About Dr. Joanna Chikwe,
Heart Valve Surgeon
Hello! My name is Dr. Joanna Chikwe and I am a cardiac surgeon having graduated from Oxford University in 1997. To date, I have performed approximately 2,000 cardiac surgeries, of which most involved heart valve procedures. I regularly perform surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Read more...
I believe my greatest strength is excellent results.
My main expertise is less invasive (small incision) valve repair and coronary surgery. I studied medicine at Oxford University and I completed my residency in cardiothoracic surgery at the Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals in London, followed by advanced fellowship training in valve repair at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
I am one of a handful of U.S. surgeons with advanced training in both reconstructive valve surgery and less invasive cardiac surgery techniques. I work closely with a dedicated plastic surgery and anesthesiology team with a specialist interest in less invasive cardiac surgery. My aim is to use valve repair to preserve natural valve tissue wherever possible, using smaller incisions to improve recovery, as well as off-pump surgery to avoid cardiopulmonary bypass for selected coronary bypass procedures.
I've written 6 surgical textbooks, including Cardiothoracic Surgery published by Oxford University Press; along with over 20 book chapters and articles on less invasive cardiac surgery. My international awards include a Fulbright Award, and the Society of Great Britain Cardiac Surgery Award, and I am a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons.
17 Patient Reviews for
"I feel very fortunate to have been operated on by Dr. Joanna Chikwe on March 2,2021. Her entire team from Mary Alvardo (her administrative assistant) to Asma Hussaini(PA) guided me in preparation for the repair. Dr. Chikwe answered all my questions and her calm and professional style left me feeling minimal pre-surgical anxiety. Luckily, my surgery took place 2 weeks after my second Pfizer vaccination.
As a retired Cedars-Sinai RN, I know that things do not always go smoothly and it is even more important to have a great team in place - just in case. And I was one of the fortunate ones. At the end of my repair I required a pacer. The hope was that in a few days the inflammation would subside and I would no longer be in heartblock. Dr Chikwe was there every morning and in consultation with the electronic cardiologist. On March 5th I received a temporary pacemaker and, because I was still in total heartblock, on March 8th I received a permanent pacemaker. I was home the next day.
In April, I had a relapse of my auto immune disease and was placed back on prednisone which caused my blood pressure to go up. So my blood pressure medication has been doubled. I feel terrific now. I'm exercising, gardening, back in classes and chorale. Visiting with friends, children and grandchildren has been wonderful. I'm so grateful to Dr. Chikwe and the entire team at Cedars- Sinai Medical Center for the comprehensive and coordinated care that I received - "just in case"."
-- Jo Friedman, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 03/02/2021
"Dr. Chikwe successfully performed a challenging robotic mitral valve repair surgery on my dad, whose concave chest bone structure posed a unique challenge.
Dr. Chikwe masterfully navigated the surgery despite the challenges posed by my dad's bone structure and was able to successfully make the repair. Few doctors know how to perform the minimally-invasive robotic heart surgery, so we were very fortunate to have Dr. Chikwe, and to have her expertise regarding this surgery.
I cannot imagine having a better surgeon for my dad than Dr. Chikwe, she really prolonged his life with a fantastic surgery and we could not be more grateful. "
-- Marie Abajann, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, Maze Procedure, 01/13/2021
-- Reginald T. Dorsey, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 11/20/2020
I called her office and was scheduled for an immediate consultation a few days later at the Smidt Heart Institute with Dr. Joanna Chikwe, Asma Hussaini (DR Chikwe's P.A.) and Mary Alvarado, the Patient Service Representative. Upon arriving at the Heart Institute I was greeted by a caring and understanding staff who made me feel safe and comfortable while talking through my options.
Dr. Chikwe was confident that she could repair my mitral valve and a replacement would most likely not be necessary as my Cardiologist had told me. I was in the Hospital for emergency Mitral Valve Surgery within a few days. The entire Cedars-Sinai hospital staff made me feel very comfortable leading up to the surgery and in the days following the procedure. I was discharged from the hospital after a few days with minor discomfort and a new outlook and hope for my life.
It has been about 3 1/2 weeks since my surgery on 10/22/20 and I am feeling great! Recovery has been surprisingly easy due to the minimally invasive procedure, and I returned to work a few days ago. As I write this, my new heart is filled with gratitude and my eyes are filled with tears for the caring and very capable Dr. Chikwe and the entire staff at Cedars-Sinai for saving my life.
I hope that each and every person reading this, who must face this unsure and frightening challenge in their lives, can take some comfort in knowing that there are special people like Dr. Joanna Chikwe and her staff that are there for us in our biggest time of need."
-- Brandon Hammer, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 10/22/2020
Our prior research informed us that it is very important to choose a team with extensive valve repair experience, both for the surgeons and the technical support team. Drs. Chikwe and Trento are world class surgeons with extensive expertise in robotic repair of mitral valves and this team ranks as one of the best on the west coast.
