"Thanks goes to Dr. Starnes for a successful mitral valve repair surgery at the right time!"
"Thoroughly satisfied with 1st visit, surgery and conversation with Dr. Starnes. The minimally invasive Mitral Valve repair accomplished what was needed. Would I recommend Dr. Starnes and KECK School of Medicine of USC? Absolutely!"
-- Henry Hoss, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 04/23/2019
"Excellent care and bedside manner from Dr. Vaughn Starnes, his PA Bob Sachs and his surgical team for replacing my aortic valve and repairing an aneurysm in the ascending aorta. Care from the nurses, techs and staff in the ICU and the CCU was excellent and compassionate. I woke up from the anesthesia with the vent tube removed and no pain. Unfortunately on the 6th day I was the one out of three patients that develope A-Fib and and a rapid heart rate(170). Dr Starnes put me on an IV of Amiodarone for a few days and then a cardiac conversion treatment brought me back to a normal heart rhythm and I was able to go home the next day.
Dr. Starnes replaced my aortic valve using the minimally invasive technique, but unfortunately the valve began to close down after 4 1/2 years. I cannot thank Dr. Starnes and his staff enough for their great and compassionate care."
-- Fred Padilla, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, 04/05/2019
"Doctors, nurses, staff, everyone at Keck Hospital were very helpful and friendly. I feel I was fortunate to have my procedure done at Keck Hospital. I thank everyone. I was with extremely talented and compassionate people. Thank you."
-- Andrew Marrama, Aortic Valve, Root Replacement, 03/12/2019
"Everyone was very professional, and my recovery is going very smoothly. I should be back to normal in no time."
-- Steve Plooy, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, Median Sternotomy, 03/05/2019
"After researching what to expect post surgery, I couldn't be more pleased with my current results. From the very beginning, this entire process happened so quickly, there was little to no time for introductions and discussions with my surgeon. I simply had to trust my cardiologist's recommendation. And man alive, I'm so glad I did. According to all accounts, my surgery went well and so far my recovery is proceeding as expected. I have extreme admiration and gratitude for both my cardiologist, Dr. Margaret Rasouli, and my surgeon Dr. Vaughn Starnes and his staff, and one day hope to have the opportunity to express my gratitude personally to Dr. Starnes.
I am truly a blessed man to have landed in such competent hands. If you want as good an outcome as possible, and you have the opportunity to go with Dr. Starnes, look no further, he is your man."
-- James Coyne, Pulmonary Valve, Valve Repair, 03/01/2019
"Dr. Starnes is professional in all respects."
-- Shane Thompson, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 02/27/2019
"Dr. Starnes is a lifesaver!! I was referred to him by another surgeon and Dr. Starnes inspired the utmost confidence in me.
I had a heart attack and a stent was put in by another hospital/doctor, I had complications from the heart attack.. a VSD, and pseudoanuerysym.
The other doctors told me that this was very rare and not many surgeons have performed this surgery. In my first meeting with Dr. Starnes he totally put me at ease and told me there was very little risk and that it would be no problem. (The referring surgeon pained a pretty grim picture of the risks involved in my surgery.)
Fast forward 6 weeks later and I am recovering very well and have Dr. Starnes and the professional staff at Keck USC to thank!!!"
-- Todd Devine, Aortic Valve, Median Sternotomy, 02/06/2019
"I have nothing but good things to say about Dr. Starnes, associated staff (P.A. Robert Sachs and RN Erly) and the Keck Medical Center staff. At the initial consult, Dr. Starnes suggested the Ross Procedure (pulmonary valve to aortic position with a homograft (cadaver) to replace it). This procedure allows me to avoid taking anti-coagulants for the rest of my life. Very glad he did so. After his consult, his PA,, Mr. Sachs, was able to arrange an expedited surgery date (I had a 5.2 cm ascending aorta) for which I was very grateful.
