Dr. Robert Poston, MD
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Dr. Robert Poston, MD

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Cardiac Surgery | Male

Care Philosophy

My philosophy is to avoid the traditional sternum splitting procedure (i.e. saw open the chest) if the same exact cardiac surgical procedure can be done without compromising the long term surgical result (that is true for about half of all patients referred for surgery). All physicians innately recognize that patients fear surgical incisions that are morbid and take a long time to heal. An incision that requires a saw to create is clearly morbid. Developing a less invasive practice is the logical conclusion of these obvious facts, yet 99% of heart surgeons in the US only use open chest incisions to operate on patients referred to them. I also believe that patients need to know the following: there currently exists no ethical or legal imperative for a surgeon that only operates using open techniques to disclose that there is a less invasive alternative to the patient or their referring provider, even they would be appropriate for the less invasive technique with another surgeon. 

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Biography

From 2011 until 2014, Dr. Poston was the Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Arizona.  In this role, he developed into the type of leader which could best be summarized as a "pragmatic visionary".  The three years for his division under his stewardship demonstrated a track record 8 major innovations that were all new to Tucson and many were new to the country.  These innovations and the overall accomplishments of the program at UA are outlined in a presentation available at his website.

Dr. Poston's leadership has become more pragmatic based on lessons learned from leading major change at Tucson and other institutions.  He has insisted on each of these innovations being subject to the scrutiny of peer review research and publication.  He also focused his efforts on developing and maintaining a high performance team in both the OR and ICU that was able to manage both conventional and less invasive surgery at this highest level.  These initiatives required a leader that fosters an environment where team members are willing to speak up about the unique challenges posed by these new programs and patients.  He challenges the team to continuously improve safety through regular briefings, debriefings, and rehearsals. (more information about this leadership style is available on his website).

When feasible, Dr. Poston approaches problems with patient care using a multidisciplinary approach to bring the best possible solutions rapidly forward.  In general, he has tried to apply the lessons for team management learned from the aviation industry.  This approach, termed crew resource management, has yielded dramatic improvements in airline travel and has only recently been adopted to improve surgical safety.

In February 2015Dr. Poston started his position as chairman of theDepartment of Cardiothoracic Surgery at St. Francis Medical Center.  At St. Francis, he has continued his leadership philosophy and developed a robotic heart surgery practice focusing on heart bypass and mitral valve repairs that has quickly become the 5th busiest robotic heart surgery program in the country.  The cardiac surgical department that he leads was recently honored by the hospital's "Healing Hands Award".

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Dr. Poston's Experience

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Dr. Poston accepts 13 insurance carriers

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Hospital Quality
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Dr. Poston's Reviews

