"If I was to need valve surgery again, there would be no doubt I would only want Dr. Castro leaving his fingerprints on my heart."
"The team at Sequoia Hospital lead by Dr. Castro could not be better. Professional, competent and very caring. Great experience! "
-- Sean Dunn, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 12/13/2019
"I'm very grateful for the preparation, surgery, and follow-up that Dr. Castro gave me. My cardiologist was very pleased that my valves are working so well now. I'm very glad that I now feel so well."
-- Carolyn Buhs, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, 09/13/2019
"The experience with Dr. Castro and his team has been stellar throughout the entire procedure. I had a BAV replaced and part of the ascending aorta. Surgery was on Wednesday and I am planning to go home tomorrow (Sunday). Staff at the hospital have been great and very accommodating. Please seriously consider Dr. Castro and his team in your decision making process. Thank you Team!"
-- Steve DeVincenzi, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, 05/04/2019
"Dr. Luis Castro is the best of the best! I can't adequately express how grateful I am to him and his entire team. When my rare congenital heart defect reached the point where aortic valve replacement was necessary, I consulted with several well-known local Los Angeles heart surgeons. Despite their credentials and experience, none of them gave me the confidence to trust them with my life.
Then I found Dr. Castro.
His online videos were impressive, but it was our phone consultations that really convinced me to fly from LA to San Francisco for the procedure. Dr. Castro's confident knowledge and expertise amazed me. He even discovered something in the tests that every other surgeon had completely missed - a dangerous aneurism. Just as reassuring as his brilliance and his calm demeanor, was the fact that he sincerely cared about me as a patient and as a person. He told me that he absolutely would not let my child grow up without her mother. (In fact, his fatality rate is zero.) He patiently answered all of my questions and made it clear I could call him personally with any concerns I had. His assistant Claudia was fantastic. She coordinated all the scheduling with me over the phone, followed up on all my questions, gave me directions to the hospital, and even set up my pre-operative stay at Sequoia House, the medical group's low-cost lodging right next to the hospital. She was on top of every detail. Nurses Dana and Kelly took care of all of my needs before and after the surgery with kindness and efficiency. They are angels. Dr. Castro and his outstanding surgery partner, Dr. Harmon, flawlessly performed the valve surgery and fixed the aneurism in less than half the time it takes most other surgeons. The post-op team was phenomenal, and the staff at Sequoia Hospital couldn't have been more professional or accommodating.
Only two months after my surgery, I am walking 3 miles a day, have more energy and stamina, and feel much better than I have in years.
Literally putting my heart in Dr. Castro's hands is one of the best decisions I have ever made. He kept his promise to my precious daughter."
-- Christy Wright, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 12/29/2018
"Every step of this procedure, from admitting to pre-surgical prep, to post surgical recovery went extremely well -- much better than I anticipated. I was very fortunate to have Drs. Castro and Harmon as my surgeons, and to have such superior post operative care from all the nurses and the support team. Not only is Dr. Castro on top of his game as a leading surgeon, but he was also very clear and patient with his explanations of treatment options and procedures. He instilled a lot of confidence in me going into surgery. The results could not have been better or more successful."
-- Arthur Muncheryan, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 12/12/2018
"My procedure at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City with Dr. Luis Castro could not have gone any better! The experience level is outstanding with the best bedside manner possible from Dr. Castro and team! The results of my procedure went exceptionally well and would absolutely consider this team for any cardiothoracic surgeries."
-- Gerald Dixon, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, 12/06/2018
"He was thorough with his explanations, kind, honest, and caring. He was successful with doing a repair of the valve. I am very happy with the results. "
-- Scott Lyter, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Mini Sternotomy, 11/15/2018
"Dr. Castro is extremely personable with a great support team in the office and the hospital takes time pre-surgery to listen to concerns and answers all questions carefully and thoroughly follow up is excellent. Everything is working just right now."
-- marta drury, Aortic Valve, Valve Repair, 11/13/2018
"Absolutely perfect. This was my third aortic valve replacement, complicated with an ascending aortic aneurysm. I had been previously informed that this would be more invasive and challenging than my previous open heart surgeries. Also, I was admonished that my recovery would be longer and more uncomfortable than from previous open heart surgeries.
Thanks to Dr. Castro’s skills and expertise, along with the support my cardiologist, Dr. Mary Larson, and the competent Staff at Sequoia Hospital the surgery was completely successful. In addition, my recovery was swift and complete with minimal discomfort. Without reservation, I would recommend Dr. Castro to anyone requiring heart surgery."
-- Nick Cademartori, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 11/02/2018
"Dr. Castro was called by my Cardiologist who recommended Dr. Castro. He called me three days later and spent almost an hour with me on the phone answering every possible question. I was in surgery ten days later with a torn leaflet from a prolapsed mitral valve. He repaired it. Surgery time was 1.5 hours. I couldn't be more satisfied with all aspects of the treatment and how I was treated in his care and the staff at Sequoia hospital. "
-- Edward Finley, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 10/25/2018
"A very happy experience! Bedside manner excellent, surgical results excellent. A very well run and clean hospital (Sequoia Hospital, Redwood City CA). Dr. Castro and this hospital are the best! "
-- Max Eggert, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 10/18/2018
"Dr. Castro eased my fears when he said, "Be positive. You will survive. Visualize sleeping peacefully, good thoughts, a perfect operation, and successful recovery." Those words, his positive attitude, and smiling face walked me through the surgery and recovery. "
-- Linda Todd, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 10/11/2018
"My experience with Dr. Castro was excellent prior to and after the surgery. I have the utmost confidence in him and his team. I would highly recommend him."
-- Ronald Orlando, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 09/21/2018
"From beginning to end, Dr. Castro, his team, and everyone involved at Sequoia Hospital was just outstanding. His calm, reassuring, positive, professional and friendly (That counts!) demeanor had my mind in the right place before heading into surgery, and certainly helped in recovery afterwards. I am 5 months post-op.... All systems go, and have no restrictions going forward."
-- Ron Mahaffee, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, 09/06/2018
"I met with numerous doctors as I was being diagnosed with aortic stenosis and evaluated for a possible TAVR, and there was something lacking in all of the professionals I met.
I didn’t know what was missing until I met Dr. Luis Castro. I had checked out Sequoia Hospital and their outcomes, so I had done my due diligence. What I was not prepared for was Dr. Castro himself--he was warm, human, and funny and unlike any other medical professional I had seen over the last two years.
After our first meeting, I tried to put aside the fact that I liked him so much to focus on more “substantial” criteria for selecting a surgeon. My appointment with another surgeon I was considering led me down a rabbit hole with a lot of scare tactics along the way. I reached out to Dr. Castro a second time because I felt that he was the only honest person I had met on this journey. What I discovered in my second encounter was how confident he was in his ability to replace my aortic valve without any touch of arrogance. He was the only person I trusted, so I made my decision on the spot.
My surgery went perfectly and in record time. Dr. Castro and his team visited daily throughout my hospital stay (including weekends) and showed genuine concern throughout the process. Dr. Castro saw me for my week-out check-up as well as my one-month surgical check-in, and he even ordered a baseline echocardiogram that he evaluated for me. He went above and beyond in his care, and I only wish I could have him as my long-term doctor!"
-- Judy S, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, 08/06/2018
"Extremely positive experience throughout. He let me know what to expect and why it was being done in a clear, concise and reassuring manner. Friendly, open to questions and self assured which built confidence in the procedure and recovery. He was friendly and open, and in follow up meetings built a rapport that let me be open about my concerns with the conviction he really cared and all of my concerns were treated with respect and given a detailed response.
I am still in recovery but I can feel the results of the surgery on my health and attitude."
-- kenneth sproul, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, 07/01/2018
"Dr. Castro was recommended to me multiple times. Once I met him, I understood why. He answered all questions thoroughly. He showed me video images of what my heart was doing compared to what it should have been doing. He also showed the various types of replacement valves, so that I was best informed of the procedure. The surgery went well, and the incision is relatively short. During his daily rounds, Dr. Castro answered all my questions and his manner decreased any stress that I may have had. I have had no post surgical problems, and I highly recommend Dr. Castro to anyone having this procedure."
-- John Solomon, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 06/06/2018
"It is difficult to imagine a better choice of cardiothoracic surgeon than Dr. Luis Castro. Before surgery he was accessible and thorough in his explanations of the aortic valve replacement procedure and the recovery process and he answered any questions or concerns that I had. He has a highly experienced surgical team that has been with him for twenty years and, above all else, he demonstrates that he cares about his patients and their outcomes. My surgery was without complications and I was able to leave the hospital ahead of schedule, which I attribute to Dr. Castro's skill as a surgeon and to the high quality of care at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, California, where the surgery was performed. Dr. Castro and his surgical associate, Dr. Adam Harmon, and their very skilled and knowledgeable physician's surgical assistant, Taemin Surh, followed up with frequent post-operative in-hospital visits making any adjustments to medications or routine that were needed and providing welcome updates on my successful post-operative progress. Within 90 days of surgery, I was able to resume my full range of physical activities, with no impairment or discomfort attributable to the surgery, In sum, Dr Luis Castro is worth seeking out in order to assure a successful heart surgery outcome performed by someone who is dedicated to his patients well-being and a successful outcome.."
-- Richard Smith, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, 05/30/2018
"Very easy to talk to. Did not hurry me at all during interview. Answered all my questions. My recovery was with a hich."
-- Jack Ames, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 05/16/2018
"Dr. Castro is a wonderful human being. His pre-surgery, bedside manners and post-surgery visits were warm & friendly but to the point. Outstanding results were achieved given the complex nature of the surgery. No compilations with 90% recovery in 3 months. Would not hesitate referring my closest friends or family members to Dr. Castro. Along with Cardiologist Dr. Sheehan they make up a great team @ Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, CA. Highly recommended. Thank God they were all on my team."
-- John durmanich, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Root Replacement, 05/16/2018
"At 78 last year, I was diagnosed with severe mitral valve regurgitation and AFib, and I became interested in Dr. Castro at Sequoia Hospital when I learned of his expertise with MV repair and of Sequoia's affiliation with Cleveland Clinic. He contacted me by phone and by email (quite a pleasant surprise). During surgery 9 weeks ago, he and his team repaired my MV and did a Maze procedure which eliminated my AFib (a cardioversion the prior year had been unsuccessful). Dr Castro and his highly competent and pleasant surgical team were great, as were the nurses and staff at Sequoia. I am exercising and doing short uphill hikes of about an hour daily, and I am very thankful that I chose Dr Castro and Sequoia. Gordon Van Kessel "
-- Gordon Van Kessel, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Median Sternotomy, Maze Procedure, 04/11/2018
"My experience with Dr. Luis Castro and his team for my aortic valve replacement surgery was positive in all regards. Dr. Castro impressed me with his knowledge, clear-cut explanation of the surgery I required, and his sensitivity and the time he took in answering the many questions my wife and I asked. I had absolute confidence in Dr. Castro and his team. The less-invasive technique he employs left a scar not quite three-inches long. The facilities at Sequoia Peninsula Hospital were top-notch and everyone from the nurses to the cleaning staff were friendly, caring, and professional. If you unfortunately need the services of a cardiac surgeon, I heartily recommend Dr. Luis Castro."
