Leader in heart transplants and implantable heart pumps to bring new generation of LVADs and clinical trials to Loyola
MAYWOOD, Ill. (Nov. 7, 2014) – Internationally known cardiothoracic surgeon Ed McGee, MD, who specializes in heart transplants and implantable heart pumps, has joined Loyola University Medical Center.
Dr. McGee comes to Loyola from Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was surgical director of heart transplantation and mechanical assistance.
At Loyola, Dr. McGee is head of the heart transplant and assist device program and a professor in the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.
“I’m thrilled to be joining an extremely strong team at Loyola, which has a long and successful history of performing complex heart surgery,” Dr. McGee said.
Loyola established its heart transplant program in 1984. Loyola recently performed its 750th heart transplant, a milestone that places the hospital among an elite handful of heart transplant centers.
For patients with severe heart failure, Loyola offers medical therapy, heart transplantation and an implantable heart pump called a left ventricular assist device (LVAD). In some cases, LVADs keep patients alive and active until a heart transplant becomes available. In a growing number of other patients, LVADs are offered as a permanent “destination therapy.”
Dr. McGee is joining one of the nation’s premier heart programs. Loyola’s Cardiology & Heart Surgery program is the only cardiology program in Chicago to be nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 12 years in a row.
Dr. McGee has performed approximately 250 heart transplants and implanted about 400 LVADs. He was the first surgeon in North America to implant two assist devices in one patient – one device in each ventricle (pumping chamber). He is principle investigator of a multicenter LVAD trial of a less-invasive alternative to the standard surgical technique of cutting through the breastbone.
Dr. McGee said that at Loyola he will conduct clinical trials of a new generation of LVADs that are smaller, less invasive and designed to reduce the risks of intestinal bleeding and blood clots. Dr. McGee predicts that within 10 years, LVADs will be completely implantable, eliminating the need for a drive line that connects the device to a battery pack worn outside the body.
“Assist devices are far from perfect, but they are continually improving,” Dr. McGee said. “At Loyola, we will offer patients the latest devices that have been approved by the FDA or are being investigated in clinical trials.”
About 35 percent of LVADs currently are implanted as permanent therapy, and this percentage likely will increase as devices improve, Dr. McGee said.
Dr. McGee’s other special interests include complex heart bypass surgery, complex heart valve surgery and aortic surgery.
Dr. McGee earned his medical degree from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He completed a residency in thoracic surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was chief resident, and a heart transplant fellowship at Cleveland Clinic. Dr. McGee also was a clinical fellow at Harvard Medical School and a biotechnology fellow at the National Cancer Institute.
Dr. McGee lives in Oak Park with his wife, Dr. Dawn Macauley McGee, and their two children. Outside of medicine, his interests include family activities, running, outdoor activities and training dogs.