Likelihood of recommending Dr. Poston to family and friends
4.5
based on 34 total surveys (18 with reviews)
Dr. Poston's Performance
  • Trustworthiness
    EXCELLENT
  • Explains condition(s) well
    EXCELLENT
  • Answers Questions
    EXCELLENT
  • Time well spent
    EXCELLENT
Office & Staff Performance
  • Scheduling
    EXCELLENT
  • Office environment
    EXCELLENT
  • Staff friendliness
    EXCELLENT
  • Average wait time
    10 to 15 minutes
Patient Reviews (18)
Las Cruces |
This doctor was the only one that explained all the options to me, including the robotic option. Other surgeons that I saw only mentioned the procedure that splits open the chest. It is obvious that any patient would want to know about lesser invasive options. I am grateful that Dr. Poston has started his practice in New Mexico.
in Tucson, AZ |
RECOMMENDING TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS ? I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND TO MY WORST ENEMY ---UN PROFESSIONAL---SLOPPY--DID WRONG OPERATION AND I COULD GO ON AND ON --- SEE ANOTHER DOCTOR --- DAN [A FORMER PATIENT ]
Lakewood, NJ |
My surgery was an emergency and complicated by other underlying conditions that became apparent after the surgery. Not only is Dr. Poston a highly skilled surgeon, but he is a kind, compassionate, and caring person. With his surgical skills, he repaired my mitral valve and did a triple bypass. My other conditions required several specialists and I requested Dr. Poston to be the doctor in charge since I have such confidence in him. He coordinated the whole team to oversee my recovery
in Hightstown, NJ |
Dr. Poston is an excellent heart surgeon and wonderful human being. I had robotic by-pass surgery and it went very well. Dr. Poston came everyday to see how I was doing . I also liked that he did not make the surgery an emergency. I am very pro active with my health care, and I was very fortunate that I went to St. Frances Hospital and got Dr. Robert Poston to do my surgery.
in Bisbee, AZ |
I had robotic cardiac bypass surgery (at 64) with Dr. Poston in August 2012, at the University Medical Center (University of Arizona). I know all about what happened to him (all politics), and I want to recommend him for every reason one can possibly consider. Every one. He was an angel to me, and as a two-time cancer survivor (2 surgeries at MD Anderson), I am in awe of this wonderful person and awesome surgeon! He is truly in the league with Ben Carson; Tucson's loss is New Jersey's gain.
in Sierra Vista, AZ |
Dr. Poston did 4 robotic bypasses on my dad who was 83. Two days in the hospital. Playing golf two weeks later. Gave my dad his cell phone number. Always returns his calls. Still checking on him almost 3 years later. What other doctor does this? At 85, my dad shot 69 at PDS country club to make a big news splash.
in Tucson, AZ |
My husband found out that he needed heart surgery and was referred to Dr. Poston. He gave my husband hope and a new lease on life, both physically and emotionally after he informed my husband that he would be a good candidate for robotic heart surgery. He assured him that it would be his choice to select the traditional form of surgery or the robotic. My husband chose the robotic surgery and has never regretted it. He was out of the hospital within a week and onl
in Sierra Vista, AZ |
Dr. Poston did 4 robotic bypasses on my dad who was 83. Two days in the hospital. Playing golf two weeks later. Gave my dad his cell phone number. Always returns his calls. Still checking on him almost 3 years later. What other doctor does this? At 85, my dad shot 69 at PDS country club to make a big news splash.
in Sierra Vista, AZ |
Dr. Poston did my surgery May 2013. 3 months and 1 day after surgery I was in the ring competing again. I earned 5 State Titles last year. This year, as of today, I am #2 in World Standings. I will be competing for World Championship in July. If it were not for Dr. Poston I would not be competing at all.
in Sierra Vista, AZ |
Dr. Poston performed a robotic bypass on me 4 years ago and I could not be happier with the results. In this day and age, a surgeon who is willing to provide his cell phone number with his patients and ask them to call 24/7 with problems is truly exceptional. This is a one of a kind surgeon.
in Caen, P |
Dr. Poston had reviewed all of my dad's medical records before his consult, gave my dad his cell phone number, explained every step of the operation and follow-up care and treated my dad as a valued and respected member of the team. He did a flawless operation and made sure my dad was taken care of and recovered well by spending the night with him in the ICU. I would recommend Dr. Poston unconditionally to any patient.
Trenton, NJ |
I had a robotic valve repair done by Dr. Poston. Everything went great and I was back to full activities in 3 weeks. My neighbor had surgery at U Penn and took 3 times as long to recover. I really believe that robotic, less invasive is amazing.
in Rhode Island |
Very committed to his patients. He did my robotic bypass five years ago. Since then whenever I have had a question related to my cardiac health he has always returned my call.
in Redwoalley, CA |
I have known Dr. Robert Poston for over 25 years, and can attest to his excellence in medicine. I have consulted with Dr. Poston about my 101 year old mother during the time I have known him and he has always been very helpful and supportive. He is thorough in his assessments, communicates the options carefully and thoroughly, and has always followed up appropriately without exception. Dr. Poston gives his patients his personal cell phone number and he has saved us several unnecessary trips
in Terrance |
Very gifted surgeon who cares a lot about the patient and their family. He spent countless hours with me before and after surgery, explaining a complicated surgery in ways that I could easily understand. I traveled from Arizona to come to Trenton, NJ in the winter in order to have surgery by Dr. Poston. Several of my neighbors in Arizona had surgery by him when he was at the University of Arizona. They all said - if you need heart surgery, go see Dr. Poston. Their advice was correct.
Minimally invasive surgery was something that I was not aware of being available in this area. I thought it was only offered in places like NYCity or Philadelphia. I met Dr. Poston and underwent a less invasive valve surgery. As he suggested, I recovered quickly with 3 days in the hospital and was back to work in 3 weeks. There was almost no blood loss, which I am told a very important advantage of this method. It was nice to avoid a prolonged anemia like my mother had after open heart.
I really liked doctor Poston but I also got a sense that there was a whole team of people behind him that contributed to my excellent outcome. From the first day that I saw him in the clinic for my assessment for surgery, it was apparent that the entire team was working hard together with a very high morale. Clearly, they recognize that they are involved in something special. They have the only robotic heart surgery program in New Jersey.
in Allentown, NJ |
I have been in the nursing profession for over 30 years and have never met a surgeon like Dr. Poston. From beginning to the end, Dr. Poston was kind, compassionate, and visible. He made rounds daily himself, not sending an assistant or another surgeon. On the post op visit, he also was there to conduct the post op exam. He went above and beyond, by giving my friend his personal cell phone number and answering it. Thank you for renewing my faith in surgeons.
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Dr. Poston says...