-- James Brzezinski, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 04/05/2018
"I can't say enough good things about Dr. Castro and his team. They explained everything to me about the procedure and made me very comfortable. He wasn't quite sure about what he was going to do before surgery. I told him fix anything that needs to be fixed. Everything turned out perfect. The maze procedure has worked well. They new they were going to replace my bicuspid aortic valve, also repair or replace my mitral valve, which they repaired. They also put a ring around another valve. I also had developed a whole in my heart because it was functioning so bad and they fixed that. They did all of these procedures in two and a half hours. I am now on the road to recovery. I expect to feel like I did years ago."
-- Simpson Risso, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, Maze Procedure, 03/26/2018
"The surgeon was wonderful. He saved my life. Everything went very well. He was very fast and efficient. Everything was accomplished as discussed. The surgeon and his team were truly remarkable. They explained everything to me as things went. They answered all of my questions. I am now feeling wonderful. They reversed my congestive heart failure. All procedures went flawlessly. "
-- Simpson Risso, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, Maze Procedure, 03/26/2018
"Dr. Castro is an amazing surgeon and inspiring human being. The first time I met him he sat with me and my wife, explaining everything, and showing us actual replacement valves and the material he would use to repair my aorta. In the hospital he checked on me often. He made me feel safe and calm about the experience. My incision was small, and had only one removeable suture. Five weeks post-op, we are walking an hour a day. I do still have pain from the incision, but it is controlled with Tylenol. I would recommend Dr. Castro without reservation."
-- Jose Aguilar, Aortic Valve, Valve Repair, Mini Sternotomy, Root Replacement, 03/21/2018
"5 gold stars for Dr. Castro and his entire team at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, California. From the initial consult through the whole process, I knew I was in the good hands. Dr. Luis has an excellent reputation (and very high success rate) as a valve specialist (especially with the mitral valve being the most complex valve in the heart). Until I met Dr. Luis I was considering flying to Mt. Sinai in NY or Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. It was such a bonus to have such a thoughtful, experienced and attentive surgeon through my whole surgery experience. If I ever needed another surgery, I would definitely choose Dr. Castro!"
-- gina fiorentino, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Mini Sternotomy, 03/08/2018
"I wanted to express my sincerest gratitude to Dr. Castro. A fantastic surgeon and a kind human being.
Not only did he perform a successful surgery, and repaired and replaced the Aortic valve that was placed by Doctor Merrick at UCSF, but he gave me the invaluable gifts of hope and health.
My spirits were lifted and for the first time in a long time, I had confidence that I could lead a long and prosperous life. Thank you for your kindness and attention. It is apparent that you go above and beyond for your patients. "
-- Jaleh N, Aortic Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, 02/28/2018
"An enjoyable surgeon who has a healthy life style. Demonstrated by his ability to surf and ski. And I am so much better and now able to pursue some physical activity. And I’m still alive! Thanks Dr. Castro."
-- Jay English, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 02/21/2018
"Dr. Luis J. Castro is a very genuine surgeon, with a caring and sensitive nature. After leaving his consultation, I felt I was provided a clear understanding of my upcoming aortic valve replacement regarding the surgical procedure, length of recovery, and what to expect post-surgery.
I think he did an outstanding job, and I thank him for moving me in a positive and healthy direction I would recommend him to anyone requiring heart surgery. Sequoia Hospital's surgeons, physicians and staff are a caring and efficient group of professionals."
-- Ignatius Passantino, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 02/16/2018
"Such a thoughtful, compassionate surgeon. After the initial consultation I was completely at ease with dr. Castro as my surgeon. The rest of my family approved and I knew I had made the right choice. There was very little pain during recovery time. I simply cannot recommend him enough. Check out his videos. If you or a love one are considering heart surgery you owe it to yourselves to at least contact dr. Castro’s office. I promise you, you will not be sorry."
-- “Melissa” Bridge, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, Maze Procedure, Bloodless Surgery, 02/14/2018
"I interviewed several highly qualified surgeons and could have elected to have my valve replacement done in my hometown of Portland, Oregon. What differentiated Dr Castro from the other surgeons was his attitude and the attitude of his team: they all care about every patient as an individual.
Dr Castro spent several hours with me and my husband; answered every question with patience and humor; and was genuinely curious about me and what I wanted and needed. I had never had any previous surgery and was initially very anxious. Dr. Castro and his team greatly reduced my anxiety. By the time I had the surgery, I was completely confident I would have an excellent outcome and quick recovery. All of which turned out to be true. Whatever inconvenience there was in having the surgery away from home (which was minimal) was completely and more than outweighed by the quality of patient centric care I received. I recommend Dr. Castro and his team without qualification!
-- Patricia Frobes, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, 01/31/2018
"This was my second valve replacement. I had one replaced by Dr. Luis Castro in an emergency situation due to endocarditis, 11 years ago. The most recent surgery was to replace the worn out valve which apparently was torn and leaking.
I can't say enough about Luis Castro and his cardio team at Sequoia. The procedure went without a hitch. I spent 4 days in the hospital before they sent me home.
I had a pig valve and they ended up replacing it with a cow valve. I was amazed by what a difference the new valve made. "
-- Chuck Lebo, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, 12/29/2017
"Great results, easier recovery than my first valve replacement 17 years ago. "
-- Russ Colgate, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Root Replacement, 12/21/2017
"Dr Castro and his team performed open heart surgery on me on December 14, 2017 at Sequoia Hospital. The surgery was for five coronary artery bypasses and an aortic valve replacement. The surgery went very well and I was home a week later. The results have been excellent. I highly recommend Dr Castro, his surgical team, and his office staff. They treated me like family. The initial visit to his office was reassuring for me and my wife. All our questions, big and small, were answered with all the explanation and time that was needed. Also Sequoia Hospital and all the people there were wonderful and took superb care of me."
-- Donald Cahalan, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 12/14/2017
"Everything as well as could be expected. Can't ask for more than that.Bedside manner puts you at ease."
-- Mark Hamblin, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 12/13/2017
"Dr. Castro is fantastic! From the pre-op visit to the recovery in ICU and beyond, I had total confidence in him, and appreciated not only his manner but mostly his expertise. He performed a minimally invasive surgery, leaving only about a three-inch scar, below my v -neck T-shirt line.
He had predicted that I'd be raring to go in 3 months, and it's true. I believe in miracles now. There was some fluid collection in the pericardium a couple of months after surgery, and my excellent cardiologist in Sonora, Dr. Hemminger, was able to drain it with a needle--not more surgery. These two miracle workers saved my life, and I'll be eternally grateful!"
-- Nancy Schwarzmann, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 11/17/2017
"Very knowledgeable and easy to talk to. I've been in recovery for about six weeks now and feeling better. I have not experienced as much post op pain as I thought I was going to experience. I would recommend his services."
-- Rod Beck, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Maze Procedure, 11/15/2017
"I chose Dr Castro after doing research on Consumers Checkbook surgeon comparison website. I also researched hospitals on the Medicare hospital comparison website. I was impressed by the youtube video made by Dr Castro on the Sequoia Hospital website. My wife and I met with Dr Castro for a consultation before my surgery. He explained the surgery to us and made us feel very confident that the surgery would go well. Dr Castro was very easy to talk to and answered all questions we asked. He visited me in the ICU and CSU after surgery to monitor my progress. My surgery went well. I experienced very little pain after surgery and was able to get around on my own in the CSU. I highly recommend Dr Castro and the care provided at Sequoia Hospital."
-- Stanley Solbeck, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 11/10/2017
"The best day of 2017 for me was the day I met Dr. Castro. I was immediately touched by his careful attentive manner, experienced advice and detailed inquiry of my condition and my concerns. After I learned he had done not hundreds but thousands of similar operations, I was confident he was an ideal choice. Great bedside manner. Attentive post-operation. Thorough in every way. Interested in my recovery to date, which has been a great success. Flawless. Both he and his partner Dr. Adam Harmon are a delight to work with. Call me for any further reference. Didi at 650-329-8290. God bless Dr. Castro."
-- Didi Fisher, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Mini Sternotomy, 11/03/2017
"Every aspect was outstanding! We travelled about four hours each way,to get to see Dr. Castro, irrevocably, worth every minute.
-- John Allan, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 10/11/2017
"The surgery was flawless and the recovery has been unexpectedly easy. Dr Castro was very open, with a calm and relaxed manner. "
-- William Hammonds, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 09/14/2017
"My experience with Dr. Castro has been excellent throughout. I am a very active 67-year-old, before surgery routinely hiking 90 miles a month, and thought I'd be the last person on earth needing heart surgery. Dr. Castro spent two hours with my wife and I before the surgery discussing what he expected he would be able to do, and of course making contingency plans if the situation required a replacement rather than a repair. The surgery was more complicated than expected due to a tear found in a valve leaflet, nevertheless Dr. Castro was able to complete the repairs without replacing the mitral valve.
I found Dr. Castro's entire team extremely competent, thoughtful and attentive--good listeners, who made me feel safe and well cared for.
I am 9 weeks post surgery, and have remained in contact with Dr. Castro to resolve issues with blood pressure and an episode of atrial fibrillation. I couldn't be more pleased with the surgery, and his care."
-- Chris Thollaug, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 08/31/2017
"Dr Luis Castro is a highly skilled and experienced surgeon. He is interested in his patients as individuals, and takes the time to answer any and all questions. His staff is excellent also. From Elizabeth at reception, to Tina Nursing Facilitator, and everyone in between ..they are a great team. The surgery at Sequoia Hospital went perfectly.Family members, in the waiting area during the surgery, were given regular updates. I am very thankful that my cardiologist recommend Dr. Castro. "
-- robert hansen, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, Root Replacement, 08/31/2017
"After test showed that my aortic valve needed to be replaced due to severe Aortic Valve stenosis, I spent 3 months researching and interviewed 3 Doctors and eventually was directed by a former Heart Valve Patient to Adam Pick's website (Heart valve Surgery.com). From there, I found Dr. Luis Castro and after 3 conversations with him and conversations with 2 of his former patients, I decided to have Dr. Castro perform the surgery. We flew from the East Coast to California.
The surgery went excellent and it has been 9 months now. I feel great. We chose a Bovine Valve and Dr. Castro performed a mini Sternotomy and I was on Tylenol for 3 days.
I am so thankful that I found and chose Dr. Castro for my surgery , he is a fine gentleman and a nice and caring man and talented surgeon. He treated me and my family with the utmost respect and kindness. He and Dr. Harmon visited me every day while I was in the hospital. The Nurses in ICU are A+ they could not have treated me any kinder or better. Dr. Castro and these nice people have a special place in my heart. I highly recommend Dr. Castro.
Dr. Castro and Dr. Harman are excellent Surgeons and Sequoia Heart and Vascular Institute is at the top of it's class."
-- Andrew Kirby, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 08/31/2017
"I woud recommend Dr. Castro to anyone. My surgery experience was smooth and about as enjoyable as a surgery experience can be. Dr. Castro is obviously very competent, talented, and professionaI. would go back to Dr. Castro even if I moved out of state.
Sequoia Hospital delivers on its advertisement as a patients-first hospital. I truly felt cared for. Dr. Castro's partner surgeon, Dr. Harmon, is also top notch in my book. Both doctors spent as much time as I wanted to discuss my concerns and provided understandable explanations.
