Department Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Primary Location Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Type of Doctor Adults Only
Languages English
Surgeon Yes
Locations Specialties & Treatments

Treatment & Services

  • Advanced Ischemic Heart Disease Center
  • Aorta Center
  • Aorta Graft
  • Aorta Surgery
  • Aortic Dissection
  • Aortic Valve Repair
  • Aortic Valve Replacement
  • Aortic Valve Surgery
  • Arterial Coronary Artery Bypass Grafts
  • Atherosclerosis Surgery
  • Atrial Fibrillation Center
  • Atrial Septal Defect Closure
  • Bypass Surgery
  • Cardiac Surgery
  • Cardio-Oncology Center
  • Cardiovascular Surgery Department
  • Complex Aorta Surgery
  • Coronary Artery Reoperation
  • David Procedure
  • David Reimplantation Operation
  • Heart Surgery
  • Heart Surgery for Marfan Syndrome
  • Heart Surgery Reoperation
  • Heart Valve Surgery
  • High Risk Reoperation Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Aortic Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Repair
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • Mitral Valve Replacement
  • Mitral Valve Surgery
  • Modified David's Reimplantation Procedure
  • Myectomy
  • Off Pump Bypass Surgery
  • Off Pump Heart Surgery
  • Pacemaker Implant
  • Percutaneous and Endoscopic Interventions for Atrial Fibrillation
  • Percutaneous Valve Repair and Replacement
  • Percutaneous Valve Treatment
  • Pericardial Diseases Center
  • Pericardiectomy
  • Pericardiocentesis
  • Pericardium Surgery
  • Radial Artery and Saphenous Vein Harvesting
  • Removal of Atrial Myxoma
  • Removal of Cardiac Tumors
  • Reoperation Valve Surgery
  • Stent Grafting
  • Surgery for Infective Endocarditis
  • Surgery for Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm
  • Surgical Ablation Of Atrial Fibrillation
  • Surgical Procedures for Atrial Fibrillation
  • Valve Surgery
View all 54 Treatment & Services +

Specialty in Diseases & Conditions

  • Aneurysms
  • Aorta Disease
  • Aortic Aneurysms
  • Aortic Regurgitation
  • Aortic Stenosis
  • Atherosclerosis (vascular)
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Atrial Septal Defects
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Coarctation Of The Aorta
  • Congenital Heart Disease
  • Congenital Valve Disease
  • Connective Tissue Disorders
  • Constrictive-Pericarditis
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy
  • Endocarditis
  • Heart Attack
  • Heart Disease
  • Heart Failure
  • Heart Valve Disease
  • Heart Valve Infections
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
  • Infective Endocarditis
  • Ischemic Cardiomyopathy
  • Marfan Syndrome
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse
  • Mitral Valve Regurgitation
  • Mitral Valve Stenosis
  • Myxomas
  • Patent Foramen Ovale
  • Pericarditis
  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • Pulmonary Valve Disease
  • Pulmonic Regurgitation
  • Pulmonic Stenosis
  • Rheumatic Heart Disease
  • Superior Vena Cava Syndrome
  • Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm
  • Thoracoabdominal Aortic Aneurysm
  • Tricuspid Regurgitation
  • Tricuspid Stenosis
  • Tricuspid Valve Disease
View all 43 Specialties +


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About Douglas Johnston, MD

Douglas Johnston, MD, is a staff cardiac surgeon in the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute at Cleveland Clinic. He is board certified by the American Board of Surgery

Specialty interests: Minimally invasive aortic valve surgery, management of patients with bicuspid aortic valve disease, reoperative valve surgery, aortic root surgery, aortic aneurysm surgery, hybrid aortic operations, radiation-induced heart disease, constrictive pericarditis, long-term outcomes after bioprosthetic valve replacement

Number of Procedures Performed: Cleveland Clinic performs more than 4,000 heart surgeries each year. All Cleveland Clinic cardiac surgeons complete between 300-400 cardiac cases per year.

Success rates: Among top U.S. hospitals for cardiac surgery, Cleveland Clinic’s volume is the highest with the best quality outcomes. You can view success rates for specific procedures at

Education and Training: A native of Connecticut, Dr. Johnston attended Dartmouth College. He was a Presidential Scholar and earned his degree in Anthropology and Classical studies with Honor and Distinction. While studying, he researched tuberculosis in the field at refugee communities in India. Dr. Johnston completed his medical education at Harvard Medical School, where he was a Harvard National Scholar.

