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Dr. Richard Gates, Medical Director, Heart Institute

With over 20 years of experience, Dr Gates serves as director of cardiothoracic surgery at the CHOC Children’s Heart Institute. Working in partnership with CHOC leadership, surgeons and anesthesiologists, Dr. Gates has helped create and maintain a world-class pediatric peri-operative program. He works in collaboration with UC Irvine, with whom CHOC is affiliated, to promote research and education in the program. He’s dedicated to supporting CHOC’s position as a best place to practice for physicians and staff, and a best place to receive care for patients and their families.

Dedicated to clinical excellence, Dr. Gates is board certified in thoracic and cardiac surgery and congenital cardiac surgery. Prior to joining CHOC Children’s, Dr. Gates attended medical school at Yale University School of Medicine. He served his residency training in general surgery at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital in New York and his residency training in cardiothoracic surgery at UCLA Medical Center. He completed his fellowship in congenital heart surgery/transplant at UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Gates speaks fluent Spanish.


Orange County Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons
1310 West Stewart Drive 503
Orange, CA 92868
phone: (714) 997-2224
fax: (714) 997-1187

Administrative Appointments

  • Director, Cardiothoracic Surgery, CHOC Children’s Heart Institute
  • Co-Medical Director, Heart Institute, CHOC Children’s
  • Cardiothoracic Surgery, CHOC Children’s Specialists
  • Surgeon-in-Chief, CHOC Children’s


  • Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency
    UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • Congenital Heart Surgery/Transplant Fellowship
    UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • General Surgery Residency
    Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, New York City, NY
  • Medical School
    Yale University School of Medicine

Professional Organizations

  • American College of Cardiology
  • American College of Surgeons
  • Congenital Heart Surgeons Society
  • The Society of Thoracic Surgeons
  • Western Thoracic Surgical Association

Our Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgeons commonly perform the following surgeries: 

Heart Defects

  • Norwood procedure for hypoplastic left heart syndrome
  • Aortic stenosis
  • Arterial switch for transposition of the great arteries
  • Atrial septal defect
  • Atrioventricular (AV) canal defect
  • Coarctation of the aorta
  • Patent ductus arteriosus
  • Pulmonary atresia
  • Pulmonary stenosis
  • Tetralogy of fallot
  • Truncus arteriosus
  • Ventricular septal defect

Thoracic defects

  • Chest wall and lung malignancies
  • Complex vascular access

Lung defects

  • Congenital pulmonary airway malformations
  • Pulmonary sequestration
  • Spontaneous pneumothorax
  • Lung infections


Gates RN, Palafox BA. Early results with an extracellular tissue matrix for cardiovascular tissue use in pediatric patients. 2011 Society of Thoracic Surgeons, San Diego, CA.

Gates RN, Yost P, Parker B. The use ofbivalirudin for pediatric anticoagulation in HIT patients. 2009 5th international conference on pediatric mechanical circulatory support and pediatric cardiopulmonary perfusion. Dallas, TX

Gates RN, Yost P, ParkerB. The use of bilalirudin for pediatric anticoagulation in HIT patients . Artificial Organs, 2010;34(8): 667-69.

Sah S, Berdjis F, Valdes S, Gates RN. Pseudoaneurysm of surgically reconstructed right ventricular outflow tract. World J Ped Conggenital Heart Surg, 2013;4(1):116-9.

  • Richard Gates MD
    • Appointments:
    • Specialty: Thoracic Surgery
    • Board Certified: Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery, Congenital Cardiac Surgery
    • Additional Languages: Spanish
    • On Staff at: CHOC Children's Hospital

Dr. Gates' Publications


These publications are made available via an RSS feed from PubMed. Clicking on the article title will redirect you to view more details on the website.


Being a Pediatric Physician: Dr. Gates

Being a pediatric physician, Dr. Richard Gates shares with us how he likes interacting with patients and families.

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UC Irvine

CHOC Children's is affiliated with the UC Irvine School of Medicine