Check out this surgical team. They are the best."
-- Mark Stearman, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, Root Replacement, 08/24/2017
"When we first met with Dr. Castro he was very kind and included us into the conversation about what his diagnosis was and what he was recommending. We didn't feel rushed and were allowed to ask all the questions we felt we needed to. Most importantly, Dr. Castro made us feel that we were in the hands of a capable surgeon; Dr. Castro expressed kindness and gentleness while at the same time he exuded confidence that never seemed to cross over into arrogance. Post-op, Dr. Castro came by most days if not every day I was there, checking on my condition and making sure things were going well for me. I saw Dr. Castro for the last time at a 1 month followup appointment at his office and again he was positive, confident and encouraging to me answering all of our post-op and recovery questions and concerns.
I feel blessed to have been referred to Dr. Castro and the team of nurses and professionals at Sequoia Hospital, I felt cared for and secure going through a process that seemed daunting at best. At this writing, I'm 7 weeks post-op and healing super well, thank you Dr. Castro!"
-- Scott Morton, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 08/16/2017
"Excellent communicator, successful surgery, great nursing care, uneventful healing. Expectations were set well. Recommended without any hesitation."
-- David Ring, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Mini Sternotomy, 08/10/2017
"My experience was stellar. Not only did Dr. Castro and his team successfully repair my mitral valve, but I felt like a member of their family by the time I left the hospital a week after the surgery. Additionally, the nursing staff of Sequoia Hospital, both in the ICU and the Cardiac Surveillance Unit, is quite impressive. Based on my knowledge of their astounding success rate and on my personal experience having them do my mitral valve repair surgery I most highly recommend the Sequoia Vascular and Cardiac Institute to anyone needing heart valve surgery. I feel blessed to have found them. "
-- Karen Weiseth, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 07/12/2017
"Dr. Castro is an excellent doctor, he provided me with all the information before surgery, monitored me daily after surgery and followed up to make sure I wasn't having any issues. He removed the upper right lobe of my lung to remove a tumor, replaced my aortic valve and repaired my aortic artery - he saved me from having to have an additional surgery for my lung. I have problems with my kidneys and they made an extra effort to protect them and the rest of my organs. His team is excellent and Sequoia Hospital is excellent!"
-- Barry Sullivan, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, Root Replacement, 07/06/2017
"Dr. Luis Castro is first-class. His bedside manner was very positive and encouraging, while the results of the two surgical procedures were both successful. I have no reservations in recommending Dr Castro for valve replacement & other cardiac procedures.
David L. George, Ph.D."
-- David George, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 06/28/2017
"Dr. Castro is absolutely AMAZING - the best! He has tremendous bedside manner, always completely answering any and all questions before the surgery. He and his team were amazing on how quickly and expertly did my surgery. Stanford said the surgery would take 8-10 hours and require a 10-12 inch incision, requiring about 4 hours on heart bypass machine. Dr. Castro did it in about four hours, a 3" incision and 62 minutes on the bypass machine! After the surgery he visited everyday and post operative care was fabulous. I only needed serious pain medications for about 3 days, after that it was only Tylenol for about a month. I HIGHLY recommend Dr. Castro and his team!!!
-- Andrew Rand, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, Median Sternotomy, 06/21/2017
"EXTREMELY EFFICIENT AND EXPERTLY DONE WOULD RECOMMEND TO ANYONE"
-- RAYMOND TESTA, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 06/19/2017
"Dr. Castro was phenomenal. This was my second aortic valve replacement in 4 years and my recovery with this procedure was much easier than the prior. Dr. Castro's involvement in my care before, during and after surgery was amazing - as if I were his own family member. "
-- Richard Keas, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, 06/16/2017
"Dr. Castro is a skillful surgeon, a caring and conscientious doctor, and a delightful human being. I highly recommend him for any person who requires heart surgery."
-- David Gartshore, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 06/08/2017
"Fantastic, Dr. Castro is a warm and generous person. Easy to talk too. The surgical result has been fantastic and I now have my life restored, thanks to him."
-- James Wagner, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 06/08/2017
"Dr. Castro has now done two aortic valve replacements for me and I highly recommend him for cardiac surgery. He has a warm and welcoming manner and takes the time, both before and after surgery, to listen to patient concerns. Results have been excellent for each of my surgeries. The first, in 2004, was a porcine valve to replace my "original equipment" bicuspid valve; the second was to replace the porcine valve which had served me well for 13+ years. I was able to return to work and otherwise normal physical activity soon after my surgeries as well as to resume bicycling and backpacking within a few weeks. Dr. Castro and his team--Dr. Adam Harmon and P.A. Taemin Suhr--as well as nursing staff in the Cardiac Surgery Unit at Sequoia Hospital took excellent care of me during my recent stay. My confidence in Dr. Castro's ability and extensive surgical experience made the choice to travel 4 hours from home for my procedures an easy one. Heart surgery is a daunting experience for the patient and the patient's family but the empathy, concern and self-confidence evident in Dr. Castro's manner will put you at ease."
-- George DiMundo, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 06/01/2017
"Couldn't ask for a better experience. Doctor Castro and his staff were excellent. The hospital and staff were exceptional. I am doing well and feel good"
-- David Wall, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 05/18/2017
"Dr. Castro went over the whole procedure with me and my wife, his team assisted us on every step the day before the surgery and Sequoia Hospital team over see my recovery with the best cares, able to received my discharge four days after the procedure. Now with less than two months from my surgery, I'm back to work out every morning. Thank you Dr. Castro and Sequoia Hosipital. "
-- william wong, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 03/27/2017
"Dr. Castro and Dr. Harmon were amazing. They obviously know what they are doing and have incredible bedside manners to go along with being world class surgeons. Their staff is great. The nursing staff at Sequoia was A+. The ICU nurses were out of the world. Competence and compassion on steroids. I cannot imagine a better experience with medical staff and facilities with such an important surgery. My life is much better and my family and I are forever thankful."
-- Pyare Begerhotta, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 01/12/2017
"Dr Castro made an experience that could have been terrifying into a calm, professional, educational personal event. It has been just over 6 months, and I just went ocean kayaking for the first time. I am ready for my new life. Thank you Dr Castro."
-- Billy Houck, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 12/30/2016
"My son, Steven, knew I was having a very hard time breathing which we discovered was caused by a failing mitral valve which had been replaced 12 years ago. So it appeared that I would have to have it replaced again; I am 88 years old and did not want to have open heart surgery again. Because of that, I had been looking into the idea of having a transcatheter replacement of the mitral valve at UC Davis and had many tests done to see if I was a candidate. However, because this is still in the experimental stages, I was unsure it would be successful so Steve decided to research additional heart surgeons on the internet and discovered Dr. Luis Castro, lead heart surgeon at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, CA.
He made an appointment for me to see Dr. Castro in early December. When we met with Dr. Castro, he reviewed the tests that UC Davis had done and told us that not only the mitral valve was failing but the aortic valve (which had also been replaced 12 years ago) was also not working properly. The biggest surprise to me was that he also showed me that my tricuspid valve was damaged because of the other two failing valves. Dr. Castro reviewed all of my options and said that he was sure that he could repair or replace all three valves in a short surgery and felt my heart was strong enough to go through the procedure. He said he could tell I was a fighter and that a lesser woman would likely be in hospice based on the amount of trouble I was having just trying to breathe; oxygen was just not getting to my blood stream due to the blocked valves.
His kindness and confidence was very reassuring and just over a week later I was admitted into Sequoia Hospital for surgery on December 19. The surgery went well, I had 2 valves replaced and the third one repaired in a relatively short 2.5 hour surgery. Afterwards I woke up in the ICU with a wonderful staff of people taking care of me and my very supportive family nearby. I think my recovery went well and I moved to another floor of the hospital where more dedicated and wonderful nurses took great care of me. After leaving the hospital I moved to a rehab facility closer to my home in Marin, for more therapy and then headed home on Jan 13; less than 4 weeks from my surgery. I have ben home a month and a half and am doing very well, driving again and enjoying my life again. My own cardiologist, Dr. Ann Kao is following my progress and has prescribed ongoing therapy to assure a complete recovery. I feel good and positive about my recovery; I can breathe again! That is the main thing!
Thank you Dr. Castro and the heart team at Sequoia Hospital!"
-- Evelyn Gallagher, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, 12/19/2016
"Dr. Luis Castro, Chief Cardiothoracic Surgeon along with Dr. Adam Harmon of The Sequoia Heart ❤️ Institute at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City performed a mitral valve repair on me in November 2016.
I have to say the experience was beyond what I thought it would be... Prior to surgery, Dr. Castro gave me great comfort and guidance with thorough explanations about my mitral valve repair surgery. I was a bit nervous about the mini sternotomy, however Dr. Castro assured me that my incision would be small and it's appearance would be minimal in size. I am three months out of surgery and I can barely see the incision That is the truth!! And, I am very proud to wear my "badge of courage" because it looks that good.
Dr. Castro insisted I call him by his first name Luis ! He is a very personal individual with a "human touch" and I feel 100% better after surgery. My heart is beating with joy... ❤️
Dr. Castro and Dr Harmon paid me a daily visit while hospitalized to check on my well being and that in itself made me stronger with each day. They truly care about their patients ! Post surgery rehabilitation within the hospital was excellent with both physical therapist and respiratory professionals coming by my room daily to give me the tools I needed for recovery.
The new cardiac unit built in 2014 is beautiful to say the least. I had a very clean and private room with a view and the nursing staff is top notch 5 star all the way. They are truly professional and I can say I had an extremely positive experience and surgery at Sequoia Hospital.
I chose Dr Luis Castro as my surgeon and Sequoia Heart Institute for my heart valve surgery and it is the best decision I've ever made ... And I mean that from the bottom of my heart ❤️ "
-- Andrea Reed, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Mini Sternotomy, 11/03/2016
"I had complex open heart surgery, from Doctors Luis J. Castro and Adam L. Harmon, in November 2016. I had a double bypass of my LAD (70% stenosis) and RCA (100% stenosis); a repair of a hole in the septum (wall) between my right and left atriums (ASD); a mitral valve repair to correct severe mitral regurgitation caused by a prolapsed mitral valve, with a ruptured anterior leaflet chordae; and an evaluation of my tricuspid valve for possible repair of tricuspid regurgitation. Dr. Castro did not think my tricuspid valve needed to be repaired, which was a relief to hear, because dual repair of the tricuspid and mitral valves sometimes results in the requirement of a pacemaker and subsequent pacemaker lead tricuspid valve damage, for some patients, requiring later tricuspid valve repair surgery.
I am 69 years old and experienced a stroke and heart attack in 2010. I received 6 stents in 2010, all of which were still patent (open). I had no other medical problems or illnesses. However, my heart was beginning to enlarge, from severe mitral regurgitation, and I didn’t want to die or become disabled from my coronary artery disease or heart failure, if I didn’t have my heart problems fixed. I had become short of breath, while walking around the house.
I was concerned that my age and medical history might increase the surgical risk of morbidity and mortality. I spent approximately one year researching my medical problems and the best surgeons and hospitals that could provide me with the greatest chance of a successful repair of my heart, with the lowest risk of morbidity and mortality. After careful research of the most experienced and reputable heart surgeons and hospitals in America, I narrowed my choice down to heart surgeons in Chicago, New York City, Cleveland, and Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, California.
