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How to Mend a Broken Heart

It’s the engine that powers the body, so taking care of your ticker is critical. In this special edition of our Top Doctors list, find 138 cardiologists in the six-county metro area who have been recommended by their peers.

 

The Microvalve

A newborn’s heart is about the size of its fist, the valves inside minuscule. This presents an issue for surgeons trying to help infants born with heart defects. Traditional mechanical replacement valves are larger than a newborn’s, so they may compress the coronary artery or trigger problems in the heart’s electrical system. And surgical repair is tricky because many infants have too little valve tissue to stitch together. “No matter what we try, it just doesn’t work,” says Carl Backer (pictured at top), head of cardiovascular surgery at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Now there’s a more viable option: In March, the Food and Drug Administration approved the world’s smallest mechanical heart valve. Backer, who took the 15-millimeter device manufactured by Abbott Laboratories through clinical trials, first implanted one of the dime-size valves in 2011 under a “compassionate use” exemption, which allows doctors access to devices still in the process of earning FDA approval. Since then, 70 percent of patients have survived at least a year—infants who might otherwise have died within days. “It’s a game-changer,” Backer says. —Cindy Kuzma

 

Cardiac Electrophysiology

Pierrot S. Abi Mansour

Arrhythmias. Advocate Christ Medical Center, Oak Lawn. 708-636-7575

Rishi K. Arora

Atrial fibrillation; pacemakers/defibrillators. Northwestern Medicine. 312-664-3278

Adarsh Bhan

Atrial fibrillation; complex ablations; device therapy; ventricular arrhythmias. Advocate Christ Medical Center, Oak Lawn. 708-799-8700

Thomas E. Bump

Ablations; atrial fibrillation; defibrillator management; electrophysiology; ICD implant; pacemaker insertion and maintenance. Advocate Christ Medical Center, Oak Lawn. 708-346-5562

Martin C. Burke

Arrhythmias; atrial fibrillation; ventricular tachycardia ablation. Palos Community Hospital. 773-726-0853

Steven P. Chough

Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Downers Grove. 630-527-2730

Westby G. Fisher

Arrhythmias; atrial fibrillation; catheter and radio-frequency ablation. NorthShore Evanston Hospital. 847-657-1819

Mohammed Khan

Atrial fibrillation; catheter ablation; pacemakers/defibrillators; heart failure. Amita Health Alexian Brothers Medical Center, Elk Grove Village. 847-981-3680

Bradley P. Knight

Atrial fibrillation; arrhythmias; pacemakers/defibrillators. Northwestern Medicine. 312-695-4965

Kousik Krishnan

Arrhythmias; atrial fibrillation; congenital heart disease. Rush University Medical Center. 312-942-5020

Gregory M. Lewis

Pacemakers/defibrillators. Amita Health Adventist Medical Center, Hinsdale. 630-789-3422

Scott M. Miller

Arrhythmias; pacemakers/defibrillators; catheter ablation. Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge. 847-698-5500

John R. Onufer

Atrial fibrillation; catheter ablation; pacemakers/defibrillators. Northwest Community Hospital, Arlington Heights. 847-618-2500

Richard G. Trohman

Arrhythmias; atrial fibrillation; catheter ablation. Rush University Medical Center. 312-942-5020

Roderick H. Tung

Ventricular tachycardia; atrial fibrillation; catheter ablation of cardiac arrhythmias; implantable defibrillators; cardiac synchronization therapy; angiography. University of Chicago Medicine. 888-824-0200

David J. Wilber

Atrial fibrillation; arrhythmias; heart failure. Loyola University Medical Center. 708-216-5736

The Heart Failure Watchdog

For patients with a history of heart issues, a change in pulmonary arterial pressure, the force with which blood flows through the lungs, serves as a strong early warning of heart failure, showing up weeks before symptoms such as shortness of breath and weight gain. The problem is, checking it involves getting a heart catheterization, in which a tube is inserted through an incision in the groin or neck. The Lisle-based medical technology company Endotronix has developed a product that will make testing that pressure much easier: a Chicklet-size sensor that is permanently implanted in the pulmonary artery. Doctors can then monitor patients continuously, even outside the hospital, and intervene as soon as they see a problem. In December, in a small clinical trial in Europe, the first patients received the sensor. Assuming the trial goes well, the sensors should become available in the United States by 2020. —C.K.

