Dr. Vassileva was born and raised in Bulgaria and came to the US after high school at the age of 19. She completed medical school and general surgery at Johns Hopkins and subsequently finished her training in cardiothoracic surgery, cardiac track at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in 2009. Throughout her training, she has received multiple awards that distinguish her scholastic achievement. At the end of medical school, she received the William Steward Halsted award for outstanding performance in surgery. At the end of general surgery, she received the John Cameron Technical Excellence Award. At the Brigham, she received the John Collins Cardiothoracic Scholar Award. After completing her training in cardiothoracic surgery in 2009, she took a position at Southern Illinois University as an assistant professor of cardiothoracic surgery. In recognition of her clinical and scholarly achievements as SIU, in 2014, she was promoted to associate professor with tenure. She is well versed in all aspects of cardiac surgery, but her special interest and expertise are heart valve disease and minimally invasive valve surgery, specifically valve repair, including mitral valve repair, tricuspid valve repair, aortic valve repair and valve sparing aortic root replacement. She has established a Center for Valvular Heart Disease at SIU and currently serves as its director. On a national level, she holds a number of national committee appointments. These include member of the Access and Publications Committee for the Workforce on National Databases in the STS, member of the STS Quality Management Task Force, chair of the Mitral Repair Working Group for the Society for Heart Valve Disease, member of the Editorial Board for the Heart Surgery Forum, member of the Grants and Fellowships Committee of the Association of Women Surgeons (AWS). She also serves as a guest reviewer for premier cardiothoracic surgery journals and she is an active fellow of the American College of Cardiology. Dr. Vassileva has authored many publications in top cardiovascular journals, including Circulation, Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Annals of Thoracic Surgery, Journal for Heart Valve Disease and others. She has received multiple grants for her outcomes research in valvular heart disease, especially mitral valve surgery. She is also actively involved in teaching medical students and residents at SIU. In 2010, she was awarded the Clinician Scientist Award for the School of Medicine. In 2011, she received the Junior Faculty Researcher of the Year award for the school of medicine and in 2013, she received the Medical Innovator award for the Sangamon County Medical Society.
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Learn about Dr. Vassileva
My training at Johns Hopkins for general surgery and Harvard for cardiac surgery has instilled in me a philosophy to treating cardiac surgery patients that emphasizes strict attention to detail in preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative care. When I see patients in preoperative consultation, I don't sugar coat the information because I believe that patients who have realistic expectations and are informed about what is going to happen after their surgery recover better and faster.
Dr. Vassileva's experience matches your search based on the following criteria:
Based on total number of patients treated over the last 12 months
Specializes in Cardiac Surgery
Board certified in General Surgery, Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery and Thoracic Surgery
No malpractice claims found
No sanctions found
No board actions found
Adult Cardiac Surgery
Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery
Accredited by: American Board of Surgery*
Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery
Accredited by: American Board of Thoracic Surgery*
Accredited by: American Board of Thoracic Surgery*
Why It Matters: Dr. Vassileva's Board Certifications
Board certification should be one of your top considerations when choosing a doctor. Board certification is an official recognition given to doctors who have met specific requirements set by national medical specialty boards in the United States.
Board certification indicates that a doctor is highly qualified in the medical field in which he or she practices. A board-certified doctor is more likely than a non-board-certified doctor to have the most current skills and knowledge about how to treat your medical condition.
Adult Congenital Heart Disease
Aneurysm and Dissection of Heart
Aneurysm of Sinus of Valsalva
Angina and Acute Coronary Syndrome
Aortic Valve Disease
Aortic Valve Regurgitation
Atrial Septal Defect
Cardiac Sources of Embolism
Cardiomyopathy, Dilated, Idiopathic
Cardiomyopathy, Familial Dilated
Congenital Aneurysms of the Great Vessels
Congenital Aortic Valve Disorders
Congenital Heart Defects
Congenital Heart Disease
Congenital Septal Defect
Congestive Heart Failure
Coronary Artery Aneurysm
Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
Heart Disease in Women
Heart Valve Diseases
Mitral Valve Disease
Mitral Valve Regurgitation
Mitral Valve Stenosis
Pulmonary Valve Disease
Rheumatic Aortic Valve Disorders
Thoracoabdominal Aortic Aneurysm
Ventricular Septal Defect
Ablation for Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation
Ablation for Treatment of Cardiac Arrhythmias
Aortic Aneurysm Repair
Aortic Repair, Open or Repair of Arterial Aneurysm, Open
Aortic Valve Repair
Aortic Valve Replacement
Aortic Valve Surgery
Cardioverter-Defibrillator or Pacemaker Insertion, Removal or Repair
Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery
Heart Defect Repair
Heart Valve Replacement
Insertion of Epicardial Lead for Pacemaker or Cardioverter and-or Defibrillator
Minimally Invasive Aneurysm Repair
Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery
Minimally Invasive Valve Surgery
Mitral Valve Repair
Mitral Valve Replacement
Mitral Valve Surgery
Multi-Arterial Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery
Pacemaker Implantation, Permanent
Pacemaker Implantation, Temporary
Pacemaker Insertion or Replacement
Percutaneous Balloon Valvuloplasty
Pulmonary Valve Surgery
Removal or Revision of Pacemaker or Cardioverter and-or Defibrillator
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
Tricuspid Valve Surgery
Valve Repair or Replacement (Aortic, Mitral, Tricuspid, and Pulmonary)
Vascular Surgical Procedure
0 Malpractice Claims
No malpractice history found for Illinois.