I chose Doctors Castro and Harmon, at Sequoia Hospital, in Redwood City, California, for the following reasons:
- One of the most experienced heart valve surgeons in America, with one of the highest successful heart valve repair rates.
- Doctors Castro and Harmon have successfully worked together, when necessary, for approximately 20 plus years. When necessary for more extensive heart surgeries, it’s nice to have 2 able heart surgeons working on you simultaneously. It saves time.
- They are much faster than the average heart surgeons, which lessens the risk of brain cell damage, from longer aortic cross clamp and cardio-pulmonary bypass time.
- One of lowest heart surgery mortality and morbidity rates in the nation, particularly for complex surgeries and second surgeries involving older patients with previous heart attacks and surgeries.
- Sequoia is not a teaching hospital with inexperienced heart surgery residents in training.
- Sequoia Hospital is a heart reference center where they perform more successful mitral valve repairs, per year, than average, and have been ranked one of the nation’s leading providers of cardiovascular care for more than three decades.
- Sequoia Hospital is comparatively small; clean; efficient; caring; competent; and unbureaucratic. The other hospitals I considered were so large, bureaucratic, and impersonal, that I was never able to speak with the surgeon. This was a major concern when there was a real, albeit small, risk that I could die during my surgery. Doctors Castro and Harmon always made time to answer my questions and concerns, whether by phone, email, or in person.
I was impressed with the flowchart-like efficiency of Sequoia Hospital’s cardiovascular care department and their dedicated, hard working, caring employees. Unlike large university medical centers, Sequoia Hospital gives personal care to its patients and every patient has a private room where his or her spouse may stay with the patient. Everything is conveniently located and in close proximity. Cardiologists, heart surgeons, and labs, are all in one building next to the hospital. You will be able to speak to Doctors Castro and Harmon personally. They are nice people and caring, dedicated doctors. Lastly, contrary to what you may have seen or thought, the surgery doesn’t really hurt very much. Though I had a mini-sternotomy, I never had to use any pain killers stronger than Tylenol, after hospital discharge.
Twelve weeks after my surgery, I feel substantially recovered. I now run 2 to 3 miles a day on my treadmill and have more stamina than any time before my surgery from Doctors Castro and Harmon.
I am very satisfied with Doctor Castro’s and Doctor Harmon’s surgical skills, judgment, and care. The quality of their work exceeded my expectations, based on the information I gained from their internet videos."
-- Ronald Yamamoto, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Mini Sternotomy, 11/02/2016
"I had a wonderful experience with Dr. Castro and his teams. They were very knowledgeable, informative, pleasant and comforting. I would recommend him for any procedure needed. Dr. Castro was very thorough when ever he came to see me in my room! "
-- Stephen Herdll, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Robotic Surgery, 10/22/2016
"Dr. Castro put us at ease immediately at my first appointment. He went over the ECHO and we discussed options for my valve repair. He put information into understandable language and answered questions for what seemed like hours. He was respectful, knowledgeable, and we never felt rushed in his office. Making the decision that he would be my surgeon was easy.
His staff were phenomenal in the pre-op period. They answered questions, helped me with setting up my further testing and medical leave, and set up a room at Sequoia House for my family. The actual pre-op day was easy and planned well. I met my Nurse Navigator for the heart surgery as well as Dr. Castro's PA, Taeman Suhr who was just the greatest! I got all the pre-op testing and info and again, it was unrushed and well scheduled.
My surgery went as planned and Dr. Castro talked to my friends and family post-op. My experience in the hospital was better than I ever expected. The staff were phenomenal, experienced, professional, and very caring.
Dr. Castro has been available to me post-op for questions.
He has helped me with recommendations for Cardiology sub specialty care, and I truly value his insight and trust his judgement.
Besides his wonderful manner, his program at Sequoia has published their data for number and type of procedures, pump/bypass time, as well as procedure related mortality and their results are far better than average.
I am 19 weeks post-op, my valve is working perfectly, I am in better shape that I was pre-op, and I have no pain or ill effects.
Dr. Castro is a rock star and the program he has built at Sequoia with Dignity Health is the best! A million stars for all of them!!"
-- Ellen Leng, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Mini Sternotomy, 09/28/2016
"Very professional. Surgery performed in a small hospital with a very experienced surgical team. Dr. Castro had performed about 5,000 similar surgeries prior to mine. My results are exactly as Dr. Castro promised, with no complications. I do not take any heart medicine and have normal sinus rhythm. Am able to do all physical activities I wish with no limitations-except for the normal limitations of a 67 year old! I feel extremely fortunate that I was able to have Dr. Castro perform my surgery. I would say he saved my life- for which I am so grateful."
-- Hank Masterson, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, Maze Procedure, 09/09/2016
"All I need to say is that I was completely, truly, and surely blessed by my experience at Sequoia Hospital / Dignity Health in Redwood City, CA. I was born with a Bicuspid aortuc valve and was truly scared. I had a Cardiac cath at MGH in Marin county and the Chief Nurse told me about Dr Luis Castro and Dr. Adam Harmon at Sequoia Health. She took me under her wing as her husband was a patient of Dr Castro's and she set me right up for surgery the next day. I transferred down there and Dr Castro and Dr Harmon were there to meet me. Their bedside manner was beyond reproach and they made me feel great. I instantly knew I was in the right place and had no fear anymore. These Dr's are the Best and they make you feel like you will be up and running soon. I was in surgery the next morning at 6.30am and what a magnificent job they did. I was walking the following day and pain was almost non-existent. The staff in ICU was and is the finest anywhere and they treat you with Dignity, respect, and just pure concern and love. The nursing staff, I beleive, were sent from heaven and honestly, when i was transferred to Cardiac specialties unit, I did not want to leave...WHAT????? This is a true story and I am proof. Every single person at Sequoia Hospital was the absolute best at what they do and all of them truly care about your well being. Dr Luis Castro, Dr. Adam Harmon, I owe you a million thank you's. This was a major surgery and you made it so very pleasant and uplifting with your skill, caring, and attention to all details. There is no other place I would reccomend for Heart surgery than Sequoia Hospital / Dignity Health as I know they have the best surgeon's, the best ICU, CSU, and admin staff that is currently available. I went in with 18% ejection fraction and now am enjoying 40% and it has only been 5 weeks since surgery. I feel great and am walking 8 miles per day. I told Dr. Harmon that it only hurts when I laugh, but he is so funny, I was laughing every time he came in to the room. Thank you to everyone at Sequoia Hospital. You are the best and that is a fact...Jon Carroll"
-- Jon Carroll, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 08/23/2016
"I had an excellent surgical experience with Dr. Luis Castro and his team at Sequoia Hospital. Due to endocarditis, I had a severely damaged mitral valve. Dr. Castro, with his expertise and skill, was able to repair my valve. I feel so fortunate that he was my surgeon! The entire team was outstanding. Also, the care I received at Sequoia Hospital was first rate. I couldn't have been happier with the results!
I'm from Southern California, and initially consulted with surgeons closer to home. However, after consulting with Dr. Castro, his demeanor and spirit made me feel very confident--not to mention his unbeatable credentials! I knew right away that he was the surgeon for me.
I also want to add that pre and post surgery, Dr. Castro was always accessible to any questions or concerns that I had. That means a lot when going through open heart surgery.
I had an excellent surgical experience with Dr. Luis Castro and his team at Sequoia Hospital. It couldn't have been better!"
-- Nancy Aguayo, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Mini Sternotomy, 08/19/2016
"Dr. Luis Castro, Dr. Adam Harmon, and their team (Melissa, Elizabeth, Tina, and Taemin) at Sequoia Hospital did an outstanding job with my surgery.
During our first meeting, Dr. Castro explained all planned surgical procedures in details and answered all questions. His positive demeanor and confidence put my wife and me at ease. Dr. Castro is very approachable and easy to talk to, which makes the stressful experience of a heart surgery easier to go through.
Both pre and post-surgery Dr. Castro made himself accessible to any questions or concerns. Dr. Harmon and/or Dr. Castro visited me daily after the surgery and they stayed on top of things the whole time. They work very close with nurses and hospital staff and the whole team is truly amazing.
I don’t think my surgical experience with Dr. Castro and his team could have been any better and I’m forever grateful to him for giving me a new lease of life. I would whole-heartedly recommend Dr. Castro to anyone facing a heart surgery."
-- Paul Sydell, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Maze Procedure, 08/04/2016
"As close to perfect as one can get. Dr. Castro is absolutely superb both as a surgeon and aa a caring and friendly person. I have already recommended him to a friend who is having the same procedure with him."
-- Don Yates, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 08/03/2016
"In August summer of 2016 I found out my husband Michael Rabe, had to have an Aortic valve replacement. My husband was born with Aortic Stenosis and had his first valve repair at ten years old. The repair lasted until adulthood but at 39, he had to have Aortic Valve Replacement surgery. The surgery was done at a teaching hospital and had major complications. He was supposed to have a human valve but due to complications a Bovine Tissue Valve was placed instead. The first incision was made by an intern doctor and his Aorta was nicked causing him to bleed quickly. He flat lined for seven minutes during the time it took to hook him up to the heart lung machine. He woke up in intensive care and was there for one week. The experience was very traumatic and recovery long and difficult. So, knowing of his past experience I was terrified for him to go under the knife yet again for a major surgery. After a lot of research and prayer we were placed into the hands of a Sequoia Hospital Cardiatric surgeon. Dr. Castro, Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery along with Dr. Harmon, Cardiothoracic Surgeon diagnosed Mike with Aortic Valve Stenosis, Ascending Aneurysm; Incisional Hernia. (He also had a hernia that needed to be fixed from his last surgery.) With much discussion, we decided to go with a mechanical valve replacement. Both Surgeons agreed it was a high-risk surgery but were confident that his experience would be completely different from his last traumatic surgery. Mike and I would like to share our story regarding this experience working with Castro’s team.
The days leading up to his surgery were very scary for Mike and emotional for both of us. Dr. Castro's staff were like angels walking us through the process. Melissa Sandez, the office receptionist was absolutely a Godsend to us. She called us throughout the day and step by step informed us with every detail we needed to know for surgery day. Mike had a lot of pre-op tests and she personally came down from her office and met us to check in. She was so sensitive and genuinely cared about our feelings and concerns we had. She set us up for a consultation with Dr. Castro. The very first meeting with him he listened very closely to Mike's story and walked us through our options. Dr. Castro met again with us and went over step by step what would happen during the surgery. It was not hard to talk to him and he was not impersonal, even though he is a highly-accomplished doctor. He possesses a humble demeanor and does not have a larger than life ego despite all the skilled surgeries he performs. We had met with other highly skilled surgeons but Mike felt comfortable right away with Dr. Castro communicating his needs. Dr. Castro was so sensitive with Mike and related to him on a guy to guy level. Mike could really talk to him and explain what his worries were without feeling anxiety. Dr. Harmon also took the time to introduce himself to Mike and assured him that he was in good hands. Dr. Harmon has a great sense of humor that eases everyone but also is very careful and meticulous regarding care for his patients. He was there every step of the way from the beginning until the end.