Dr. Johnston completed his clinical training as an intern and resident in general surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He was awarded the Edward D. Churchill Fellowship, the American College of Surgeons Resident Research Scholarship, and an NIH National Research Service Award for his research in the immunology of heart and lung transplantation. 

Dr. Johnston completed his training in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at Cleveland Clinic, including a focused fellowship in endovascular surgery and additional training in advanced 3-dimensional imaging techniques. He joined the cardiac surgery staff in 2008.

Publications and Speaking: Dr. Johnston has written numerous articles and abstracts published in leading scientific journals. His research interests include minimally invasive aortic valve surgery and interventions, complex valve disease (including radiation heart disease and aortic disease), and transcatheter interventions for valvular heart disease. He is a member of the American College of Surgeons, the International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation, the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery, and the Society of Cardiac Computed Tomography.

About Dr. Johnston: “What I love about heart surgery is that every day we have the ability to make a major difference in people’s lives. Every patient has different needs and wants, and having heart surgery means very different things. For one patient, the goal may be living longer to be around for their grandchildren. For another, it might be feeling healthy enough to get on their mountain bike again. We need to understand what our patients’ needs are and be able to give them the safest, best operation that gets them back to the life THEY want to lead. That’s what keeps me coming to work every morning.”

Leisure time activities: Dr. Johnston is an avid outdoorsman. In his free time, he enjoys hiking and sailing with his family.

Education & Professional Highlights

Education & Professional Highlights


Education & Fellowships

Residency - Cleveland Clinic
Cardiothoracic Surgery
Cleveland, OH USA

Residency - Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA USA

Fellowship - Massachusetts General Hospital
Cardiac Transplantation
Boston, MA USA

Internship - Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, MA USA

Medical Education - Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA USA


  • Thoracic & Cardiac Surgery

Specialty Interests

cardiac surgery, surgery of the aortic valve and root, mitral and aortic valve repair, coronary artery surgery, reoperative cardiac surgery, endovascular cardiac interventions

Awards & Honors

  • 2013, Innovator Award, Cleveland Clinic
  • 2010, 2013 Teacher of the Year Award, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Cleveland Clinic
  • 2011, Early Career Innovation Award
  • 2010, Innovator Award, Cleveland Clinic
  • 2009, J. Maxwell Chamberlain Award, Society of Thoracic Surgeons

Innovations & Patents

  • Innovations & Patents: iVHR, inc: Interactive Visual Health Record - Founder and Chief Medical Officer
  • Intellectual Property: Heart BRACE – Co-inventor, US D552.108 S, Patent, 2006
Research & Publications

Research & Publications

See publications for Douglas Johnston, MD.

(Disclaimer: This search is powered by PubMed, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. PubMed is a third-party website with no affiliation with Cleveland Clinic.)

Industry Relationships

Industry Relationships

Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists may collaborate with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries to help develop medical breakthroughs or provide medical expertise or education. Cleveland Clinic strives to make scientific advances that will benefit patient care and support outside relationships that promise public benefit. In order for the discoveries of Cleveland Clinic physicians' and scientists' laboratories and investigations to benefit the public, these discoveries must be commercialized in partnership with industry. As experts in their fields, Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists are often sought after by industry to consult, provide expertise and education.

To assure professional and commercial integrity in such matters, Cleveland Clinic maintains a program that reviews these collaborations and, when appropriate, puts measures in place to minimize bias that may result from ties to industry. Cleveland Clinic publicly discloses the names of companies when (i) its physicians/scientists receive $5,000 or more per year (or, in rare cases, equity or stock options) for speaking and consulting, (ii) its physicians/scientists serve as a fiduciary, (iii) its physicians/scientists receive or have the right to receive royalties or (iv) its physicians/ scientists hold any equity interest for the physician's/scientist's role as inventor, discoverer, developer, founder or consultant.* In publicly disclosing this information, Cleveland Clinic tries to provide information as accurately as possible about its physicians' and scientists' connections with industry.

As of 6/3/2019, Dr. Johnston has reported the financial relationships with the companies listed below. In general, patients should feel free to contact their doctor about any of the relationships and how the relationships are overseen by Cleveland Clinic. To learn more about Cleveland Clinic's policies on collaborations with industry and innovation management, go to our Integrity in Innovation page.

