest and direct with us: the only way open heart surgery and without the surgery I would surely die. With the surgery - I might also die, but he was prepared to give it his best shot. He explained the surgery would be 7hrs but after three hours of surgery, Dr. Esmailian emerged from the operating room and informed my wife that the operation had been a success. He had successfully replaced my aortic valve with a bovine (cow) valve and repaired my mitral valve. I remained intubated after surgery. My blood is notoriously thin and was not coagulating. It took 6 hours and many platelet transfusions to thicken my blood then I had to go back into surgery to clean up all the blood laying inside my chest. This second surgery was also a success. The surgery was on February 4 and I remained intubated for several days then they inserted a trach but I couldn’t speak. On February 14th they inserted a voice box which enabled me to speak, I looked over at my wife Joan and spoke my first words. “I love you.” I was totally unaware that it was Valentine’s Day.
Dr. Esmailian’s skill had given my heart and lungs the traction that they needed to survive. Now, it was a matter of the antibiotics being able to fight off any further infection. Finally my internal organs began to function normally again. Once released from Cedars, I was transferred to a nursing home in Orange County and then into a rehab facility. Recovery would take a year, and many challenges and a few setbacks occurred along the way. But I was able to recover and get my life back. I was also able to avoid dialysis for my kidneys, even after stage three kidney and liver disease. My success was helped by having been in strong physical condition prior to the illness. I owe my survival to the wise, loving, and attentive care of my wife, Joan; and by the miraculous surgery provided by Dr. Esmailian. Recovery required determination. Each week, very slowly I pushed my walk a little farther every day until I reached my current range of 3-4 miles several days a week. I work in the garden and do a lot of maintenance jobs around the house. Although I still get a bit light headed and tire more easily, my follow up exams show that I am doing great. I have travelled to England several times and been on many cruises, where I’ve been able to swim, snorkel and dive under water. After a massive infection once inhabited my entire body, I am now medication free. I am a walking miracle, and a picture of me is posted on the “Miracle Wall” at the hospital in Orange County - even though it was Dr. Esmailian at Cedars who saved me. Most importantly, I’ve had 7 more years with my wife, two children and three grandchildren. I am grateful for each day. Life is most precious with those you love.
Every Christmas I write a holiday card containing a heart filled THANK YOU for saving my life to Dr. Esmailian. I am convinced that Dr. Esmailian’s courage to take on my losing battle and his skill as a surgeon delivered me. I was surprised to receive a handwritten letter reply. “It is I who need to thank you,” said Dr. Esmailian. “For if you had not fought to protect this country, I would not have the privilege to pursue my career as a thoracic heart surgeon”. It was then that we realized that there is a circle of relationship and commitment between doctors and patients that becomes sacred. The miracle of having our lives come together at a critical point in time reminded us that there are heroes among us each and every day. It is with absolute humility that the gift they give needs to be embraced and celebrated. "
-- Eric Jensen, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, 02/04/2014
Before my surgery to replace my aortic valve and ascending aorta, Dr. Esmailian was accessible and willing to engage my questions openly and directly. I had a lot of questions: it was clear he had studied the details of my case that, even before I raised my questions, he had considered the same issues and had a response that was thoughtful.
The surgery went well and without major incident. Throughout my first night in the ICU, he was in regular email contact with my nurses, adjusting their treatment responses. My recovery wasn’t perfectly smooth, and he was actively involved in getting me back on track from a series of unexpected setbacks. During that busy time, he even took a phone call from one of my kids.
Beyond his individual skill, Dr. Esmailian practices as Cedars Sinai, which in my family's experience during several incidents, is quite simply the best hospital in Southern California (that's all we can compare it to) in terms of patient care. The anesthesiologists were truly extraordinary. And the nurses, especially in the ICU, took their roles seriously and each one came to their role with exceptional skill. As much as anything else, the reason to go to Cedars-Sinai is the nurses."
-- James Lucas, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Root Replacement, 03/12/2013
After a 10 hour surgery I was put in a self induced coma because my heart would not start up. After 6 days, I went back into surgery and my heart started. He stayed at me bedside that first night. So concerned, so wonderful to me and to my family. I owe this man my life. I had a 15% chance of survival and he saved me. He is not only a brilliant surgeon but a man with such a generous heart. I will always be indebted to him."
-- Vicki Diamond, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 09/23/2011
He was calm and confident. He does research at UCLA and was excellent. Of course, the care at the coronary unit at UCLA was first rate. We'll always be grateful."
-- Adelaide De Sio, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 11/27/2007
My Specialities &
My heart surgery specialties include:
- Aortic valve repair and replacement
- Mitral valve repair and replacement
- Tricuspid valve repair and replacement
In addition, I have research and clinical interests specific to:
- Surgical outcomes research
- Expansion of donor pools for heart transplantation
Education, Training & Certificates
Dr. Fardad Esmailian, heart surgeon, graduated from George Washington University School of Medicine in 1987.
After medical school, Dr. Esmailian completed a General Surgery Residency at the University of Southern California San Diego in 1992 and a Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency at the University of California Los Angeles in 1994.
Dr. Esmailian is board-certified in Thoracic Surgery and has received several acknowledgments including:
* Top Doctors of Los Angeles Magazine * Distinguised Faculty Service Award for surgical excellence and dedication to patients * Teacher of the Year
with Dr. Fardad Esmailian, MD
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Esmailian, you can:
- Call (424) 320-0488 right now
- Request an appointment by clicking here.
The office of Dr. Esmailian is located at 127 S San Vicente Blvd., Suite A3600, Los Angeles, CA 90095. To get driving directions to this office, please click the map below.
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News & Online References Featuring Dr. Fardad Esmailian
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Page last updated: December 5, 2022