During the surgery, everything went well and Tina Collins was our nurse navigator. She would let us know how the surgery was going and checked in with us several times. She exuded a confidence and strength that reassured us things were running smoothly. I had her contact information close and called her often during the days to follow as well. She always answered or got back to me right away. I probably interrupted her lunch sometimes but she still answered. Her compassion for her job definitely shined through. Mike was really worried about the breathing tube and Dr. Castro personally was there in ICU to take it out. Tina made sure to let me know as well because I was worried about that being traumatic.
During Mike's stay in the hospital the nurses were great. We especially remember nurse Marcy who made us smile and treated us with respect and sensitivity. Mike has never experienced such love and genuine care. She greeted us by saying, “We have been expecting you and have heard all about you. You are someone special!” She made us feel like old friends and she never felt like a stranger. Dr. Castro and Dr. Harmon made rounds to visit us throughout the week. They all took pictures with our two little girls and told Mike jokes even though Mike could not laugh at them. Dr. Taemin Surh, PA came by each day to check on Mike as well. He had a way of encouraging Mike to walk each day, do his breathing exercises and helped him gain confidence. The medical team was strong and really pulled Mike through the difficult times. We really appreciated all they did for us and it made this stressful time go as smoothly as could.
Lastly, we want to thank Dr. Castro for recommending Dr. Tom Hinohara who continues to care for Mike post operation. Mike could not have been in better hands with this medical team. Before his surgery and probably every time I saw the team, I would say, “This guy has been through a lot so please take care of him!” Not only did they take care of him but they over exceeded our expectations so much. I really feel that God sent us to Dr. Castro and the caring team at Sequoia Hospital. Something in my heart told me to make that call to his office that day and I’m so glad I did. Mike was in good hands and continues to receive good care. His recovery has been a constant adjustment to the mechanical valve, and being on Coumadin for the rest of his life will be challenging, but this experience has allowed him his life! For that we are forever grateful. The Rabe Family"
-- Michael Rabe, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 08/01/2016
"Dr. Castro is a very experienced, knowledgeable surgeon. He has no problem connecting with other doctors if there are other medical issues involved. A very caring and confident surgeon, who is also very likeable and responsive to questions and concerns. I had every confidence in him. He would definitely be my choice again, if I outlive my new valve. And If wearing a bikini is important, he makes the smallest incision, but that scar is a reminder of a new lease on life. Cheers, to a new life experience."
-- Marilyn Canon, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, 07/25/2016
"All very positive and am impressed with the skill of Dr. Castro and the Sequoia team."
-- Bastiaan Saarloos, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, Maze Procedure, 07/20/2016
"I am a 52 year old female that exercised regularly and was in good health other than a birth defect with my Aortic Valve. I had an amazing experience! (not that I want to do it again) from my first consultation with Dr. Castro until the end of treatment I was very happy with my surgeon and his team. I always felt like Dr. Castro took time to answer all my questions and never felt rushed by him or staff. He was always accessible to me by phone if something came up. I had discomfort, but not the pain or scar that I was expecting. I kept saying " I sure don't feel like I just had open heart surgery". My incision is only about 3-4 inches long and in only 6 weeks is disappearing quickly. I was out of the hospital in 4 days and walking the neighbor hood after the first week. I would recommend Dr. Castro to anyone that is needing this procedure. "
-- Jill Wood, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 07/07/2016
"Dr. Castro is great! On our first visit he spent over an hour with my wife and me, describing the procedure he would like to do if possible. After surgery, he spent time with my family explaining the surgery as it occurred. On our follow-up visit he was willing to answer any questions i had and still spent plenty of time with us. My experience with doctors has been they spend a minimum amount of time with there patients. I am thankful we went to Dr. Luis Castro for my surgery. It has been almost 20 weeks since my surgery and I am doing fine."
-- Robert Harper, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 05/22/2016
"Dr. Castro was recommended to me by Dr. Carlson of Fremont, CA to have my aorta valve replaced. The first one was done about 6 years ago and became defective. Once the appointment was made my husband and I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Castro, it was a go. We found him very friendly and caring about what was to happen for the surgery. The surgery was done on 4/14/16 with pre-op on the 13th. Everything went well on the surgery date and afterward Dr. Castro met with my husband to tell him everything went well and he said she would live until she was 113 years old.
The complete surgery team were wonderful and made me feel at ease throughout the procedure and the special care they give you in the CCU was excellent.
There was a glitch after surgery. The very next day I experienced no feeling on my left side. Dr. Castro and Dr. Harmon immediately sent me to have a CT scan. It proved that I did not have a stroke and something broke off during surgery. Within a day or two my feeling started to return and totally returned by the time I left the hospital. Due to the complication I was kept in the CCU until 4/19. Each day it was a great feeling of comfort to see the smiling face of Dr. Castro and his loving care. After being sent up to the Cardiac Unit he continued along with Dr. Harmon to see me each day until they dismissed me on 4/25/16. At that time I elected to go to Fremont Health Care for physical therapy.
They provided excellent therapy for physical and respiratory and I progressed very well. Do to the heartbeat they elected to have a pace maker put in for safety reasons on 4/23/16.
The total experience was one not to fear under Dr. Luis Castro's care. I would strongly recommend Dr. Castro to anyone facing this type of surgery. A truly caring and loving man to all his patients.
The Sequoia Hospital provided a room for my husband while I was there. A truly wonderful place to be when the staff does all they can to make their loved ones feel at home."
-- Thelma Jane Miller, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 04/14/2016
"We traveled from El Paso, Texas to the Bay Area to have this surgery with Dr Castro. My daughter did some research and found Dr. Luis Castro. We had a phone consultation with him and from there we knew that he would be the perfect surgeon for my condition. One day prior to surgery, we had a pre-op visit with him in his office, where much detail was given regarding my aortic valve replacement and CABG with LIMA to the LAD. The surgery went very well and we were discharged on day 5 post-op and traveled home back to Texas on day 7 post-op.
I cannot express my gratitude for Dr Castro's great ability not only as a surgeon, but as a genuine human being that really cares for his patients. All his staff, including Dr Harmon, his PA, and Elizabeth are also amazing. And last, the care at Sequioa Hospital also deserve an A+. It has been a month since my surgery and I feel great, more energized and have started cardiac rehabilitation. My cardiologist here in town was amazed when he saw me 10 days post-op at this office. He says he had never seen such a great incision and he complimented me as to how good I looked. And although I dont plan on having heart surgery any time soon, I would not hesitate to return with Dr Castro in the future. "
-- Mario Quesadilla, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 04/13/2016
"Pre and post, the surgeon was the best! During the surgery, I was not awake. The outcome exceeded my expectations. I was out of the hospital in four days and walking four miles a day within a week."
-- Willard Nutting, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 04/13/2016
"I was impressed with Dr. Castro because he is very personable and very attentive to my situation. He answered all my questions and offered information that put me at ease. And, I was comfortable and confident of his surgical capabilities and skills.
He replaced my aortic valve and also took the initiative to repair an aortic root aneurysm. My recovery was routine at the hospital as well as at home. I was walking over one mile daily after four weeks and I will be back at playing regular golf in four months.
I believe Dr. Castro is one of the best heart surgeons in the country and has performed thousands cardiac surgeries The surgery well and much better than I expected. I had no issues or complications and my outcome was great. Dr. Castro's staff and the nurses were very capable and professional. The Sequoia Hospital Heart Center is new, bright, cheery, very clean and well maintained.
If you need heart surgery, there are none better than Dr. Castro and Sequoia Hospital. "
-- Jerry Hromyko, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Root Replacement, 04/07/2016
"I had a thoracic aorta aneurysm which was growing to the danger point, and so I received a graft replacement. Dr Castro also did a Maze procedure due to an arrhythmia condition, and ligated the left atrial appendage. Excellent communication, and the surgical results seem to be perfect so far! Ps I answered ‘aortic valve’ above (no check possible for ‘other’) but it was ok. I would certainly trust Dr Castro and his team with valve repair too."
-- C. Briggs, Aortic Valve, Root Replacement, Maze Procedure, 04/05/2016
"This was my second bypass surgery, the first with the Sequoia Hospital and this team of doctors. From the first meeting with Dr. Castro & Dr. Harmon, they put me at ease. Their bedside manner was excellent! They were very informative and answered all the family's questions. My results were phenomenal, my recovery was much quicker than the first time around; and I truly feel it was because of this excellent medical team. I would recommend them to anyone having heart surgery."
-- Janice Rogers, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 04/03/2016
"I whole-heartedly recommend Dr. Luis Castro to anyone who needs to undergo heart surgery. Dr. Castro is competent, caring, and genuine. It's been just over 3 months since my open-heart surgery, which involved aortic valve replacement as well as replacement of a section of the aorta due to aneurysm. I have started my weekend hikes already, and the shortness of breath is all gone!"
-- Javad Khakbaz, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 03/30/2016
"Dr. Castro is, in my opinion, an excellent surgeon who also took time to alleviate my worries about my procedure before surgery. His surgical procedure allowed me a short recovery time and his caring manner was a comfort to me through the whole procedure. A true professional and a nice person."
-- Ken Kuchta, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, 03/25/2016
"Dr. Castro is an outstanding surgeon. In meeting with Dr. Castro, in advance of surgery, he explained in an easy to understand manner the entire process of why I need an Aortic Valve replacement, how the surgery would be performed, post surgery support and needs and answered all my questions. His personal and professional style provided me with a high level of confidence with the surgery, His post surgery visits in the hospital were very comforting in reviewing the results of the surgery, which were a total success. His style is refreshing, uplifting and left me feeling great about everything, I highly recommend Dr Castro as the surgeon of choice regarding heart surgery, an outstanding surgeon and person."
-- Joseph Pietro, Aortic Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, Maze Procedure, 03/24/2016
"I experienced the best surgical results. Perfect!"
-- Rodger Simonian, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 02/08/2016
"Dr. Castro provided me with a surgical experience that can only be described as awesome. The pre-op meeting with him was explanatory and comforting (for my husband as well as for me). His entire team, including his associate Dr. Harmon, inspired confidence and provided necessary information before and after surgery. The Cardiac Unit at Sequoia Hospital is a new and a state-of-the-art facility with a friendly and efficient support staff. Dr. Castro is a delightful gentleman and I am very grateful to him and his entire staff for giving me a new lease on life! "
-- Dana Weir, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 01/14/2016
"This was my third major surgery in my 91 years and by far the easiest. My motto has been to find the best surgeon and hospital and then follow their instructions. Dr. Castro is an excellent surgeon and staff manager. Always ready to answer questions and give good advice. When I told him at a post op meeting that I had no pain at any time he said that was not unusual for someone my age. Thanks! The attention and comfortable support of the hospital staff was outstanding and led to what turned out to be a most rapid recovery backed up by 10 days at a skilled nursing facility near home after 8 days at Sequoia Hospital. I'm all set now with Dr. Castro's 20 year guarantee."
-- Bruce Oliver, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 01/14/2016
"I had my first AVR in 09/2011, I was born with a bicusbid aortic valve that required replacement at age 53, I went with a Medtronic Mosaic Porcine valve that my body subsequently clotted 4.2 years later, hence, my second AVR in 4.2 years was 01/06/16. I went with a Bovine valve this time, and they have me on Warfarin for six months even though it is not a mechanical valve.