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Cardiovascular Disease

Brian H. Albert

Echocardiography; coronary artery disease; preventive cardiology. Northwest Community Hospital, Arlington Heights. 847-618-2500

Jay H. Alexander

Coronary artery disease; preventive cardiology. NorthShore Highland Park Hospital. 847-444-5300

Francis Almeda

Interventional cardiology. Ingalls Memorial Hospital, Harvey. 708-331-2200

Allen S. Anderson

Heart failure; heart transplant; LVAD; cardiomyopathy. Northwestern Medicine. 312-695-4965

John T. Barron

Coronary artery disease; echocardiography; heart failure; nuclear cardiology. Loyola University Medical Center. 708-327-2749

Joan E. Briller

Joan E. BrillerHeart disease in women and pregnancy; echocardiography; cardiac stress testing. University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System. 312-996-6480

Pregnant women and new moms are at the highest risk of heart failure—one of the most common causes of death for that group—during the six weeks after giving birth, according to a new study coauthored by Briller.

Alan S. Brown

Cholesterol/lipid disorders; preventive cardiology. Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge. 847-723-2445

Vincent J. Bufalino

Preventive cardiology; coronary artery disease. Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Downers Grove. 630-527-2730

Noel Camba

Angioplasty and stent placement; interventional cardiology. Palos Community Hospital. 708-923-7650

David R. Campbell

Coronary artery disease; preventive cardiology. NorthShore Highland Park Hospital. 847-444-5300

Adalberto Campo

Presence Sts. Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center. 773-645-1000

Alexandru B. Chicos

Atrial fibrillation; arrhythmias. Northwestern Medicine. 312-695-2745

Eugene Chiu

Vein disorders. Presence St. Joseph Medical Center, Joliet. 815-729-3280

Maria Rosa Costanzo

Heart transplants; congestive heart failure. Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Downers Grove. 630-527-2730

William G. Cotts

Heart failure; heart transplants; LVAD; biventricular support; anticoagulation for LVADs. Advocate Christ Medical Center, Oak Lawn. 708-684-7029

Michael Davidson

Preventive cardiology; cholesterol/lipid disorders. University of Chicago Medicine. 773-702-1717

Richard Davison

Ischemic heart disease. Northwestern Medicine. 312-695-2745

Jeanne DeCara

Coronary artery and heart valve disease; heart disease in cancer patients; cardiac imaging. University of Chicago Medicine. 773-702-9461

Daniele De Girolami

Interventional cardiology; cardiac imaging. Presence St. Joseph Medical Center, Joliet. 815-729-3280

John F. Dongas

Cardiac electrophysiology; pacemakers/defibrillators. Silver Cross Hospital, New Lenox. 815-740-1900

Mark V. Duerinck

Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Downers Grove. 630-527-2730

Dan Fintel

Coronary artery disease; cholesterol/lipid disorders; nuclear cardiology. Northwestern Medicine. 312-664-3278

Raymond L. Fisher

Cardiac stress testing; echocardiography; pacemakers/defibrillators. Presence Resurrection Medical Center. 773-774-5020

Duane Follman

Interventional cardiology. Amita Health Adventist Medical Center, Hinsdale. 630-789-3422

Gary Gibbs

Congestive heart failure; heart valve disease; nuclear cardiology. Amita Health Adventist Medical Center, Hinsdale. 630-789-3422

Sukhjit S. Gill

Interventional cardiology. Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. 773-327-8008

William J. Gries

Echocardiography; preventive cardiology; peripheral vascular disease. Amita Health Alexian Brothers Medical Center, Elk Grove Village. 847-981-3680

Alain L. Heroux

Heart failure; heart transplant; LVAD. Loyola University Medical Center. 708-327-2738

Dennis M. Killian

Presence St. Joseph Medical Center, Joliet. 815-740-1900

Lloyd W. Klein

Coronary artery and heart valve disease; interventional cardiology. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, Melrose Park. 708-681-7862

David I. Koenigsberg

Coronary artery disease; angioplasty and stent placement. NorthShore Evanston Hospital. 847-663-841