From 2011 until 2014, Dr. Poston was the Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Arizona.  In this role, he developed into the type of leader which could best be summarized as a "pragmatic visionary".  The three years for his division under his stewardship demonstrated a track record 8 major innovations that were all new to Tucson and many were new to the country.  These innovations and the overall accomplishments of the program at UA are outlined in a presentation available at his website.

Dr. Poston's leadership has become more pragmatic based on lessons learned from leading major change at Tucson and other institutions.  He has insisted on each of these innovations being subject to the scrutiny of peer review research and publication.  He also focused his efforts on developing and maintaining a high performance team in both the OR and ICU that was able to manage both conventional and less invasive surgery at this highest level.  These initiatives required a leader that fosters an environment where team members are willing to speak up about the unique challenges posed by these new programs and patients.  He challenges the team to continuously improve safety through regular briefings, debriefings, and rehearsals. (more information about this leadership style is available on his website).

When feasible, Dr. Poston approaches problems with patient care using a multidisciplinary approach to bring the best possible solutions rapidly forward.  In general, he has tried to apply the lessons for team management learned from the aviation industry.  This approach, termed crew resource management, has yielded dramatic improvements in airline travel and has only recently been adopted to improve surgical safety.

In February 2015Dr. Poston started his position as chairman of theDepartment of Cardiothoracic Surgery at St. Francis Medical Center.  At St. Francis, he has continued his leadership philosophy and developed a robotic heart surgery practice focusing on heart bypass and mitral valve repairs that has quickly become the 5th busiest robotic heart surgery program in the country.  The cardiac surgical department that he leads was recently honored by the hospital's "Healing Hands Award".

Dr. Poston's Care Philosophy

My philosophy is to avoid the traditional sternum splitting procedure (i.e. saw open the chest) if the same exact cardiac surgical procedure can be done without compromising the long term surgical result (that is true for about half of all patients referred for surgery). All physicians innately recognize that patients fear surgical incisions that are morbid and take a long time to heal. An incision that requires a saw to create is clearly morbid. Developing a less invasive practice is the logical conclusion of these obvious facts, yet 99% of heart surgeons in the US only use open chest incisions to operate on patients referred to them. I also believe that patients need to know the following: there currently exists no ethical or legal imperative for a surgeon that only operates using open techniques to disclose that there is a less invasive alternative to the patient or their referring provider, even they would be appropriate for the less invasive technique with another surgeon. 

Dr. Poston says...

Dr. Robert Poston has been in practice for 14 years doing a wide variety of cardiac procedures, specializing in less invasive and robotic techniques to perform operations that reduce the patient's recovery time.  He has an extensive background in this area based on more than 1000 cases of experience and his own in depth research into the outcomes that can be expected with these innovations vs. the standard, open method.  Since his first robotic case a decade ago, Dr. Poston has acquired one of the busiest practices in the country in robotic heart surgery.  He is only 1 of around 20 surgeons with sufficient expertise to perform robotic heart surgery safely and has proven his leadership ability by initiating successful robotic programs at several different cardiac surgical divisions.  Patients have sought him out from all over the country with the universal goal of shortening their recovery times after surgery. For more information, see Dr. Poston's robotic ct surgery website.

Dr. Poston says...

