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We have a PPO insurance so can to
almost any doc. Looking for a cardiologist in reasonable
proximity to Berkeley or Richmond areas. Husband was long ago
diagnosed with a heart palpatation yet has not gone to a doctor
in over 10 years. So someone approachable and who can take a
little time to educate/ give info. would be appreciated.
Dr. Robert Greene, whose offices are located at Alta Bates
Hospital, is a very skilled and personable adult cardiologist.
He is a great listener and does not rush you. I highly
My husband sees Dr. Michael Lee at Cardiovascular Consultants in
Oakland. We like him, and I can recommend him with confidence.
You asked for a doctor who would take the time to educate you,
and Dr. Lee certainly did this. We first went there when my
husband was having unexplained fainting spells, and Dr. Lee spent
a lot of time (nearly an hour!) listening to us and suggesting
possible causes. After he diagnosed the problem, he took the
time to explain it with patience and professionalism. Dr. Lee
has also been flexible in treating my husband's high cholesterol;
when my husband wanted to stop taking medication to try to
control it via diet and exercise, Dr. Lee agreed.
His office is at 365 Hawthorne Ave. #201, and the phone is
I have worked as a heart nurse at Alta Bates for many years,
and love all the partners in the Berkeley Cardiovascular
Medical Group. They are all very knowledgeable, excellent
physicians who stay current with the latest research and
medications. Personality wise, I think Dr. Jack Edelen and Dr.
Dan Hill are the most approachable, and I am sure they will
answer all your and your husband's questions. Their office is
in Alta Bates (on Ashby), and they can be reached at 204-1691.
You may have to wait several weeks(or more)for a new
appointment. Good luck!
Does anyone have a recommendation for a great cardiologist,
preferably in the East Bay? Does anyone have any comments, pro
or con, about Dr. Neil White or Dr. Sally Davis, two
cardiologists in Walnut Creek that my doctor mentioned to me.
I need to see a cardiologist about an ongoing rapid heartbeat.
Hi, I am an RN in the Electrophysiology Lab at Alta Bates,
where we diagnose and treat abnormal heart rhythms all day
long. We have two absolutely fantastic cardioloists who
specialize in abnormal heart rhythms: Dr. George Horvath and
Dr. Susan Eisenberg. I can't say enough wonderful things about
them both, and I can assure you that both are excellent
clinically. They also are both very pleasant, patient, and
have a great bedside manner. Both will take as long as
necessary with you and your family to explain your condition,
tests, medicines recommended, etc. My sister had an abnormally
fast heart rhythm a few years ago, and Dr. Eisenberg treated it
successfully with a catheter ablation. The only caveat is that
both dr. Horvath and Dr. Eisenberg are busy, and it may take a
bit of a wait to schedule an appointment with them, but they
are worth the wait as long as your condition is stable. You
can reach the Berkeley Cardiovascular Medical Group at 204-
I highly recommend Dr. George Horvath at Berkeley Cardiovascular Medical
Group (at Alta Bates). 204-1691
He was the only doctor who was able to diagnose my intermittent rapid
heart beat (first felt during pregnancy). He is extremely knowledgeable
about electrical irregularities and was very good at explaining my choices
I'm looking to find an excellent cardiologist in the Bay Area
for my mother age 65. She lives in Japan, just had a minor
heart episode (chest pains, angiogram) and needs to find a
cardiologist to be her Stateside doctor. She needs to be seen
within the next 60 days for follow-up. Can anyone recommend a
great cardiologist? Thanks!!!
I highly recommend California Pacific Cardiovascular Associates
in San Francisco. I worked for this large Pacific Heights group
for 7 years before becoming a SAHM, and I would trust my own
family in their care. Specifically I would recommend Drs. Peter
Hui, Bruce Brent, Richard Francoz, and Charlie Morris. Their
number is (415) 923-3006. They work on referrals from primary
care physicians mostly, so explain to the receptionist that your
mother is coming from out of the country, and they should be able
to accomodate you. Best of luck.
William Parmley at UCSF is fantastic. He's an excellent
cardiologist and a warm and lovely person. At one time or
another he was the president of the American College of
Cardiologists, and he was named in one of those national polls
as one of the nation's best. But the nicest thing about him is
that he is such a nice person. You can't go wrong with him.
I wish your mother well.
I have two recommendations. The first is Dr. J. Daniel Hill.
He is associated with
Berkeley Cardiovascular Medical Group
Alta Bates Medical Center
2450 Ashby Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705
My husband has seen him for 20 months now and through two heart
attacks and angioplasties. We love him, but don't like how his
office is run. When we were looking for a cardiologist, Dr.
Hill was highly recommended by cardio technicians from Marin to
SF. His practice and partners we were told are one of, if not
The second is
Dr Andrew Benn, associated with John Muir
106 La Casa Via #140
Walnut Creek, CA 94598
My parents who have extreme heart conditions see Dr. Benn. He
has treated them for the past year since they moved from Chicago
and has improved their health. They find him extremely
personable and like his office.
