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Tom C. Nguyen


Chief, Division of Adult Cardiothoracic Surgery
Cardiac surgeon
Minimally invasive and robotic heart surgeon

Dr. Tom C. Nguyen is an internationally recognized minimally invasive and robotic heart surgeon with expertise in performing complex heart operations through the smallest possible incision. He has a particular interest in minimally invasive mitral, aortic, atrial septal defect (ASD) closures, septal myectomy for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and robotic heart surgery. He is also an expert in transcatheter procedures, including transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and MitraClip, performing more than 2,400 implants. He serves as chief of cardiothoracic surgery at UCSF.

Nguyen strives every day to deserve the privilege of practicing medicine and is committed to treating patients like family. Born to immigrant parents during the Vietnam War, he developed perseverance and empathy, and brings these qualities as well as patient advocacy to his practice. Undergoing cardiac surgery can be daunting, but he wants to assure patients regarding his availability, commitment to excellence, communication and quality care.

Nguyen leads research trials on treatments for valvular heart disease, including minimally invasive and transcatheter approaches. He has been principal investigator or co-investigator on landmark trials exploring transcatheter aortic and mitral valve replacements. His other research interests include structural heart disease and surgical education.

Nguyen earned his medical degree at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. During his general surgery training at Stanford University, he was selected as intern of the year. He completed a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at Columbia University as well as a fellowship in TAVR at Emory University School of Medicine.

Teaching is Nguyen's passion and he has received teaching awards from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, American College of Surgeons and Benjy Brooks Foundation for Children. He has made a lifelong commitment to service and education at home and abroad. He regularly teaches and volunteers as a surgeon in Africa, Europe and Asia. While at Stanford, he volunteered as a surgeon for six weeks in Asmara, Eritrea. He serves as an examiner for the American Board of Thoracic Surgery (ABTS) and as section editor for an online educational tool called Self-Education, Self-Assessment in Thoracic Surgery (SESATS). He is the Helen and Charles Schwab Distinguished Professor of Surgery in the UCSF Department of Surgery.

Nguyen serves on the editorial board for four academic journals and is editor of several textbooks on surgery. He has presented more than 200 abstracts at professional meetings and published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles. Before turning 40, he received the Houston Business Journal's 40 Under 40 Award as well as its Healthcare Heroes Award. He also was awarded first place in the American College of Cardiology's Section Awards for his work in co-editing a handbook on transcatheter therapies. He appreciates that success is not his own doing, but comes in large part from the support of countless mentors and advocates, and serendipity. He aspires to do the same for others.

Nguyen is married to Dr. Gina Landinez, an interventional radiologist at UCSF, and is the proud dad of two beautiful daughters.

To contact Nguyen directly, call (415) 353-8195.

  • Education

    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, MD, 2002

  • Residencies

    Stanford University, General Surgery, 2010

  • Fellowships

    Columbia University, Cardiothoracic Surgery, 2012

    Emory University, Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement, 2013

  • Academic Title


Small incisions. Big difference. My philosophy is treating patients like family and making sure they have the best operation possible, with the fastest recovery.

Where I see patients (1)

    My reviews


    Overall Experience
    82 Ratings
    Explained things in a way that was easy to understand
    82 Ratings
    Did the doctor pay attention to your concerns
    82 Ratings
    Gave easy to understand instructions about taking care of health problems or concerns
    79 Ratings
    Knew the important information about your medical history
    82 Ratings
    The provider showed respect for what you had to say
    82 Ratings
    The provider spent enough time with me
    82 Ratings

    My work

    A day in the life of a UCSF heart surgeon

    Out of the hospital just 3 days after heart surgery

    Spotlight on Dr. Nguyen