George T. Kondos

Coronary artery and heart valve disease; heart failure; preventive cardiology. University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System. 312-996-6480

Philip B. Krause

Coronary artery and heart valve disease; congestive heart failure. NorthShore Skokie Hospital. 847-676-1333

Mark B. Lampert

Coronary artery disease; preventive cardiology. NorthShore Skokie Hospital. 847-864-3278

Roberto M. Lang

Cardiac ultrasound; echocardiography; heart failure; heart valve disease. University of Chicago Medicine. 773-702-9461

James Liao

Cholesterol/lipid disorders; peripheral vascular disease; noninvasive cardiology. University of Chicago Medicine. 773-702-8950

Donald M. Lloyd-Jones

Northwestern Medicine. 312-664-3278

Rabindra Malhotra

Cardiac catheterization; angioplasty and stent placement. Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Downers Grove. 630-852-0230

Joseph C. Marek

Hypertension; preventive cardiology; coronary artery disease; angioplasty and stent placement. Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Downers Grove. 630-719-4799

Seif A. Martini

Silver Cross Hospital, New Lenox. 815-740-1900

Thomas A. Mayer

Interventional cardiology; peripheral interventions; peripheral vascular disease. NorthShore Highland Park Hospital. 847-444-5300

Robert P. Mazurek

Amita Health Alexian Brothers Medical Center, Elk Grove Village. 855-692-6482

Thomas L. McKiernan

Clinical cardiology. Loyola University Medical Center. 708-327-2749

Elizabeth M. McNally

Elizabeth M. McNally Congenital heart disease. Northwestern Medicine. 312-695-4965

David J. Mehlman

Echocardiography; heart valve and coronary artery disease. Northwestern Medicine. 312-695-4965

Marla A. Mendelson

Heart disease in pregnancy; congenital heart disease. Northwestern Medicine. 312-695-2745

James P. Monahan

Cholesterol/lipid disorders; diabetes; coronary artery disease. Vista Medical Center East, Waukegan. 847-623-3200

John P. Monteverde

Norwegian American Hospital. 773-292-8246

Ashish Mukherjee

Mount Sinai Hospital Medical Center. 773-767-8375

Chadi Nouneh

Interventional cardiology. Little Company of Mary Hospital, Evergreen Park. 708-346-5562

Ivan V. Pacold

Cholesterol/lipid disorders; geriatric cardiology; echocardiology. Loyola University Medical Center. 708-327-2749

Evans P. Pappas

Hypertension; hyperlipidemia; cardiac imaging and noninvasive testing; cardiac critical care. Edward Hospital, Naperville. 630-718-2660

Gary Robert Pineless

Coronary artery disease; heart failure. NorthShore Highland Park Hospital. 847-444-5300

Thomas J. Quinn

Geriatric cardiology; echocardiography; coronary artery disease. Little Company of Mary Hospital, Evergreen Park. 708-425-7272

Arkady B. Rapoport

Coronary artery disease; hypertension; arrhythmias. NorthShore Skokie Hospital. 847-864-5278

R. Andrew Rauh

Interventional cardiology; congenital heart disease; primary prevention; hypertension; hyperlipidemia. Elmhurst Hospital. 630-946-2250

Venoodhar Reddy

Amita Health Alexian Brothers Medical Center, Elk Grove Village. 847-981-3680

Muhammad K. Riaz

Presence St. Joseph Hospital, Elgin. 847-717-0600

Stuart Rich

Pulmonary hypertension; heart failure; congenital heart disease; clinical trials. Northwestern Medicine. 312-695-4965

Vera H. Rigolin

Echocardiography; women’s health. Northwestern Medicine. 312-695-4965

Daniel A. Rowan

Angioplasty and stent placement; cholesterol/lipid disorders; preventive cardiology. Little Company of Mary Hospital, Evergreen Park. 708-425-7272

Neal T. Ruggie

Congenital heart disease; mitral valve prolapse. Rush University Medical Center. 312-942-5020

Gaile Sabaliauskas

Cardiac effects of cancer and cancer therapy. Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Downers Grove. 630-719-4799

Atman P. Shah

Atman P. ShahInterventional cardiology. University of Chicago Medicine. 773-702-1372

Shah went on a humanitarian mission last year to Jordan, where he performed, on average, 15 heart procedures a day on Syrian refugees.