Dr. Castro, Medical Director, Cardiac Surgery at Sequoia Hospital Redwood City Ca., Who insist you call him by his first name Luis, is an outstanding surgeon with the demeanor of your "Best Friend", excellent bedside manor, very approachable and easy to talk to. Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City Ca. is highly renowned for their excellent outcome history with AVR and many other cardiothoracic surgeries.
Having been through this twice at Sequoia Hospital in 4.2 years, I can confidently say that Dr. Castro, his team and Sequoia Hospital are truly a medical "Dream Team".
If I ever have to revisit this process again, it will only be with Dr. Castro and the Sequoia team.....I thank God for all of them."
-- Dennis Orsag, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, 01/06/2016
"Dr. Luis Castro is awesome! Very gentle bedside manner and explains everything very clearly. Truly very caring. I feel like a brand new person, better than I've felt in years! Post op follow-up is awesome too!"
-- Deborah Saenz, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 12/02/2015
"I recommend going to the Sequoia Hospital website and view Dr. Castro's videos. I believe they are also on you-tube. I watched his videos and liked him immediately. When I met him in person I was pleased that he matched the expectations I had made about him. Great communication skills, excellent bedside manner, and an excellent experienced heart valve surgeon. That is not me saying that, but it is what everyone at the hospital told me that when they found out who my surgeon was... I do have to agree."
-- Bruce Gallmeyer, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, Median Sternotomy, Maze Procedure, 11/30/2015
"Thank God I found Dr Castro. I traveled from Pennsylvania to San Francisco because I felt comfortable with him. He is the best surgeon and sweetest man. He is always available, His team was great, nurses and hospital all played a part of my outcome and healing! He has been available for me throughout my recovery...I would recommend him to anyone that needs heart surgery! "
-- Jean Knappik, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Root Replacement, 11/25/2015
"I found Dr. Luis Castro to be totally professional and a good friend. I highly recommend him."
-- Al Zaninovich, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 10/27/2015
"The best across the board! Dr. Castro will take the time to give you honest and complete answers."
-- Lee Mortimer, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, Maze Procedure, 10/07/2015
"Dr. Castro did a great job on my heart valves repair. He is also a very caring person, and compared with some other doctors I saw at the Mayo clinic in Arizona, and a surgeon in Stanford, Dr Castro is by far the best. I recommend anyone who needs a reliable and knowledgeable heart surgeon, to seek him out, you can trust him."
-- Langston chinn, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Maze Procedure, 10/06/2015
"Better treatment than I could ever imagine. Dr Castro always promotes his team at Sequoia Hospital and it shows in the care I received. I was and am still full of confidence in his care. My treatment was an emergency, so I did not have a lot of time to research my doctor and hospital but my cardiologist in San Luis Obispo spoke of both the hospital and Dr Castro in glowing terms. Since my surgery, Dr Castro has stayed closely in touch with me about my recovery. His partner in surgery, Dr Adam Harmon, was also excellent."
-- Maurice Heagren, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, Maze Procedure, 09/16/2015
"One of best hospital experiences of my life. Dr. Castro was very thorough before and after the procedure. He made daily visits during my recovery time in the hospital. He reviewed everything with me on my follow up visit. I was released from the hospital in 4 days, walking day after surgery, and experience almost no pain throughout (pain level 1-3).
I would highly recommend Dr. Castro with no exceptions!"
-- Gregory Clarke, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 09/16/2015
"From the first visit, Dr. Castro made me feel very comfortable and at ease while explaining entire procedure Dr. Castro and his staff were attentive, friendly, and professional. I had no complications from the surgery and recovery has been very good.
I feel fortunate to have had Dr. Luis Castro as my surgeon."
-- James Piccetti, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 09/03/2015
"Dr. Luis Castro and his team are amazing!!! From the very first time I watched his YouTube video "Heart Valve surgery: Minimally invasive mitral valve repair" to the first time we met, I knew that Dr. Castro was someone I could trust. This was made more clear after interviewing him and asking him his own questions put forth in the video and my personal questions that I had written down from my research on the topic of Mitral Valve Regurgitation and Proxysmal Afib and the Maze III procedure.
Dr. Castro answered and demonstrated when necessary every question. We also discussed the possibility of a new valve should a repair not be possible. After Dr. Castro's explanations and demonstrations of each valve, I felt very confident in my decision of the Porcine Valve should the need arise. My husband has had three traumatic brain injuries and can sometimes become lost in too much information coming at him too fast, Dr. Castro seemed to sense that my husband needed more time to process what was being said, and so he patiently walked and re-walked us through any part of the conversation that needed repeating. We were so impressed by Dr. Castro that we knew that no one else would be right for the surgery. His knowledge, his experience, his manners, and above all his reasons for being a one hospital surgeon gave us a well-founded sense of peace and assurance that I could place my life in his hands.
It has been five weeks since my surgery and I could not be more pleased with the results or the care that I received and my husband received at Sequoia Hospital and from Dr. Luis Castro."
-- Charlie Orsburn, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Median Sternotomy, Maze Procedure, 09/02/2015
"Great talented surgeon and a great guy as well. Really cares and is very acessible. I hope I never need him again but I wouldn't think of anyone else touching my heart."
-- HERB POTTER, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 08/05/2015
"I cannot say enough good things about Dr. Castro and his team. Sunshine and rainbows - outstanding and fantastic!!
Dr. Castro is (in my lay opinion) an extremely skilled, talented surgeon and a wonderful, caring human being. He absolutely put me at ease in advance of the surgery, came by at least daily after surgery and was always available for a consult, question etc. two anecdotes:
1. I was going to get a flu shot a number of weeks after my surgery on a Sunday and realized i should probably check and make sure it was ok to do. I texted dr. castro at 1PM (on a sunday) and he texted back within 5 minutes. the pharmacist and their assistant were amazed that a high-powered surgeon would be that responsive
2. reading my post op report i learned that it took them 35 minutes to do the work on my heart (replace the aortic valve). sometimes i can't even write an email in 35 minutes and Dr. Castro and team did a full valve replacement and restarted my heart in that amount of time!!! And as i learned, the faster you are in and out of surgery, minimizing time under anesthesia and time on bypass, the better off you are.
thank you Dr. Castro!"
-- David Selby, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 07/16/2015
"Excellent team. Excellent Hospital and staff. 5+ stars all around. My incision was only 5". Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, California. Wish I could submit a picture of my incision.... Amazing!"
-- James Fitzpatrick, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 07/10/2015
"As a very active 50-something year old (surfer, running, swimming, etc.) I found myself increasingly fatigued even during the day at work and began going home and sleeping for 1-2 hours before dinner.
After being diagnosed with a leaky aortic valve and told by the cardiologist that we should "watch and wait" I found Dr. Castro on Adam Pick's web site and saw him to get a second opinion. He saw me and my wife one week later, and, after reviewing my case history and symptoms of fatigue and enlarged left ventricle, he said, "Why wait? you are symptomatic. If you were my brother I would recommend that you replace your valve this year." Once I knew why I was so tired, I scheduled my surgery immediately. I happen to have spent a lot of time observing open heart surgeries due to my career in the medical industry (Cardiac ultrasound) and I investigated Dr. Castro's surgical outcome statistics: Luis Castro's surgical team has some of the best outcomes statistics on the planet for open heart surgery in general and valve repair specifically. So between his track-record and his knowledgeable and loving patient interactions I knew that I was in good hands and never had a single anxious moment in the weeks or even the final minutes before my surgery. Dr. Castro even gave me his cell phone number so that I could reach him at any time with questions, as he does for all his patients.
The surgery was perfect and I was out of the hospital by day five. Dr. Castro and all of his surgical team came and saw me at least twice during that week. Sequoia Hospital post-surgical care is special because they assigned the same nurses (day and night shifts) to watch me during my time there.
I texted Dr. Castro on my one year anniversary and said, "Thank you for doing such a great job with my surgery. You made the extraordinary routine." And he did: he performed a mini-sternotomy to access my AV, which made my recovery quicker I believe.
Luis and I have since become friends with Luis and he and I surf together. He is a caring and giving doctor and person: he regularly has volunteered to see patients one day per week in the "free clinic" in San Francisco. I have also attended surgery with him and watched how he works. He works quickly in order to minimize time "on pump" so that in the rare case some complication arises he has more time. He works with great confidence and leadership. He and I have talked since about his unwillingness to compromise during surgery to leave a patient with an average result if he can improve the patient's prospects with a second effort during surgery. I was even more impressed with his skill after watching him operate on complex cases than before my own surgery.
I recommend Dr. Castro without hesitation.
I hope that he is still performing surgery 20 years from now if I need a second valve."
-- Tom Fitzmorris, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 04/13/2015
"I am a central california Dentist who had open heart surgery by Dr. Castro two weeks ago. I have been home for a week and am doing fine. The anxiety of going into this kind of surgery is natural but some thing took place during our pre surgical conference that totally put me at ease. Dr. Castro asked me who my former cardiologist was [before my present one], when I told him he very casually said that he had done open heart surgery on this person a few years ago. That told me volumes. My former cardiologist [who knew them all] choose Dr. Castro for his own surgery. What better recommendation could there be.
The surgery, while complicated, came off without a problem. I am pain free and recovering rapidly. Thank you Dr.Castro and Team."
-- Frank Benneyan, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, Root Replacement, 02/27/2015
"I highly praise and recommend Dr. Castro as an absolutely excellent surgeon and very fine person. He was extremely attentive to me from prior to my entering the hospital and throughout my stay; then I had several meetings with him and his associate, Dr. Harmon, following my release from the Sequoia Hospital.
This was the most serious experience I've ever had, but I felt very confident and comfortable with Dr. Castro. I give him the highest recommendation possible to anyone facing cardiac-surgery; and if I ever require such a procedure again, I would want Dr. Castro as the surgeon."
-- Charles Senteney, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Bloodless Surgery, 02/24/2015
"Dr. Castro was fantastic! He got a surgical team together, on MY schedule, the day after Christmas so I'd be home by New Year's (& so my insurance paid 100%). I saw Dr. Adam Harmon (asst surg) more often because of the holidays: he sat on my bed & we chatted several times. He managed my very difficult to manage pain, doing everything he could & kept me in ICU an extra day so I'd be more comfortable. He got after the nursing staff in the step down unit when they decided to minimize my pain meds vs following HIS orders. He genuinely cared about me & never made me feel I was being difficult. Adam & Luis make a great team: my floppy mitral valve was repaired for good with a mini sternotomy & I was only inpatient 5 days. Can't say enough about the ICU nurses either--caring, compassionate & professional. "
-- Jennifer Miller, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Mini Sternotomy, 12/26/2014
"Dr. Castro is open, friendly, clear, thorough, warm, professional, and confidence-inspiring. He also was recommended as the best heart surgeon in the Bay Area by two other cardiologists who have no other relationship with him. The team Dr. Castro has assembled is also excellent, including Dr. Harmon, the anesthesiologist, and the Physician's Assistant. I felt the explanations before the surgery and the multiple visits after surgery (in the hospital) were helpful and caring. Given that I required an aortic heart valve replacement, I am very pleased with the pre- and post-treatment I received from Dr. Castro and his team."