The staff at Keck USC contacted me shortly thereafter, providing me with the requisite pre-op information and also pointing me to their onsite lodging facilities so that my family could be close by. Day of surgery I did not see Dr. Starnes but the professionalism with which I was handled by his associated staff (Dr. Adt et al in pre-op) left me at ease and the fact that I am leaving this for you to read attests to his skill and success as a surgeon and the efficacy of the procedure. Post op, I again did not see Dr. Starnes but my family attests that he did address them. All room visits were handled by his associate staff (ty again Dr. Adt and there were others but I don't remember their names) and the USC staff gave me what I consider stellar care. My follow up with PA Sachs went well and again reassured me that I had been well taken care of. As for results, again I am typing this recommendation so there is that. My incisions are healing nicely, my local cardiologist (who recommended Dr. Starnes) is happy with the results, as well as my primary care physician. Again (I know I sound like a broken record), very, very happy with my experience. Some would say "but you only met him once..", to which I would say "meh, he's busy, I'm alive, his support staff never gave me reason to doubt, so no worries", but that's me. I absolutely recommend Dr. Starnes and would not think twice about having him work on me again. Thank you Dr. Starnes (and staff)! "
-- Jason Hall, Aortic Valve, Pulmonary Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, Root Replacement, 02/01/2019
"After being diagnosed with congestive heart failure and being told I needed two (possibly three) valves replaced as well as a double bypass, I told the cardiologist I wanted a second opinion. Before I could finish my request, and without hesitation, he recommended Dr. Starnes. Less than two weeks later, my husband and I were at Keck USC meeting with Dr. Starnes. As a scared to death first-time heart patient, his professionalism, caring demeanor and reassuring confidence was a godsend. He assured me that I only needed one valve and was confident he could repair the other two. He also assured me that I only needed a single bypass. By the end of our consultation with Dr. Starnes, there was absolutely no doubt in our minds that he was the surgeon we wanted performing my operation. His entire staff, and the staff at Keck USC, were nothing short of amazing. They made us feel like family every step of the way. I was discharged from the hospital 6 days after my surgery. It's been three weeks since my surgery and I feel great. I can't thank Dr. Starnes and the staff at Keck USC enough. From the bottom of my 'new and improved' heart, thank you Dr. Starnes for my new lease on life! "
-- Maria Philippon, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, 01/25/2019
"When my cardiologist recommended heart surgery, he referred me to Dr. Starnes for the procedure. It was my first invasive procedure at age 70. Don't know what I expected, but my experience with Dr. Starnes and his staff was nothing short of exemplary. Can't say enough words to convey their professionalism and attention to detail. If I ever needed a future procedure I'd run directly to Dr. Starnes and Keck Medicine of USC!"
-- Carl Carlson, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Median Sternotomy, 12/21/2018
"I was transferred to USC after 2 unsuccessful Open Heart Surgeries in Las Vegas, NV in 2011. Dr. Starnes repaired a hole in my aorta (mitral curtain) that Las Vegas surgeon damaged and then tried to repair. Then again in December 2018 - I went back to Dr. Starnes for Mitral Valve re-do and Aortic valve replacement. He is an excellent surgeon and has done extremely well with both of my very complex valve surgeries. If you are looking for the valve surgeon, go have a consult with Dr. Vaughn Starnes at Keck Medical Center (USC Medical Center). He is your guy! I will be forever grateful for him and his team of surgeons."
-- Gregory Ballard, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, 12/21/2018
"I’m a believer. There is no better surgeon than Dr. Vaughn Starnes, whose staff are also outstanding... Confident, meticulous, and caring.
Post-operative care at Keck Hospital was seamless and I was sent home in five days. Recovery has been rapid with no complications.
Kudos to the cardiothoracic team at Keck/USC."
-- Tom Simms, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, Median Sternotomy, Maze Procedure, 11/28/2018
"Finding the best Surgeon, I mean the BEST, for your heart ailment for me is a colossal endeavor. As I work in medical services and my siblings, uncles, cousins and nephews are medical doctors, I found it compelling to convince them - besides myself - that the doctor I chose was the best.
When they learned that my doctor was Dr. Vaughn Starnes of Keck Medical Center of USC, they said only one word... WOW!
I myself am amazed that Dr. Starnes accepted my case. It's like he stepped down from his pedestal of medical supremacy to help me... a simple nobody. He is a truly humble individual and a medical wonder too.
Any one looking for a surgeon should consider Dr Vaughn Starnes' credentials."
-- Efren Dy Aguilera, Aortic Valve, 11/28/2018
"Results were successful. Dr. Starnes bedside manner was very good."
-- John Miller, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 10/30/2018
"Everyone at USC was very professional and follow-ups in the hospital were done on a regular basis. Never had to worry about something not being done. I was treated very nicely by Dr. Starnes and his staff."
-- Raymond Rivera, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 10/16/2018
"Amazing surgeon, excellent, reassuring manner. Perhaps best Ross surgeon in the country. Great support team as well."
-- Anders Goranson, Aortic Valve, Pulmonary Valve, Ross Procedure, 10/10/2018
"Excellent surgeon! I experience no postoperative pain and my health appears to be back to normal after six months."
