Heart and Vascular

Get to know Danbury Hospital's renowned chief of cardiac surgery

Richard Kaplon, MD


It is not uncommon for Dr. Richard Kaplon to take time away from a staycation to perform cardiac surgery.


“I’ll take a day or two or three and come in,” the cardiothoracic surgeon said. “Given the choice of going skiing or operating, a lot of times I’d rather operate.”

Dr. Kaplon joined Nuvance Health in June 2021 as Danbury Hospital’s Chief of Cardiac Surgery. Since, he has performed more than 450 surgeries, he said.

Cardiac surgeries are both open-heart and minimally invasive procedures to treat conditions of the heart, valves and blood vessels. They include coronary artery bypass grafting,
mitral valve repair and replacement, aortic valve replacement, complex aortic surgery and procedures for atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart rhythm.


Dr. Kaplon noted there has been a marked increase in volume in all surgeries and in particular for complex mitral valve repairs. The mitral valve is a small flap in the heart that stops blood from flowing the wrong way.


Learn more about heart surgery at Nuvance Health.

“I’m often asked why someone should come to Danbury Hospital or to Nuvance Health as a system to have their care,” he said. “What we offer here in our program is a unique, personalized, patient-centric approach to care that one might not necessarily get somewhere else.”


Prior to joining Danbury Hospital, Dr. Kaplon led several cardiac surgery programs throughout the country. He has been in practice for more than 27 years, most recently serving as chairman of the Department of Cardiology/Cardiovascular Surgery at Dignity Health’s Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento, Calif.


“I’m dedicated to quality patient care and timely and effective communication with my patients and colleagues,” Dr. Kaplon said. “My philosophy of care is to treat everyone as if they are a member of my family.”


Dr. Kaplon received his cardiothoracic surgical training at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio, after completing his general surgery residency at New York University Medical Center in New York City. He obtained additional training as the Margaret Hatch Fellow in cardiopulmonary transplantation from Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City.


Following his undergraduate degree in philosophy from Columbia College in New York City, Dr. Kaplon completed medical school at New York University School of Medicine. He also holds a master’s degree in healthcare management from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.


Dr. Kaplon has authored numerous scientific publications and has served as primary investigator on a number of clinical studies.


Learn more about the Heart and Vascular Institute at Nuvance Health.