A critical determinant of a surgeon's expertise in a given procedure is the outcomes vs. benchmarks. This is highly technical information that is difficult (but important) for a patient to understand.  A surgeons' past outcomes serve as a valuable predictor for future outcomes, i.e. how any given patient is likely to do after being treated by that surgeon.  In other words, your risk of dying or having a serious complication is predicted by how other patients have done in that surgeon's hands.  Cardiac surgical programs are given 1 of 3 ratings (below average, average, above average) based on the risk of death and complications that develop in patients undergoing heart surgery at that program over a given year.  This information is provided by the websites for the Society of Thoracic Surgery (STS) and Consumer Reports.  Programs that Dr. Poston has led have outcomes that have consistently been in the top 10% according to benchmarks, a fact which is verifiable by checking these sites.

Dr. Poston'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 Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery
  •  No malpractice claims found
  •  No sanctions found
  •  No board actions found

Awards & Recognition

  • Awards & Honors
    • Healthgrades Honor Roll
    What is a recognized doctor
  • Media & Publications

    Dr. Poston has no media or publications listed.

Background Check

  • 0
    Malpractice Claims

    No malpractice history found for New Jersey.

    What is medical malpractice
  • 0
    Sanctions

    No sanctions history found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.

    What is a sanction or disciplinary action
  • 0
    Board Actions

    No board actions found for the years that Healthgrades collects data.

    What are board actions

Board Certifications

Why It Matters: Dr. Poston'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... More

  • Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery

Conditions Treated

  • Aneurysm
  • Aneurysm of Heart
  • Angina and Acute Coronary Syndrome
  • Aortic Aneurysm
  • Aortic Dissection
  • Aortic Stenosis
  • Aortic Valve Disease
  • Aortic Valve Regurgitation
  • Arrhythmias
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Atrial Flutter
  • Benign Tumor
  • Cancer
  • Cardiomegaly
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Carotid Artery Disease
  • Congenital Aortic Valve Disorders
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
  • Coronary Artery Dissection
  • Endocarditis
  • Heart Attack (Acute Myocardial Infarction)
  • Heart Disease
  • Heart Tumors, Benign
  • Mitral Valve Disease
  • Mitral Valve Regurgitation
  • Mitral Valve Stenosis
  • Pericardial Disease
  • Pulmonary Disease
  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • Pulmonary Valve Disease
  • Ruptured Aortic Aneurysm
  • Secondary Hypertension

Education

  • Medical School
    Johns Hopkins University School Of Medicine

    Graduated in 1993

  • Internship Hospital
    University Of California @ San

    Completed in 1994

  • Residency Hospital
    University Of California @ San

    Completed in 2000

    University of Pittsburgh / Main Campus

    Completed in 2002

  • Fellowship Hospital
    Stanford University School Of Medici

    Completed in 1997

  • Undergraduate School
    University of Texas / Austin Campus

    Graduated in 1989

Languages Spoken

  • English

Memberships &
Professional Affiliations

Dr. Poston does not have any memberships or affiliations listed. If you are Dr. Poston and would like to add memberships or affiliations, please update your free profile.

Specialties

  • Cardiac Surgery

Procedures Performed

  • Ablation for Treatment of Cardiac Arrhythmias
  • Aortic Repair, Open or Repair of Arterial Aneurysm, Open
  • Aortic Valve Surgery
  • Cardiac Catheterization (incl. Coronary Angiography)
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) Surgery
  • Coronary Artery Bypass With Robotic Assistance
  • Coronary Cathertization With Robotic Assistance
  • Decortication and Pleurectomy
  • Heart Surgery
  • Hernia Repair
  • Impella Device
  • Incision and Removal of Foreign Object
  • Insertion of Epicardial Lead for Pacemaker or Cardioverter and-or Defibrillator
  • Insertion of Left Ventricular Lead for Pacemaker or Cardioverter and-or Defibrillator
  • Maze Procedure
  • Mitral Valve Surgery
  • Non-Invasive Mechanical Ventilation With Robotic Assistance
  • Open Heart Valvuloplasty of Mitral Valve Without Replacement With Robotic Assistance
  • Port Placements or Replacements
  • Pulmonary Valve Surgery
  • Removal or Revision of Pacemaker or Cardioverter and-or Defibrillator
  • Resection of Cardiac Tumor
  • Thoracentesis
  • Thoracoscopic Drainage of Pleural Cavity With Robotic Assistance
  • Thoracoscopic Wedge Resection
  • Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)
  • Tricuspid Valve Surgery
  • Valve Repair or Replacement (Aortic, Mitral, Tricuspid, and Pulmonary)