About Dr. Vaughn Starnes,
Heart Valve Surgeon

Hello! My name is Dr. Vaughn Starnes and I am a cardiac surgeon having graduated from North Carolina (Chapel Hill) in 1977. To date, I have performed approximately 12,000 cardiac surgeries, of which 4,000 involved heart valve procedures. I regularly perform surgery at hospitals including USC Cardiac and Vascular Institute and Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. Read more...

Video About Dr. Vaughn Starnes

123 Patient Reviews for
Dr. Starnes

Patient Review of Dr. Vaughn Starnes

"Thanks goes to Dr. Starnes for a successful mitral valve repair surgery at the right time!"

-- Debby Tomlinson, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 09/13/2011

"I am 60 years old. My primary doctor noticed a heart murmur and referred me to a cardiologist. An echocardiogram showed that I had severe aortic regurgitation, and I found out I was born with a bicuspid aortic valve.

I was super happy that Dr. Starnes was my surgeon. Everyone tells me he is the best of the best. Dr. Starnes offered me several options (tissue valve vs. Ross vs. mechanical valve), and I decided on the Ross procedure. I did a lot of reading and research. The Ross procedure is an intricate surgery involving replacing two heart valves at the same time. Dr. Starnes is the definitive expert on this. His confidence was what convinced me because I knew I could trust his experience.

That was a little over three months ago, and today I am four weeks past my surgery! Even though I had done a lot of research, I had not fully grasped how intricate the entire surgery was. None of this would have been possible without Dr. Starnes' expertise and his skillfulness. I am very thankful Dr. Starnes was my surgeon."

-- Chi Mak, Aortic Valve, Pulmonary Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, Ross Procedure, 01/17/2024

> See 122 more patient testimonials

My Specialities &
Clinical Interests

My heart surgery specialties include:

  • Aortic valve replacement including the Ross Procedure
  • Mitral valve repair
  • Minimally invasive valve repair

In addition, I have research and clinical interests specific to:

  • Minimally invasive surgical approaches (robotic, transcatheter)
  • Pediatric surgery
  • Transplant

Education, Training & Certificates

Dr. Vaughn Starnes, heart surgeon, graduated from North Carolina (Chapel Hill) in 1977.

After medical school, Dr. Starnes completed a General Surgery Residency at Vanderbilt University and a Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency at Stanford University. Dr. Starnes also completed a fellowship in pediatric cardiovascular surgery at the Hospital for Sick Children in London, England.

Dr. Starnes is the Chair of the Department of Surgery, Surgeon-in-Chief at USC Norris Cancer and Keck Hospital. In addition, Dr. Starnes is the H. Russell Smith Foundation Chair for Cardiovascular Thoracic Research at the Keck Medical School of Medicine of USC in Los Angeles, California.

Dr. Starnes was 100th president of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery.

Schedule Appointment
with Dr. Vaughn Starnes, MD

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Starnes, you can:

  • Call (888) 536-1766 right now
  • Request an appointment by clicking here.

The office of Dr. Starnes is located at 1520 San Pablo St., Los Angeles, CA 90033. To get driving directions to this office, please click the map below.



> Click for driving directions to Dr. Starnes’s office.

Watch Educational Video with Dr. Vaughn Starnes

Learn about heart valve surgery from Dr. Starnes in this video:

  • Mitral Valve Surgery: What Should Patients Know?

Page last updated: February 14, 2024