-- Frank Meza, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 09/26/2018
"Dr. Starnes and the entire team and Keck USC hospital did a great job with my surgery and recovery. I’m 3 weeks post surgery and feel great. Not a fun thing to have to go through, but I can’t imagine a better doc or facility."
-- Michael Ruhr, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 09/11/2018
"Excellent hospital and first class care."
-- Robert Brant, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 09/04/2018
"There is no way to say how thankful I am to Dr. Starnes and his team for the work they did. The planning, the execution, the management of the team were extraordinary. They did many repairs and procedures to my heart while at Keck USC. Dr. Starnes is very warm, friendly and always makes time to talk and encourage you before and after the procedure. They are, in my opinion, miracle workers; and I do not believe I would be writing this message if not for Dr. Starnes and the team he has assembled and leads at Keck USC. "
-- glen moulder, Aortic Valve, Valve Repair, Maze Procedure, 08/29/2018
"When my already repaired Mitral Valve needed replacing only one surgeon came to mind: Dr. Vaughn Starnes. His list of achievements is more than impressive and his skills are legendary. I now have a non-leaking valve and look forward to a improved future. I found him easy to talk to and attentive to my needs. "
-- James Gibson, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, Maze Procedure, 08/22/2018
"His bedside manner was excellent, the moment he walked into the room it felt like we had been friends forever. The surgery consisted of replacement of the aorta valve with bypass surgery with major complications due to thickened pericardium and many adhesions. The surgery was described as a monster that could only have been accomplished by very few surgeons."
-- Ian McInnes, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 08/08/2018
"I believe Dr. Vaughn Starnes is the best surgeon in California. I went to surgery to replace my aortic valve and he managed to find an aneurysm in my aortic root that did not show up on my scan the day before. In addition, his entire staff was extremely nice, helpful and caring. He is the absolute best surgeon ever!"
-- Dale Taros, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Root Replacement, 07/25/2018
"I felt extremely calm and reassured about my surgery after meeting Dr. Starnes for the first time. He did a phenomenal job! I am still recovering, but I feel that he gave me a 2nd chance at life!"
-- Travis Rodriguez, Aortic Valve, Pulmonary Valve, Ross Procedure, 07/18/2018
"Dr Starnes inspired confidence and all went according to plan.
I’m looking forward to a full recovery."
-- Lawrence Berko, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 07/13/2018
"Dr. Starnes, in my opinion, did an excellent job with my aortic valve and root replacement. My case was complex, since I had an active infection at the valve, and Dr. Starnes successfully completed the operation. I feel much better than I expected post-surgery (this is my second open heart surgery). During the pre-op visit, Dr. Starnes came off as extremely competent yet humble, and wasn't afraid to help me choose which type of valve I wanted for my replacement (tissue vs. mechanical). Overall, I feel very lucky to have had Dr. Starnes as my surgeon."
-- Michael Mulroy, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, Root Replacement, 06/27/2018
"Dr. Starnes is the best heart surgeon around I interviewed 15 surgeons before deciding on Dr. Starnes and he was the only one who was 100% confident that he could repair my valve and my surgery went exactly like he said. He and his staff took unbelievable care of me and made sure I understood everything that was going on at all times. I am recovering faster than I could ever imagine and back to my everyday routine after just three weeks. USC Keck Hospital is also an amazing facility."
-- Bill Davis, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 06/19/2018
"Dr. Starnes saved my life this past February 28, 2018. I was supposed to have my aortic valve replaced, but he was able to perform his magic and repair my valve instead (so no Coumadin). He also replaced my ascending aortic root with a Dacron graft due to 4.9 cm aneurysm. Dr. Starnes was always available to answer any of my questions. It is now three months after my surgery, and I am feeling better than I have in years! I am very grateful to Dr. Starnes and his surgical team."
-- Ashleigh Wood, Aortic Valve, Valve Repair, Root Replacement, David Procedure, 02/28/2018
"Dr. Starnes and his team are the best. I started feeling better immediately after meeting him even before surgery. He infuses so much confidence, I can not even describe it in words. Every doctor he has in his team is excellent. You can tell , they were trained by him. They are polite, confident and caring. As a surgeon , he is arguably the best in the world, not just in United States. He also has impeccable support staff. The ICU staff and nurses are exactly like his surgical team. They are very well trained, adequately rested and unbelievably caring. I had one of the most complex surgeries medical world has invented, and I was home and recovering on the 8th day. Unbelievable.... So with my whole heart, including 3 brand new valves courtesy of Dr. Starnes, I recommend Dr. Starnes and his team. Excellent .."