-- John Wallace, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 10/30/2014
"Dr. Castro is the best and most caring doctor I have ever had the pleasure to meet. He worked with my wife and I to patiently explain my condition of "Severe Mitral Regurgitation". He carefully reviewed the echo-cardiograms with me and even drew pictures when I didn't understand an issue related to my Mitral Valve. I was asymptomatic and Dr. Castro answered all of the questions my wife and I had during the 9 months leading to my surgery, even when he knew I was still trying to decide on a heart surgeon to perform my surgery.
I went to see 4 heart surgeons and 3 Cardiologists and after careful review I selected Dr. Castro and Sequoia hospital. The surgery was extremely successful and after 1 day in ICU I was up and walking. Dr. Castro and the staff at Sequoia hospital are extremely professional and very caring. Everyone from the people working to clean, shave, feed and nurse me back to health were extremely attentive and I continue to receive follow up calls at home.
I would highly recommend Dr. Castro and Sequoia hospital for anyone that may need heart valve surgery. He is not only a fantastic surgeon but a very caring person as are his staff at Sequoia hospital."
-- Pat Sarceda, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 10/14/2014
"Not only is Dr. Luis Castro an incredibly skilled surgeon, he also explained the procedures for replacing my aortic valve and repairing my ascending aortic aneurysm in a way that settled my anxiety and gave me confidence about what was ahead.
He performed this miracle through a 4 1/4 inch incision at the sternum that has resulted in an almost pain-free recovery since leaving the hospital. I haven't taken anything for pain since the third day after discharge.
I have been home for 3 weeks and take several walks every day: the longest is 2.8 miles which takes 48 minutes and the shortest is 20 minutes. (This is a little longer than recommended in the material sent home with me.) The only pain I am having occurs when I cough or sneeze. Thank goodness for the chest pillow and the chest harness given to me!
Dr. Castro's bedside manner and that of the team of care providers who work with him was the most caring and responsive you can imagine. He emphasized to me that the quality and compassion of care after surgery are as important as the surgery itself in giving the patient the best experience possible. It was evident with each and every person who nursed me toward recovery that his commitment to excellence was a culture that everyone involved with cardiac care buys into at Sequoia Hospital!
It felt like I was his only patient in a private hospital catering just to me! He stopped by every day before and after surgery: even on the day that he was called in to deal with an emergency early in the day and didn't finish with the surgery until late in the day. He stopped by to see how I was doing at 11:30 p.m. before leaving for home that night. In addition to that, he made it possible for me to get in touch with him if I had any questions before or after surgery.
While there are no guarantees regarding the outcome of heart procedures, I can guarantee that the likelihood of a great outcome is the highest if Dr. Castro and Dr. Harmon are your surgeons. They did an amazing job of making the surgery and subsequent recovery an almost painless experience. Everything went exactly as Dr. Castro said it would and I am among the 99 plus % who are delighted to be here to share my experience!"
-- Mike Ramsey, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, Root Replacement, 10/14/2014
"Dr. Castro saved my life. My heart was in such bad shape that I couldn’t take more than a few steps without gasping for breath. I desperately needed an aortic valve replacement.
I found out that Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City is one of the top hospitals in the US for cardiac care, with Dr. Castro heads and shoulders above most cardiac surgeons for the number of heart valves replaced per year with positive outcomes.
Despite his busy schedule, Dr. Castro took the time to explain the procedure in detail and answered all my questions. On September 30, 2014, he replaced my aortic heart valve, and today I am a new man. I would recommend this incredible doctor, and his team of highly skilled professionals, to anyone in need of cardiac care.
-- Ronald Sommer, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Maze Procedure, 09/30/2014
"I had aortic valve replacement in September of 2014 performed by Dr. Castro. I have had an outstanding experience which I would like to share as it may help others like me.
I was very scared of surgery which was unfortunately unavoidable. As a result, I did a lot of searching, reading and even watching the surgery on YouTube. I spoke to several doctors and surgeons as well.
The key is to find who the best surgeons for this type of surgery is, and Dr. Castro is there in the top 5-10 in the world - or at least among ones I could find or have access too. The hospital where he and his team operate, Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, specializes in heart surgery and is rated in top 10 or 15. (Stanford is not even in this group).
To me Dr. Castro is the best surgeon in the world! How do I justify that?
(a) He is very fast. The amount of time you spend on heart/lung machine, while your heart is stopped is very important. (the more time you spent – the more likely you will get out brain damaged). For most surgeons the time your heart is not beating is close to 1hr or more. Dr. Castro did mine in 29 minutes (his average is 30min). I heard the fastest he did is 17 minutes.
(b) Second important point is the team. Dr. Castro has been 15 years at Sequoia and he and his team can read each other’s mind. To be that fast, one needs a good team, and Dr. Castro has that. He is very much liked by his team, his nurses and hospital staff. They love him and this is very important too.
(c) Dr. Castro’s mortality rate in the last 3 years is ZERO. He would not undertake any new procedure unless it has zero mortality rate. He cares about that. Thus, you can be sure that he does not want to ruin his record, so you will be fine. However, the week I was released he operated on 89 year old lady changing both valve: aortic and mitral. This is confidence!
(d) He is very calm and (I heard never loses his temper under pressure). This is very important if things go wrong.
(e) He is not overworked or over-committed, by his choice. He operates Tuesdays and Thursdays, so he is fresh and rested for your surgery. The rest of the days he is seeing patients in the hospital and he and his team were at my bedside every day I was there.
(f) His two anesthesiologists (Dr. Bradly and Dr. Paris) are the two angels. They were extremely important to me as I was not going to go into this surgery, neither willingly (nor alive). They will talk to you, calm you down and suddenly – you wake up - and it is all over!
(g) The care after surgery works very well in Sequoia. I slept most of the time and every time I woke up, I felt stronger. The nurses would take good care of you and I would recommend that you do not have visitors – they may tire you (that may apply even to your wife or husband). You do not need them as you will be totally taken care off by the excellent staff of nurses.
(h) The incision Dr. Castro made is quite small – about 4” and the scar is not very visible. To me this is unimportant, but if you are a lady and care for it – he does a great job with that too.
Finally, Dr. Castro is very approachable, down to earth and very charming. Once you meet him, your heart will tell you: “stop, do not look any further – I want this guy!” He will call you back personally, answer your email and I suspect, if you ask him to give you a ride home from the hospital – he will do it. But please do not! Many people need him critically, so be respectful of his time.
My recovery was fantastic. I heard from Dr. Castro that some people went to meetings 3 weeks after the surgery. The normal recovery time is 6 weeks.
I went to work in 1 week! (not that I did much, but I made the point) However the day after I worked 3 hrs, second week part time, third week overtime and in the fourth week I even picked up another consulting job. (my work is desk / computer job, so not very hard). However, I hope I did beat every record in recovery time!
It has been 5 weeks since my surgery and I feel very strong, walking without getting tired and I have energy like never before. "
-- Vojin G Oklobdzija, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 09/17/2014
"We expected excellence (my wife was the patient), Dr. Castro and his colleagues delivered it.
We chose to fly in from out of state, based on (a) the world-class morbidity and mortality statistics of this program, (b) the mini-sternotomy option, and (c) the remarkably open and welcoming approach of Dr. Castro and his staff.
Early on Dr. Castro readily accepted our request for a FaceTime interview, answered all of our questions and welcomed follow up contact. His office arranged the angiogram for the day prior to surgery, and arranged housing for us in the Sequoia House. He has remained accessible weeks after the surgery.
As expected (from the level of excellence reflected in the statistics) the entire program was on top of its game. Cardiology, Anesthesia, Nursing, Respiratory Therapy, Physical Therapy all delivered top level service.
We were not surprised when immediately after surgery Consumers Reports listed this program as one of only 15 in the country to achieve CR's highest ranking."
-- Ronald Bliss, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, 07/02/2014
"I had an aortic valve replacement at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City. I highly recommend doctor Castro and his team. I wanted to have a less invasive procedure if possible, and they are very skilled in the mini-sternotomy. Not all cardiologists and cardiac surgeons are easy to talk to, but Doctor Castro definitely is. Doctor Castro was available for questions before surgery.
He and his team visited at least once a day while I was in the hospital. Although we are from out of town, he has continued to follow up with me and has offered to consult with my local cardiologist.
The nursing staff was also excellent. The facility was a bit dated, but a brand new hospital is set to open very soon, so that will no longer be true.
I am three weeks post surgery and doing very well. "
-- Barbara Hoth, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, 07/02/2014
"Dr. Luis Castro performed a repair for my Mitral Valve with Barlow's syndrome using a mini-sternotomy approach this past June, 2014. My surgery was a success due to the skill and care of Dr. Castro.
He is truly an amazing surgeon and I was most fortunate to have been under the care of Dr. Castro and his surgical team!
Dr. Castro, in addition to being a skilled surgeon, is professional, kind, and a truly genuine person. He was very thorough with my care as well as my follow-up care and always listened to all of my concerns.
My experiences with Sequoia Hospital's Cardiac Surveillance Unit, doctors, and nurses, were exceptional. I felt genuinely cared for by the staff. I cannot say enough positive comments about my experience with Dr. Castro, his surgical team and Sequoia Hospital. I would not hesitate to recommend Dr. Castro, his surgical team, and Sequoia Hospital to my family and/or friends."
-- Patricia K., Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 06/14/2014
"My experience with Dr. Castro was, at all stages of my valve repair surgery, outstanding. Prior to surgery, Dr. Castro went above and beyond the call of duty to be available to respond to any and all questions during my fact gathering phase, and he presented the information I requested through clear and supportive communication.
The surgery itself was very successful, thanks to Dr. Castro's approach and to the team that he assembled, and my recovery has been smooth, rapid, and free of complications since my surgery a month and a half ago. Dr. Castro continues to be available for any follow up questions and concerns that I may have, which is a further extension of his caring, patient-centered approach to consultations and treatment.
After conducting extensive research into treatment and caregiver options prior to surgery, I am certain that I made the right choice in selecting Dr. Castro to perform this critical valve repair operation."
-- Paul K., Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Mini Sternotomy, 06/03/2014
"Dr. Castro did an excellent job on this AVR and my previous AVR 11 years ago! He made my wife and I very comfortable with my decision on a tissue valve and the surgery!"
-- David Baga, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 05/20/2014
"In March of 2014, it was time to get my bicuspid arotic valve replaced. My wife is a cath lab nurse and has access to the diffferent heart valves reps and after many conversations and research it was narrowed to two surgeons. Dr. Castro was the second consult I had and we were immediately sold that Dr. Castro would fix my heart.
Dr. Castro took the time to explain the surgery and the options that were available to replace my valve. Dr. Castro erased all the fear I had about having this surgery and I felt like God just provided me a Guardian Angel to prolong my life.
Dr. Castro has an experienced staff that makes you feel like a celebrity and gives you their undivided attention to make sure your stay at the hosptial is first rate. We were so thankful that we found Dr. Castro and he is the only surgeon that I would recommend."
-- David Augustus, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, Root Replacement, 05/20/2014
"Could not praise Dr. Castro more highly. Very personable in office and hospital, thorough explanation of situation and procedure. Excellent surgical results."