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice is issued when negligence by a doctor causes injury to a patient. For example, a doctor may improperly diagnose, treat or medicate outside the standard of medical care. The three types of malpractice are: a settlement, an arbitration award, or a judgment.
If my doctor has malpractice history, does that mean he or she is a poor-quality doctor?
If your doctor has a malpractice claim, evaluate the information and determine if the action could potentially impact the quality of care you receive. Claim settlements and arbitration awards may occur for a variety of reasons, which should not necessarily reflect negatively on the doctor's professional competence or conduct. You may want to use this information to start a discussion with the doctor about his or her history and specific ability to provide healthcare for you.
How far back does Healthgrades malpractice history go?
Healthgrades reports details of a doctor’s malpractice history when the doctor has at least one closed medical malpractice claim within the last five years, even if he or she no longer practices in that state.
For which states does Healthgrades collect malpractice history?
Healthgrades collects malpractice information from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. If your doctor has a malpractice claim, evaluate the information and determine if the action could potentially impact your quality of care. Sometimes multiple states report the same claim. If a provider practices in a state where data is unavailable, please reach out to your local state legislature to help make this data publicly available.
No sanctions history found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.
What is a sanction or disciplinary action?
A sanction, also known as a disciplinary action, is an action taken to punish or restrict a doctor who has demonstrated professional misconduct. Sanctions may be imposed by a state medical board, professional medical licensing organization, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
If my doctor has sanction history, does that mean he or she is a poor-quality doctor?
If a doctor has a sanction, it does not necessarily mean that he or she is a poor-quality doctor. Some sanctions are not related to medical care, and involve a doctor’s finances or administrative activities. Before you make any choices about changing your doctor, we recommend that you evaluate the doctor’s sanction information and determine how severe or relevant you think the sanction cause and action were.
How far back does Healthgrades sanction history go?
Healthgrades reports state and federal sanctions from the previous five years, except when a doctor's license has been revoked or surrendered. Healthgrades displays all actions for doctors whose licenses have been revoked or surrendered.
For which states does Healthgrades collect sanction history?
Healthgrades collects sanction history from all 50 U.S. states. Physicians with a disciplinary action in one state may move to another state where they have a clean record. Since Healthgrades painstakingly compiles disciplinary action information from all 50 states, Healthgrades website will show if a physician has a disciplinary action in more than one state.
0 Board Actions
No board actions found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.
What are board actions?
Board actions are non-disciplinary actions imposed upon a doctor based on a complaint investigation. A patient or medical colleague may file a complaint with that state medical board or professional licensing organization, which then investigates the complaint. Board actions are intended to ensure that a doctor is able to perform safe medical and health care tasks.
Types of non-disciplinary actions include an advisory letter, a corrective action agreement, a limitation or restriction on the medical or healthcare tasks a doctor can perform, or a voluntary agreement by the doctor not to practice. A board action can also include a termination of a corrective action agreement or voluntary agreement, which allows the doctor to return to full practice.
If my doctor has a board action, does that mean he or she is a poor-quality doctor?
If a doctor has a board action, it means he or she has had a non-disciplinary action imposed upon him or her. It does not necessarily mean that he or she is a poor quality doctor. Before you make any choices about changing your doctor, evaluate the doctor's board action information and determine how severe or relevant you think the cause and action were.
How far back does Healthgrades non-disciplinary board action history go?
Healthgrades reports non-disciplinary board action history from for the previous five years, except when a doctor's license has been revoked or surrendered. Healthgrades displays all actions for doctors whose licenses have been revoked or surrendered.
For which states does Healthgrades collect non-disciplinary board actions?
Healthgrades collects non-disciplinary board actions from all 50 U.S. states.
Undergraduate School | Graduated 1998
Johns Hopkins University / School Of Medicine
Medical School | Graduated 2002
The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Internship Hospital | Completed 2003
The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Residency Hospital | Completed 2007
Brigham and Womens Hospital
Fellowship Hospital | Completed 2009
Awards & Recognition
Awards & Honors
Healthgrades Honor Roll
Media & Publications
Dr. Vassileva has no media or publications listed.
Awards & Recognition
What is a recognized doctor?
Healthgrades Recognized Doctor designation identifies leading doctors who:
Are board certified.
Have not had their license surrendered or revoked since Healthgrades started collecting data in 2000.
Have no malpractice judgments, adverse arbitration awards, or monetary settlements for the last five years in the states in which Healthgrades can collect malpractice data.
Are free of state or federal disciplinary actions (sanctions) for the last five years.
Healthgrades updates the Recognized Doctor list quarterly based on board certification data. Healthgrades also receives sanction and malpractice data throughout the year, depending on how frequently the state medical boards release updates.
We remove a newly sanctioned doctor from the Recognized Doctor list as soon as we receive the information. However, it is important to note that malpractice information is publically available in only 14 states.
Memberships & Professional Affiliations
Dr. Vassileva does not have any memberships or affiliations listed. If you are Dr. Vassileva and would like to add memberships or affiliations, please update your profile.
Likelihood of recommending Dr. Vassileva to family and friends
based on 5total reviews (1 with a comment)
Dr. Vassileva Says:
My clinic runs late, takes a long time, but when my patients leave clinic, they understand the problem they have, the treatment options available to them, the risks and benefits of each option and how to determine the timing of their operation if needed.