Consulting and/or Speaking. Dr. Johnston receives fees of $5,000 or more per year as a paid consultant, speaker or member of an advisory committee for the following companies:

  • Beyond Limits, Inc.
  • Abbott Laboratories
  • CapsicoHealth, Inc.
  • Edwards Lifesciences LLC
  • HD Medical, Inc.

Royalty Payments. Dr. Johnston receives or has the right to receive royalty payments for inventions or discoveries commercialized through the companies shown below:

  • Jace Medical, LLC

Right to Future Distribution of Cleveland Clinic Financial Interest. Dr. Johnston may receive future financial benefits from the Cleveland Clinic for inventions or discoveries commercialized through the companies shown below:

  • Jace Medical, LLC

Public Health Service-Reportable Financial Conflicts of Interest. Cleveland Clinic scientists and physicians engage in basic, translational and clinical research activities, working to solve health problems, enhance patient care and improve quality of life for patients. Interactions with industry are essential to bringing the researchers' discoveries to the public, but can present the potential for conflicts of interest related to their research activities. Click here to view a listing of instances where Cleveland Clinic has identified a Public Health Service (PHS)-Reportable Financial Conflict of Interest and has put measures in place to ensure that, to the extent possible, the design, conduct and reporting of the research is free from bias.

* Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists subscribe to the guidance presented in the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals and the AdvaMed Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals. As such, gifts of substantial value are generally prohibited.

Patient Satisfaction Reviews

179 Patient Satisfaction Reviews

The Patient Satisfaction Rating is an average of all responses to the care provider related questions shown below from our nationally-recognized Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey. Patients that are treated in outpatient or hospital environments may receive different surveys, and the volume of responses will vary by question.

Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best score.

The comments are submitted by patients and reflect their views and opinions. The comments are not endorsed by and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cleveland Clinic.

Overall Star Ratings
4.8 out of 5
Explains 4.7
Listens 4.7
Courtesy, Respect & Concern 4.9
Knows Medical History 4.9
Time Spent with Patient 5
Patient Rating of Doctor 4.9

13 Patient Comments

Reviewed on Jul 19, 2019

I was very pleased with our consultation with Dr. Johnston. he was very personable and took the time to answer our many questions/clarify details. I was very anxious about pursuing a pericardiectomy for our son prior to our conversation with Dr Johnston. however, I feel greatly relieved and confident moving ahead with this next difficult step. I learned a great deal about the procedure/risks/outcomes/recovery through the conversation.

Reviewed on Jul 19, 2019

I already recommended Dr Johnston on a pericardiectomy Facebook group for a consultation.

Reviewed on Jul 15, 2019

Dr Johnston was very clear, patient and detailed in our discussion. I appreciate his care and concern.

Reviewed on Jun 13, 2019

My cardiologist, my surgeon, all physicians on staff in ICU and cardiac step down were awesome and understanding of my questions & concerns. Wonderful experience.

Reviewed on May 16, 2019

It was the first time I met Dr Johnston. I would have liked him to explain procedurally how things would be done. Not just, replace the valve and do bypass. Just like it's no big deal. He seemed in a hurry. He was nice . He answered many of my questions. I still have concerns.

Reviewed on May 1, 2019

We did not actually meet with a nurse for this appointment, they have always been very good in the past. We met directly with Dr. Johnston, this trip.

Reviewed on Apr 24, 2019

Best, most knowledgeable, and most understanding doctors I've experienced.

Reviewed on Apr 19, 2019

I am always pleased with Cleveland Clinic and Dr Johnston

Reviewed on Apr 12, 2019

Dr Johnson was very thorough and spent time to answer every question we had.

Reviewed on Mar 13, 2019

*Dr. Johnston we can't thank you enough for your skills and kindness to us. Thanks for giving my life back.

Reviewed on Mar 4, 2019

Dr. Johnston explains things well

Reviewed on Jan 18, 2019

Dr. Johnston is an exception communicator and concerned physician. I consider myself fortunate to have had him for my surgery.

Reviewed on Jan 11, 2019

I feel Dr. Johnston is the best in his field, that is why we chose to follow up with him, he had all the answers to our many questions

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