-- Daniel SWISHER, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 05/08/2014
"Dr. Castro will make you feel like you've known him for a long time. He's very honest about the seriousness of of open heart surgery but his experience and his teams experience is unsurpassed. He talks to you, not at you and he has a wonderful sense of humor. More times than not he will call me if I email him with a question; yes, a phone call. Dr Castro removed my ascending aortic aneurysm and was able to preserve my aortic valve rather then replace it."
-- Jim Ciamarro, Aortic Valve, Valve Repair, 08/13/2013
"In my opinion, Dr. Castro is the best cardiac surgeon on the planet. The combination of Dr. Castro and Sequoia Hospital is a team that can't be beat. After the surgery I didn't have even one complication. I actually was released from the hospital a day early, it went that good. I don't care where I'm living in the world if I need another heart related procedure I will seek out Dr. Castro.
I'm riding my dirt bike, jogging and riding my mountain with no issues whatsoever. I feel 20 again. Thanks Dr. Castro. "
-- charles weems, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 07/11/2013
"A superb Surgeon in every sense of the word! The preparation, the actual surgery, and post-op conduct was exceptional. Doctor Castro is an extremely bright and gifted surgeon with a genuinely humanitarian personality. In my view, a "Star" in the United States!"
-- kent dorwin, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 05/15/2013
"This was the second cardiac surgery for me. Dr. Luis Castro is arguably the best valve surgeon in the United States. Compared to the first time, this was almost a non-event. Time spent with me, skill level, bedside manner... All outstanding!"
-- mickey king, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 03/22/2013
"Dr. Castro was incredible!"
-- Brian Newkirk, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Mini Sternotomy, 03/01/2013
"I can't imagine finding a better surgeon. I would give Dr. Castro an A+ in clinical skills, professionalism, caring, compassion, education & bedside manner."
-- Linda Gaudet, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 11/28/2012
"Dr. Luis Castro and his outstanding team at Sequoia Hospital skillfully repaired my Mitral Valve Prolapse with severe regurgitation in July 2012. Eight months prior to my surgery, Dr. Castro generously met with me for an hour to describe the surgery and patiently responded to my long list of questions with honest and thorough explanations. Within 10 minutes of meeting Dr. Castro, I was confident that he was an extremely skilled and professional surgeon who I could trust with my life without reservation. His confident manner, wonderful bedside manner and fantastic sense of humor helped calm my anxieties and kick start my recovery. Throughout the process Dr. Castro was very personable, credible and empathetic to all of my concerns. I highly recommend Dr. Luis Castro and his exceptional team without hesitation. "
-- Aaron Blum, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Mini Sternotomy, 07/19/2012
"Extremely skilled and professional with a great sense of humor to counter my jocular defenses against anxiety (I'm a 70-year old psychologist practicing for 45+ years). I awoke in the ICU to see Dr. Luis Castro standing over me, so I asked him to turn around. A bit perplexed but smiling, he did as I bade. "I don't see wings or a tail," I said, "So, I must still be alive." "I'm afraid so," he smiled. Now, if I have a pork chop, I feel like a cannibal (porcine valve). I recommend him without even the slightest hesitation or qualification."
-- Dr. Joseph Busey, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, Root Replacement, 07/18/2012
"Dr. Luis Castro, my surgeon, was wonderful, informative, straight forward and very positive. My family loved him, as well, as is staff. Awesome!!"
-- Betty Vieira, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 06/25/2012
"My surgeon was wonderful. Doctor Castro was friendly and informative before the surgery and explained both procedures to me and my husband. He was genuinely concerned about my welfare. I am so glad that my cardiologist in Sonora, California recommended him."
-- Joanne Layne, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Maze Procedure, 06/14/2012
"My experience with Dr. Castro can only be described with one word: love. My family and I have nothing but love for Dr. Castro in our hearts. He saved my life and the surgery performed by Dr. Castro and Dr. Harmon has allowed me to resume a normal life, explore kayaking and rafting, and be blessed with getting to know two grandchildren that have been born in the last year.
Dr. Castro is wonderful before, during, and after the surgery. Anyone needing heart valve surgery should consider Dr. Castro as their surgeon!"
-- Dean Bernacchi, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Median Sternotomy, Maze Procedure, 06/12/2012
"Dr. Castro is one of the best surgeons. He has an excellent team at Sequoia Hospital - very warm, confident and caring."
-- Constance Codding, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, 06/09/2012
"Dr. Castro has a wonderful bedside manner and incredible surgical skills. He and his team replaced the mitral valve and reconstructed the left atrium due to a very rare tumor."
-- Tracy Collins, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 05/15/2012
"Dr. Luis Castro is so caring, so nice and so dedicated to your well being. Thank God for doctore like him."
-- Gary Norris, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 04/26/2012
"Fantastic surgeon, great outcome! Dr. Castro performed my surgery quickly, and without complications, resulting in an easy recovery that exceeded my expectations. His kindness, clear communication and expertise are top notch."
-- Jan Tepper, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 04/19/2012
"Dr. Castro, my heart surgeon, inspired complete confidence that he was most knowledgeable and experienced and expected no complications whatsoever. I never felt any anxiety before the operation and he was caring and friendly after and left me reassured that all was well."
-- Gladys Francis, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 03/14/2012
"Excellent. I highly recommend Dr Castro."
-- DiMitri Hage, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 02/28/2012
"I had 3 plugged arteries replaced and a valve repaired. I would recommend Dr. Luis Castro very highly. Dr. Castro and the Sequoia Hospital staff gave me "EXCELLENT" care before, during and after surgery. I owe these people my life. "
-- Kenneth Campbell, Aortic Valve, Valve Repair, 02/23/2012
"I was blessed to have been recommended to Dr. Luis Castro and his staff. I'm thankful for their knowledge and advanced skill in valve repair and valve replacement. I was born with a genetic bicuspid valve disorder. Dr. Castro and his team have allowed me to enjoy my family and continue along with my carrier and activities, free of Coumadin, when I had been told other options were not available to me. "
-- Christopher Watkins, Aortic Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, 02/23/2012
"I was very pleased with the results. I thought Dr. Luis Castro's bedside manner was excellent, as well as his pre-surgery information."
-- Marilyn Bolei, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 02/09/2012
"Dr. Castro was brilliant in his repair of my mitral valve. Where others wanted to replace the valve, he was able to repair it. Given that I was in my mid-fifies, this has saved me repeat open heart surgery(s) and a lifetime of anti-coag drugs.
When I first met Dr. Castro, he came to the waiting lobby to greet me. I have never had a physician come personally to the lobby. He was kind and took the time needed to explain options to my husband and me. He is genuine in his care for the patient.
I have had no post surgical problems related to the valve and it's been a few years now. I can do rigorous cardio work-outs, and live a normal life.
I would recommend Dr. Castro without any hesitation. "
-- Leslie Rose, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 02/06/2012
"My surgical result has been very satisfactory. Dr. Castro and his team were great."
-- Dorayne Likely, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, 01/24/2012
"Dr. Castro and his entire team are splendid in all regards."
-- Dean Forbes, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 01/09/2012
"Complete trust and faith is not easy to come by, within 10 minutes of meeting Dr. Luis Castro he had mine. From his patience in answering all our questions, to making a hard decision feel 100% right, and putting me at ease-a short 36 hours later I walked into surgery (mitral valve repair/annuloplasty/right thoracotomy) prepared and confident. When considering a heart surgeon ask all the questions-number of surgeries, outcomes, etc. Dr. Castro answered it all with a reassuring voice, kind smile, and you know you are in the best highly skilled hands. I never felt like a statistic or just another patient in his care. If I was to need surgery again, there would be no doubt I would only want Dr. Castro leaving his fingerprints on my heart."
-- Shelly Gould, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 10/14/2011
"Dr. Luis Castro is amazing. He did my surgery with his team and now, a week out, I'm still feeling no pain. I have not even been uncomfortable.
But as wonderful as his magic hands is his ability to communicate. He does so readily and enthusiastically. Thanks to Luis, I'm on my way to a quick, full recovery."
-- Alfred Kildow, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, 09/29/2011
"My case required immediate valve replacement surgery. Dr. Luis Castro went out of his way to ensure that I was transported to the best location possible and scheduled right away. His confident and calm manner provided me with a high level of comfort in a situation where I did not have a lot of energy or time to digest all of the details. He has always responded to my questions with honest and thorough explanations. If you want the best outcome along with a cardiac surgeon who possesses a great bedside manner, the choice is Dr. Luis Castro. I highly recommend him.
-- Patrick C., Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 10/01/2010
"Mitral valve prolapse was preventing me from pursuing my passion for hiking. A cardiac surgeon in my home city referred me to Dr. Luis Castro because he felt that Dr. Castro’s expertise at mitral valve repair using a mini-incision technique would get me back on the trails faster than if the surgery were done locally with a standard sternotomy. Dr. Castro quickly recognized that quality of life was my paramount goal. Dr. Castro is personable and caring, and I believe that the systematic procedures followed by his surgical team virtually eliminate risk of infection. I was thrilled that he accepted me as a patient. After discharge from the hospital, I followed Dr. Castro’s instructions to the letter. I am extremely impatient when it comes to being sidelined by illness, and thought the first four weeks of recovery were agonizingly slow. Both my cardiologist and primary care physician disagreed with me, saying they were delighted by the surgical results and my progress. They were right, because I was back hiking in the Sierra Nevada only eight weeks after surgery."
-- Ken Klug, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Mini Sternotomy, 08/23/2010
"I highly recommend Dr. Luis Castro and his team at Sequoia Hospital. In March of 2010, Dr. Castro and staff successfully repaired my Mitral Valve Prolapse (severe regurgitation causing an enlarged left atrium) condition. At the end of 2 months of my recovery, I was close to 100%. Dr. Castro and staff kept me informed every step of the way. Dr. Castro is very personable, credible and empathetic to all of my issues and concerns. He followed up with me as I was conducting my due diligence prior to the surgery and continued checking in with me months following the surgery. As a professional service provider myself (attorney), I strive to provide the same care and service that Dr. Castro has provided to me as his patient."
-- Brian R, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 03/10/2010
"Perfect, under the circumstances. All our doctors were professional, direct and we will be forever grateful for their dedication and knowledge for the miracle they gave us. The A-Team was led by Dr. Luis Castro."
-- Jo Ann Bunton, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, 10/16/2009
"My experience was very positive. As a 65 year old patient, I should have been nervous but Dr. Luis Castro made me feel very much at ease about of the procedure. The operation and recovery could not have gone better. I am back to running 20 miles a week at the same speed as I did well before the operation."
-- Vallangiman Srinivasan, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, 10/09/2009
"I recommend Dr. Luis Castro without reservation.
-- Martin Harband, Aortic Valve, Median Sternotomy, 05/11/2009
> See 148 more patient testimonials
"Superbly knowledgeable and superb bedside manner. I went from totally nervous to completely confident within a half hour of our first meeting. Fast recovery with a small scar (with glued rather than stitched edges -- barely noticeable under a medium-hairy chest). Couldn't of been more impressed by Dr. Luis Castro or happier with the result. I got a Medtronic Porcine valve, so I'll need to have a new one in 10 to 20 years; I'll be going back to Dr. Castro, and I can't give a better recommendation than that. Facilities and staff at Sequoia Hospital were TERRIFIC. I felt like I was in excellent hands from my arrival to my departure 4 days later. "
-- Eddie Williams, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, 11/08/2008