-- Silva Oganyan, Pulmonary Valve, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, 09/15/2017
"Dr. Starnes put me at ease immediately during our first meeting I knew he was my guy. He did the Bentall procedure for me (includes aortic valve & ascending aorta aneurysm) plus one bypass. I had complications but him and his team took care of them. Dr. Craig Baker is also very excellent. I am here today because of him and his team including Dr Mitra Nadim. Wouldn't go anywhere else for heart surgery."
-- Lonnie Parker, Aortic Valve, Median Sternotomy, Root Replacement, 01/27/2017
"Excellent Surgeon! Never saw him in person after surgery though, only his staff."
-- Stephen Eisen, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 01/15/2016
"We initially met Dr. Starnes during August 2015. He was highly recommended to us by several cardiologists. Dr Starnes gave us a feeling of confidence the minute we met him. He made us think that my surgery, which was very complicated, two valve replacements, one valve repair, and a Maze procedure, would not be hard. He lived up to our expectations. I am leaving the hospital today, have had minimal amount of pain, his surgery team and nurses and doctors taking care of me at USC Keck have been wonderful and I have nothing but praise for everyone. Thank you Dr. Starnes, nurses, and surgery team for everything you have done for me."
-- albert dyen, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Maze Procedure, 09/08/2015
"Dr. Vaughn Starnes, MD performed minimally invasive without the robot. His confidence is evident. He answered all of our questions and was reassuring. He has a team that handles the follow-up beyond his last check-in on you after the surgery. The USC team is very professional and helpful."
-- Anthony Pecoraro, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 01/08/2013
"Friends and family marveled at my rapid recovery at age 78 from minimally invasive mitral valve repair for severe regurgitation thanks to the experienced and gifted Dr. Vaughn Starnes and his team at Keck USC Hospital. At my initial consultation, Dr. Starnes won my confidence and trust and that of my family. He was kind, compassionate and carefully answered all our questions. My surgery, with an incision of about two inches made under my right breast, was without problems. My stay in intensive care was less than 24 hours. I was up and walking and by my third day climbing stairs under the guidance of a physical therapist. Scheduled for release on the fifth day, my heart went into atrial fibrillation, a common occurrence with mitral valves. I remained in the hospital another five days until my heart stabilized. During my hospital stay, Dr. Starnes visited me four times including once in intensive care. Each time he was unhurried, caring and answered all my questions. When I arrived home, I immediately started walking outdoors with my husband. With the recommendation of my cardiologist, Dr. Mark Lurie, I soon entered the excellent cardiac rehab program at Torrance Memorial Medical Center near my home in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. Today, eight months since my surgery, my heart sings with grateful renewal thanks to my world class surgeon and his dedicated team and the excellent care at Keck USC.
-- Donna Russell, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 05/11/2012
"Dr. Starnes had to leave Los Angeles immediately after the surgery, so I can't comment on his bedside manner. However, his manner pre-surgery was reassuring and friendly. He did an excellent job overall and I'd recommend him without reservation."
-- Judy Francis, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 04/25/2012
"Dr. Vaughn Starnes is stunningly good. Loaded with the appropriate quotient of gravitas, I felt completely confident and in great hands with Dr Starnes. I met with two other surgeons prior to Starnes and I wouldn't let them cut my toe nails -- let alone perform open heart surgery. As soon Dr Starnes opened his mouth, I knew he was the guy. Trust your instincts. "
-- John C Mackenzie, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 04/17/2012
"Dr. Starnes did a minimally invasive, non robotic successful repair on my mitral valve at USC. Personal contact was minimum. He has a team in place to carry-out post operative care. The important thing was that he was able to complete a successful repair."
-- Debby Tomlinson, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 09/13/2011
"Dr. Starnes was excellent, very caring, personable, and answered all questions. The results were outstanding."
-- Myrna Gaskin, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, 05/03/2011
"I also had my ascending aorta replaced (Bental Procedure). Dr. Starnes is a highly rated cardiothoracic surgeon who is the head of USC University Hospital. Since this is a teaching hospital, I knew before the surgery that he would be leading residents and students through his rounds. I wasn't as concerned about his bedside manor since I knew he was a highly skilled surgeon."
-- Craig Kappe, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, 08/29/2010
"Although I didn't have much contact with him, except on the initial interview, I felt confident in his ability in that my recovery went very smoothly without much pain or complication."
-- phyllis pivo, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, Maze Procedure, 05/26/2009
"It was a wonderful experience. He was kind, caring, accessible and diligent. The whole team worked very efficiently and were very caring especially with me and my family members . I did very well post-operatively and am still doing well. I went back to India in 2009 and look forward to visiting USA again and I will surely visit Dr Starnes."