Dr. Chikwe is a strong advocate for valve repair as opposed to replacement whenever possible as this leads to a more durable outcome. I came to surgery with significant regurgitation that was completely corrected by the robotic surgery. Dr. Chikwe explained the surgical outcome to my wife after the surgery in very clear terms.
I was impressed with her bed side manner and follow-up care of me. The nursing staff was exceptional in their kind care of me after surgery. I had very little pain afterwards and was up and walking the day after surgery. At two months after surgery, I was walking 10,000 steps per day. I would advise anyone needing mitral valve repair to consider Dr. Chikwe’s team for the surgery."
-- Richard Maki, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 03/19/2020
I was told she was an excellent surgeon and top in the field of micro-robotic mitral valve repair. I researched her background and found she was indeed one of the nation’s top surgeons. Her background, education and experience was remarkable and I felt lucky to have one of the best known cardiac surgeons.
Because of her notoriety, she could have been very egotistical like some of the doctors that I know, but she was so down to earth and more importantly very easy to talk to. She was informative but very personal. I was confident going into surgery knowing I had her as my surgeon.
After surgery, while I was in the hospital, Dr. Chikwe visited me every day and made me feel at ease showing interest in my recovery. Also, the nurses, staff, and Dr. Chikwe’s assistants were all very professional and cordial.
Anybody who is treated by Dr. Chikwe will be very lucky. Cedars-Sinai was very smart to recruit her from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York to head the Smidt Heart Institute. Thank you Dr. Chikwe."
-- Albert (Joey) Nakazawa, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 03/03/2020
My father was a brain surgeon and I had a checklist of things I admire in surgeons. Dr. Chikwe met all my criteria. First, what a pair of hands she has—long and lithe fingers in perfect shape, well suited for quick and careful suturing of vessels. But more importantly, she is confident yet modest with an exemplary sense of empathy.
Almost immediately upon meeting her she put me at ease and I never worried about the result—I had a full and quick recovery. I also appreciated her post-operative care and her frequent checks on me while I was in intensive care. I recommend her highly and can’t say enough about the high quality of the care I received as a result of her skill and under her supervision at Cedars Sinai."
-- Chris Fager, Aortic Valve, Valve Repair, Median Sternotomy, 01/15/2020
-- Patricia Reuter, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, 05/14/2019
-- ROBERT CROWLEY, Pulmonary Valve, 11/13/2018
-- Maureen Ahad, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, 05/14/2018
-- Arthur Hall, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 08/15/2017
-- Harry Vaughn, Aortic Valve, 10/06/2016
-- Arthur Lozeau, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Maze Procedure, 09/07/2016
-- Anthony Bly, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 01/31/2015
-- GAVIN MASTERSON, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 07/23/2014
-- Nancy Cruz, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, 09/14/2011
-- Bonnie Perman, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Mini-Thoracotomy / Port Access, 10/04/2010
My Specialities &
My heart surgery specialties include:
- Less invasive surgery, small incisions
- Mitral valve repair
- Coronary bypass grafting
In addition, I have research and clinical interests specific to:
- Mitral valve surgery
- Coronary revascularization
Education, Training & Certificates
Dr. Joanna Chikwe, heart surgeon, graduated from Oxford University in 1997.
After medical school, Dr. Chikwe completed a cardiothoracic surgery residency and fellowship training in the United Kingdom, where she was appointed a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 2006.
Upon moving to the United States, Dr. Chikwe began practicing cardiac surgery in the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, New York where she became a Professor of Cardiovascular Surgery.
In 2019, Dr. Chikwe was named the Founding Chair of Cardiac Surgery at Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.
Dr. Chikwe has contributed to over 100 research publications. Her interests include structural heart disease, coronary revascularization, quality improvements and comparative surgical outcomes.
with Dr. Joanna Chikwe, MD
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Chikwe, you can:
- Call (866) 345-1289 right now
- Request an appointment by clicking here.
The office of Dr. Chikwe is located at 8700 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048. To get driving directions to this office, please click the map below.
> Click for driving directions to Dr. Chikwe’s office.
News & Online References Featuring Dr. Joanna Chikwe
Here is the latest news featuring Dr. Joanna Chikwe:
- Cedars-Sinai Names Dr. Joanna Chikwe Founding Chair of Cardiac Surgery
- Free eBook: Advances in COVID-19 & Heart Valve Therapy featuring Dr. Joanna Chikwe
- Mitral Valve Repair: Different Approaches for Different Patients
- Expert Surgeon Profile: Joanna Chikwe, MD, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California
- Surgeon Q&A: Are COVID-19 Vaccines Safe for Heart Valve Patients?
- We "Go Red for Women" with Dr. Joanna Chikwe
Page last updated: May 12, 2021