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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

  • Adult Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • 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
  • Bypass Surgery Re-operation
  • Cardiac Surgery
  • Cardio-Oncology Center
  • Cardiovascular Surgery Department
  • Complex Aorta Surgery
  • Congenital Heart Surgery in Adults
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
  • Coronary Artery Reoperation
  • David Procedure
  • David Reimplantation Operation
  • Heart Surgery
  • Heart Surgery for Marfan Syndrome
  • Heart Surgery Reoperation
  • Heart Valve Repair and Replacement
  • Heart Valve Surgery
  • High Risk Reoperation Surgery
  • Infective Endocarditis Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Aortic Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Repair
  • 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
  • Reoperative Heart Surgery
  • Stent Grafting
  • Surgery for Infective Endocarditis
  • Surgery for Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm
  • Surgical Ablation Of Atrial Fibrillation
  • Surgical Procedures for Atrial Fibrillation
  • Surgical Treatment Of Adult Acquired Heart Disease
  • Surgical Treatment Of Thoracic And Cardiovascular Disease
  • Surgical Treatment Of Valve Endocarditis
  • Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery Section
  • Thoracic Aorta Surgery
  • Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Repair
  • Valve Sparing Surgery
  • Valve Surgery
View all 69 Treatment & Services +

Specialty in Diseases & Conditions

  • Acquired Adult Cardiac Disease
  • Acquired Valve Disease
  • Aneurysms
  • Aorta Disease
  • Aortic Aneurysms
  • Aortic Insufficiency
  • Aortic Regurgitation
  • Aortic Stenosis
  • Aortic Valve Disease
  • Aortic Valve Regurgitation
  • 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
  • Dissection Of The Aorta
  • Endocarditis
  • Heart Attack
  • Heart Disease
  • Heart Failure
  • Heart Valve Disease
  • Heart Valve Infections
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
  • Infective Endocarditis
  • Ischemic Cardiomyopathy
  • Marfan Syndrome
  • Mitral Valve Disease
  • 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 50 Specialties +


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About Douglas Johnston, MD

Douglas Johnston, MD, is Vice Chairman, Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Program Director, Thoracic Surgery Residency and Advanced Cardiothoracic Fellowships, Surgical Director, Aortic Valve Center, and staff cardiac surgeon in the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart, Vascular & Thoracic 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 Surgery - Thoracic and 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 4/19/2022, 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:

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

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

  • Medrespond, LLC
  • 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
  • Medrespond, 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

150 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 4.8
Listens 4.8
Courtesy, Respect & Concern 4.9
Patient Rating of Doctor 4.9

18 Patient Comments

Reviewed on Apr 15, 2022

Any patient Douglas R Johnston MD is willing to treat is very fortunate. He sets the bar.

Reviewed on Mar 15, 2022

Amazing experience regarding my day of testing and seeing Dr Rafael and Dr Johnston at the Clinic. You deserve your reputation as the best heart hospital in the world.

Reviewed on Dec 10, 2021

I am traveling all the way from Phoenix to have a surgery that I have the utmost confidence in my decision now that I met Dr. Johnston on Zoom and he answered all of my questions.

Reviewed on Dec 10, 2021

Dr. Johnston was a good listener! He was calm and patient and exuded confidence.

Reviewed on Nov 29, 2021

Very likeable, professional and unhurried. Excellent physician.

Reviewed on Oct 18, 2021

*Dr. Johnston was excellent.

Reviewed on Oct 11, 2021

I'm very appreciative of *Dr. Douglas Johnsen's skills. Also I want to compliment *Dr. Patel & *Dr. Jarvski. Excellent bedside manner!

Reviewed on Sep 22, 2021

My appointment was set by Dr Johnstons staff some months ago. A very detailed letter about the appointments was mailed about 3 mweeks prior and was much appreciated. I would also like to state that the system for precheck in has been changed and it is much easier to navigate on my phone. Thank you

Reviewed on Sep 22, 2021

Dr Johnston is very professional, polite and understanding

Reviewed on Sep 10, 2021

Dr Johnston is the ultimate professional. He is a highly skilled surgeon and an empathetic, caring individual. We are so lucky to have been under his care.

Reviewed on Aug 23, 2021

Dr. Johnston and his team were awesome!

Reviewed on Aug 12, 2021

Dr.Johnston was very informative,caring,andUnderstanding.

Reviewed on Aug 11, 2021

Dr. Johnston was very thoughtful and concerned about my problem, and was not in a hurry!

Reviewed on Jul 21, 2021

Dr Johnston is very professional and helpful in understanding the disease process and treatment.

Reviewed on Jul 9, 2021

The Cleveland Clinic is amazing. The schedulers went above and beyond to schedule my 2 tests and 2 doctor appointments one after the other. It was a seamless transition from appointment to appointment with minimal waiting time.

Reviewed on Jul 9, 2021

Dr. Johnston is amazing. He answered all of my questions, explained all of my test results, and was extremely professional at all times.

Reviewed on Jul 1, 2021

Excellent all the way around. All people very helpful, and when a change in doctor was necessary it was handled without a hitch.

Reviewed on Jun 16, 2021

I never felt rushed with the doctors they were very patient and took time to explain options.

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