This is a biased recommendation as I am recommending my dad. He
has been a cardiologist at Summit/Merritt Hospital since 1974 and is the
head of the Cardiac Cath. Lab (he may be the Chief of Cardiology too
but I am not sure if he gave that up). In any case, he is not only an
excellent and knowledgeable practioner who loves what he does and
works hard to keep up on the latest developments in heart medicine, but
he also has a fabulous bedside manner (he actually won an award for
his bedside manner while in training). Years ago I worked at Summit
Medical Center and I was very proud to be his daughter because he is
such a kind and friendly doctor. His patients really adore him. Lastly,
his office staff is courteous and helpful. Earl Holloway, M.D. 510-654-
Dr. Richard Edelin (or Edelen)-- he works out of Alta Bates --
he's calm, and explains the details of the treatment.
We are waiting for CT scan results and expecting that we will soon be told out
6 year old needs heart/blood vessel surgery to correct a previously
undiscovered malformation. (We knew he had a murmur, and respiratory problems,
but now it turns out that a blood vessel is compressing his trachea and will
need likely need to be re-routed for him to have a normal life without fear of
respiratory distress with every cold. Before, we were told he had croup and/or
asthma and was on meds for that, but we have pushed and finally got some
answers...) People have recommended Dr. Hanley at Stanford, but my questions
is this: Has anyone that has Kaiser needed major pediatric cardio-thoracic
surgery performed for their child? Who did Kaiser refer you to for the
surgery, and where was it done? Did you have to fight to get seen by the
person you wanted? Were you successful?
As a follow up question - does anyone know of a child therapist of counselor
that specializes in medical trauma/recovery? Our child is not an infant or
toddler - he's six, and he's already dealt with several MAJOR medical issues
and scary events. I want to make sure he gets the help he needs before and
after the surgery (if we end up there...) Has anyone successfully convinced
Kaiser they should pay for that kind of counseling, or do they do it in-house
and are there reviews? Thank you.
Can you take your child to Children's Hospital and their great cardiology
That's where you will get the best care, including child life services to help
mentally prepare your child (and you!) for surgery pre and post-op. Dr Hanley is
of the team at both Stanford and Children's, by the way.
I don't have Kaiser, but wanted to share a bit of our experience with you and
another recommendation for Dr. Hanley if that's a possibility for you. He operated
our son when he was 18 months old (he's now 6), and I know what a scary time it
be. We felt so confident in Dr. Hanley, who met with us 1 week prior to the
He was very open and patient with our questions and concerns. And Children's
did have a children's psychologist who met with us....obviously not very necessary
an 18 month old, but would have been beneficial for a 6 year old. I think the
thing that helped me relax was when I realized the surgery wasn't optional and was
of my control. Therefore, I had to trust the surgeon to do his/her job and my role
to do the most research I could, ask all the questions possible, and stay calm so
could support my child (not easy for me as I'm the nervous type by nature). I will
it's amazing how quickly children recover from s!
urgery. Our problem was to keep our son from being too active afterwards! Just
to wish you well in your journey. All the best to you and your son.
Hi Worried Mom,
My name is Anna, Mom to Summer. My daughter was born with a complex heart defect
Dr. Hanley was the assistant surgeon for both her surgeries Ė sheís waiting for
more. Summerís primary surgeon is Dr. Olaf Reinhartz Ė same practice and he
under Dr. Hanley.
Your son is in very capable hands with Dr. Hanley. We did a lot of research and
that the entire practice is nothing short of phenomenal. In fact, a friend who
through medical school and practices in NY said that he would travel across the
country to take his kid to Dr. Hanley if he needed heart surgery. Thatís saying a
since Johnís Hopkins is closer to him and is basically the birthplace of pediatric
We donít have Kaiser but here are some questions I would ask Dr. Hanley and your
1. What kind of follow-up care will be required long-term? Kids born with
defects are different than adults who get heart disease. I would ask that your
followed by a pediatric cardiologist.
2. Does Kaiser offer a child life specialist? Child life specialists will
you and your son tips on how to deal with the stress of pre and post surgery. Ask
see one sooner rather than later. If youíre going to be driving down to Packard
the surgery, they should have child life specialists on staff that Kaiser can
out to you. Ė A child life specialist is basically the answer to your child
question. They have an advanced degree in child life rather than psychology but
similar topics with an emphasis on the development of children with chronic
Dr. Hanley also performs surgery out of Childrenís Hospital Oakland. He has one
practice based out of Stanford but has offices at 3 and possibly 4 hospitals in
Northern California. Childrenís Hospital Oakland is one of the other locations. I
found itís very convenient to live just 5 minutes away from the hospital so that
husband and I can go to and from the ICU as Summer recovers from heart surgery.
Packard can be a long drive when you're sleep deprived and stressed out. The
is (at least so I hear) the cardiology ICU is nicer at Packard than the one at
Childrenís Hospital Oakland. Maybe ask to visit both and then decide for
UCSF has a very large pediatric cardio-thoracic surgical team and they have a new
cardiac ICU. One thing to note is that Dr. Hanley started there and they lost him
So you have a couple of options. I wish I could be more helpful on the Kaiser
We need a pediatric cardiologist for routine follow-up of a
child with a congenital heart defect, corrected by neonatal
surgery (elsewhere). So we're looking for a very current,
skilled cardiologist and cardiology department --
complications are rare in this situation, but do occur, and I'd
like to become associated with a group I'd trust with any
diagnostics and treatment required. I wonder if anyone has
knowledge of pediatric cardiology both at Children's and at
UCSF (even Stanford -- not so far to go for something so
important) and could advise me on this. Thanks!