-- Surya Sastry, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 12/10/2008
"Excellent experience with the my surgeon's office, staff, surgical team and hospital (USC University Hospital). Limited contact with Dr. Starnes himself, as I had a fairly straight forward procedure (as if heart surgery is ever straight forward) but he was always personable, interested and confident. 100% successful and happy!"
-- Tim Clackett, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Mini Sternotomy, 11/18/2008
"I was diagnosed with two aortic aneurysms. Dr. Starnes did the repairs and I survived to this day with excellent results."
-- JOHN MADDALO, Aortic Valve, Root Replacement, 11/14/2008
"Following an aortic valve replacement nine months earlier, my aortic connective tissue continued to dissect. Due to two previous valve surgeries, I was referred to Dr. Starnes to take on the monumental task of replacing the aortic arch and descending artery to mid-chest. Dr. Starnes masterfully accomplished the mission and gave me a third opportunity at life."
-- David Gray, Aortic Valve, Root Replacement, 08/22/2008
"Outstanding surgeon. Pleasant bedside manner. But most importantly he is an extraordinary surgeon and in other hands I would most likely have ended up with a mitral valve replacement rather then a repair. I feel very fortunate."
-- Mara Rabin, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 02/06/2008
"This was my husbands 2nd surgery with Dr. Starnes. In July of 2003 Dr. Starnes performed a mitral valve repair and then the latest surgery was the aortic valve replacement. He was the BEST...We went from Arizona back to him for the 2nd surgery..the office staff, the PA"s all the residents and Dr. Starnes himself were very comforting and kept was informed each step of the way. We would always return to Dr. Starnes."
-- Ed Crutchfield, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 08/22/2007
"I consider Dr. Starnes to be the "Michael Jordan" of heart valve surgery. I conducted a very extensive surgeon selection process and was thrilled to learn that one of the best in the business was only 10 miles from my home in Los Angeles. I strongly recommend Dr. Starnes."
-- Adam Pick, Aortic Valve, Pulmonary Valve, Valve Replacement, Ross Procedure, 12/21/2005
"Incredibly calming, reassuring bedside manner. I was resisting open-heart surgery because before 2002 I had seen too many of my friends who had been cut open and were living with constant pain. But Dr. Starnes and Dr. Lawrence Laughlin put me at ease. The operation, triple by-pass, took less than 3 hours. Because of Dr. Starnes expertise, I was on my feet and back to dancing (I'm a tango teacher) within a few weeks. I've not had any heart-related problems since... and I'm 78!"
-- Angel Echeverria, Aortic Valve, 05/11/2002
"I was only 40 and need Valve repair and Dr Starnes was preforming an experimental procedure and I fit the requirements. It's now been 17 years with no additional problems. Thank you Doc!"
-- Frank Thibaudeau, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 09/21/2001
"My Son (Kevin A Weaver 10/27/1996) had been misdiagnosed since birth by our then healthcare provider. We changed our coverage so we could have a access to doctors and specialists outside of their plan. We were diagnosed by Dr. William Vincent at Pomona Valley hospital by Dr. William Vincent and he recommended CHLA to us.
By this time, my son was in congestive heart failure, extremely malnourished, failing to thrive, projectile vomiting and lethargic. We were terrified we would lose him. His surgery was performed on February 6th. He had a resection of his aorta and a repair of a PAPVR. His recovery was slow for the first year following his surgery.
Today he is 22 years old, in excellent health and living a productive life. Each February, I think of Dr. Vincent and Dr. Starnes working together to save the life of my son. I am so deeply thankful."
-- Kim Weaver, Aortic Valve, Pulmonary Valve, Valve Repair, 02/06/1997
"Excellent. Dr Starnes is a 10+."
-- tomas medina, Aortic Valve, Transcatheter, 05/12/1995
"Just wanted to say thank you for saving my life. July 2, 1991, I was born with Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome and Pulmonary Atresia. Dr. Starnes performed the first of four surgeries, BT shunt, on July 5. Without this surgery and the three following ones, I wouldn't have survived. Thank you just does not seem enough for all you've done. "
-- Angela Kurup, Pulmonary Valve, Valve Repair, 07/05/1991
> See 52 more patient testimonials
"Dr.Starnes is simply my hero. He repaired my heart when I was seven at Stanford and saved my life almost 32 years ago. Dr. Starnes is simply amazing, a miracle worker who's saved thousands.
My heart belongs to Dr Starnes!!! "
-- Melissa Patania, Aortic Valve, Pulmonary Valve, Valve Repair, Transcatheter, 06/12/1984