Vaughn A. Starnes, MD

Cardiothoracic Surgery, Cardiac Surgery, Cardiac Transplant Surgery, Heart Valve Repair, Cardiac Transplantation
Accepting New Patients


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1500 San Pablo Street , Los Angeles, CA 90033
7 days a week, 24 hours a day
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1441 Eastlake Ave , Los Angeles, CA 90089
7 days a week, 24 hours a day

Provider Details

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About Vaughn A. Starnes, MD

Vaughn Starnes, MD, is chair of the Department of Surgery, Surgeon-in-Chief at USC Norris Cancer and Keck Hospital of USC, and the H. Russell Smith Foundation Chair for Cardiovascular Thoracic Research at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. He is also founding executive director of USC's Cardiac and Vascular Institute and chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. A recognized expert in heart and lung transplants, repair of congenital heart defects, and heart surgery in children and newborns, Starnes pioneered the living-related double-lobar lung transplant in 1993. He is investigating the use of gene therapy to prevent scarring following heart surgery and he is currently involved in a clinical trial for cardiothoracic surgery using robotic surgery technology. Dr. Starnes has an ongoing interest in congenital heart disease, heart, lung, heart-lung and living-related lung transplantation, coronary bypass grafting, and repair and replacement of the valves of the heart. He is also involved in research, helping develop gene therapy techniques to address the problem of restenosis following balloon angioplasty.

A graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, Dr. Starnes performed his general surgery training at Vanderbilt University, where he also completed two years of research in cardiothoracic physiology and pharmacology. He completed two years at Stanford University as a cardiovascular surgery resident and one year as chief resident in cardiac transplantation under the mentorship of cardiothoracic transplant pioneer Dr. Norman Shumway. These positions were followed by a fellowship in pediatric cardiovascular surgery at the Hospital for Sick Children in London. When he returned to Stanford, he was appointed director of the university's heart-lung transplantation program. He joined USC in July 1992 and was appointed chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery in 1997.

Dr. Starnes served as the 100th president of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery in 2019-2020.

Every patient is special. Every patient's needs are unique to that person. I want every one of our patients to know that they will be seen by a group of experts, and that they will be given dedicated care by the very best in the field.


  • Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Cardiac Surgery
  • Cardiac Transplant Surgery
  • Heart Valve Repair
  • Cardiac Transplantation
Areas of Focus
Adult Cardiac Surgery, Mitral Valve Repair, The Ross Procedure, Minimally Invasive Heart Valve Surgery, Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, Adult and Pediatric Heart and Lung Transplantation, Living Donor Lobar Lung Transplantation, Aortic Aneurysm Repair
Academic Title
Chair, Department of Surgery

Insurances Accepted

Note: Please contact the practice directly to confirm your health plan is accepted.

Benefits among health plans and employers vary. Please contact your health plan to verify benefits and network providers for specific products. It is important to note that not all of our providers participate in all of a health plan's products or networks.

  • GEHA
  • Beech Street Corporation /WC
  • Interplan
  • Laundry and Dry Cleaning Workers Health & Welfare
  • Anthem Blue Cross Covered California
  • Health Net Covered California
  • Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital
  • Pacificare
  • First Health
  • Brand New Day
  • Marian Health Services
  • TriWest Healthcare Alliance (UHC)
  • Health Net
  • Blue Shield Covered California
  • Coventry Health Care
  • Anthem Blue Cross Prudent Buyer
  • Union Roofers Health & Welfare Fund
  • United Healthcare
  • Kern Health Systems
  • USC Network
  • Medicare
  • Aetna
  • Great-West Healthcare of California, Inc.
  • Watchtower
  • Health Plans of Nevada
  • MultiPlan
  • Private Health Care Systems
  • Take Care (GUAM)
  • Blue Shield of California
  • ChoiceCare Network
  • NEXT

Ratings and Reviews

  • Provider Explanations Easy to Understand
  • Provider Gave Easy to Understand Instructions
  • Provider Showed Respect
  • Provider Listened Carefully
  • Provider Knew Medical History
  • Provider Spent Enough Time

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