If you live in the East bay I would recommend going to the Pediatric
Cardiology Group at Oakland Children's Hospital. The physicians are all
excellent, approachable, experienced and parents themselves. I would
especially recommend Dr Ziad Saba.
Our son was born with a very serious heart defect and has had
multiple surgeries at UCSF. We have been very impressed with
the cardiologists there. His surgeon was Dr. Frank Hanley who
pioneered the surgery on his particular defect. Dr. Hanley is
now at Stanford, where I understand they also have a very highly
regarded program. Anyway, we are with Kaiser and see Dr. Desai
at the Hayward Kaiser facility for follow up cardiology
appointments. At UCSF, we see Dr. Teitel (he is very good, as
have been all the cardiologists that we have dealt with there).
A doctor at Children's (whose name escapes me) actually
diagnosed the condition when he was born and also seemed very
good. We have been impressed with almost all of the
cardiologists that we have met (except the Kaiser SF doctor who
did not have a very good bedside manner). Good luck!
I wanted to second an earlier posting regarding Dr.
Avasarala. Dr. Avasarala is an outstanding Pediatric
Cardiologist. Our daughter was born in July with a complex
congenital heart defect which required surgery and an 8
week stay at Children's Hospital Oakland. Dr. Avasarala
has been with us every step of the way. He has been
amazingly patient, kind and supportive of our entire family
over the past months. I can't say enough positive things
about his care. He has been a lifesaver for us, literally.
The team of cardiologists at Children's are fantastic. I feel
confident that we are receiving the best possible treatment
and I recommend the CHO Pediatric Cardiology team
I have taken my daughter to Dr. Kishor Avasarala at
Children's Hospital Oakland since birth. She has only
required monitoring so far, but he has been very wonderful,
supportive, and non-alarmist. He is an extraordinarily kind
man, and a very good physician. When my child has her
echocardiograms, he always comes in to the room and
checks in with the technician instead of waiting for the
printout. He has always responded quickly to my calls with
concerns, and has squeezed us into his schedule when we
needed a reassuring check-up before a trip on two or three
occasions (even though we weren't due for a checkup for 2
more months, he saw us anyway to ease our minds). He is
fabulous. Additionally, he did inform me recently that Dr.
Frank Hanley's move from UCSF to Stanford did not
negatively impact the surgical unit at CHO--he is still there
once a week, along with Lenardo Thompson and several
other very good surgeons.
Best of luck in your search for a good doctor,
We have taken our 2.5 year old to Kathleen Newkumet at
Children's Hospital since birth, and have been very happy with
her. She is warm, personable, and very informative. We had a
lot of questions, and never felt rushed when we spoke with her.
She saw us through a really difficult time with our daughter's
diagnosis and open heart surgery to repair her problem. We felt
Dr. Newkumet was professional and compassionate throughout our
experience with her. The # to the CHO Cardiology Clinic is 428-
3380, and you can reach her there.
I am in fact a local pediatric cardiologist, and I can only
answer in very general terms so as not to betray a bias. I would
say that the Bay Area is a great place for up-to-date cardiology
care, all 3 major institutions are using leading edge techniques
and technologies and the ''congenital surgeons'' are wonderful.
If your child may require further surgery, the situation is that
Dr. Frank Hanley, who has a world-class reputation, moved his
entire department to Stanford last year and this same group also
performs all heart surgery at CHO. When Hanley left UCSF, Dr.
Tom Carl was recruited there, and Children's/ Stanford also
recently recruited Dr. John Lamberti, who headed the surgery
program in San Diego for 20 years. You can look up their bios on
the internet. Hopefully you won't need their services, though.
UCSF and Stanford are academic medical institutions, their
cardiologists are professors and there is an emphasis on
research as well as patient care, which is of benefit for
patients with rare diseases, etc. The Children's Hospital group
is private practice with their offices at the hospital, but not
hospital employees. Their compensation comes only from patient
care, although they participate in clinical research for access
to new treatments.
If you are in the East Bay, CHO is much more convenient, esp. in
an emergency. If you are further east or north, the institutions
all have outreach clinics in varying locations. Your
pediatrician very likely has someone or an institution they have
most experience with, and it's helpful if they are used to
My advice? Since your child is repaired and primarily needs
monitoring, choose a physician you trust and can communicate
your concerns with and you feel is caring and thoughtful.
Someone who, if they tell you everything is fine, but you have a
nagging doubt or wonder why they haven't ordered a particular
test in a while, you feel comfortable in bringing it up. Bedside
manner is a minor consideration when you are facing major heart
surgery, you want talent, pure and simple. Long-term care,
however, needs to have an element of ''caring''.
this page was last updated: Sep 12, 2008
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