Irwin M. Silverman

Coronary artery disease; preventive cardiology. NorthShore Glenbrook Hospital, Glenview. 847-869-1499

Matthew Sorrentino

Preventive cardiology; hypertension. University of Chicago Medicine. 773-702-6924

Mark Allen Stern

Coronary artery disease; preventive cardiology. NorthShore Highland Park Hospital. 847-444-5300

Neil J. Stone

Cholesterol/lipid disorders; coronary artery disease; preventive cardiology. Northwestern Medicine. 312-695-2745

Mushabbar Syed

Congestive heart failure; congenital heart disease; coronary artery disease. Loyola University Medical Center. 708-327-2739

Melissa J. Tracy

Noninvasive cardiology; echocardiography; heart disease in women; cardiac rehabilitation. Rush University Medical Center. 312-942-5020

Nir Uriel

Heart failure; VADs; heart transplantation; cardiomyopathy; myocarditis. 888-824-0200

Annabelle Santos Volgman

Annabelle Santos VolgmanHeart disease in women; arrhythmias; atrial fibrillation; preventive cardiology. Rush University Medical Center. 312-942-5020

Volgman coauthored a position statement published in February in the journal Circulation linking radiation, HER2-targeted therapies, and other breast cancer treatments with an increased risk of heart disease.

R. Parker Ward

Echocardiography; heart valve disease; nuclear cardiology. University of Chicago Medicine. 773-834-0343

Kim A. Williams Sr.

Nuclear cardiology; coronary artery disease. Rush University Medical Center. 312-942-5020

Kurt Williams

Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, Geneva. 630-232-0280

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Interventional Cardiology

Nouri Al-Khaled

Angioplasty; cardiac catheterization; echocardiograms; Holter monitoring; renal angioplasty; silver hawk; stent procedure for angioplasty; TAVR; transesophageal echocardiogram. Advocate Christ Medical Center, Oak Lawn. 708-346-5562

Edgar S. Carell

Peripheral vascular disease; vascular medicine; hypertension. Amita Health Adventist Medical Center, Hinsdale. 630-789-3422

Charles J. Davidson

Angioplasty and stent replacement; cardiac catheterization. Northwestern Medicine. 312-695-4965

Ted E. Feldman

Aortic stenosis; coronary and heart valve disease; mitral regurgitation. NorthShore Evanston Hospital. 847-570-2250

Syed A. Hasan

Interventional cardiology; angioplasty and stent placement; coronary artery and heart valve disease; atrial septal defect closures; patent foramen ovale; lariet; peripheral vascular. Advocate Sherman Hospital, Elgin. 847-888-2320

Jerome L. Hines

Amita Health Adventist Medical Center, Hinsdale. 630-789-3422

Neeraj Jolly

Interventional cardiology; angioplasty and stent placement; congenital heart disease; endovascular therapy. Rush University Medical Center. 312-942-5020

Paul A. Jones

Abdominal and thoracic aortic aneurysm; angioplasty and stent placement; carotid artery angioplasty and stent; peripheral vascular disease. Mercy Hospital & Medical Center. 312-567-2380

Clifford Kavinsky

Congenital heart disease; heart valve disease. Rush University Medical Center. 312-942-5020

Peter M. Kerwin

Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Downers Grove. 630-435-6100

Fred S. Leya

Aortic aneurysm; heart attack; coronary artery and heart valve disease. Loyola University Medical Center. 708-216-4225

John J. Lopez

Interventional cardiology; complex coronary artery and heart valve disease; angioplasty and stent placement. Loyola University Medical Center. 708-216-4720

Timothy J. McDonough

Pacemakers/defibrillators. Presence St. Francis Hospital, Evanston. 847-905-1001

Mark J. Ricciardi

Northwestern Medicine. 312-695-2745

Stephen M. Rowley

Heart disease in women; nuclear cardiology; angioplasty and stent placement; arrhythmias. Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Downers Grove. 630-719-4799

Timothy A. Sanborn

Heart valve disease; carotid artery angioplasty and stent; gene therapy. NorthShore Evanston Hospital. 847-663-8410

Gary Schaer

Stem cell therapy in heart failure; peripheral vascular disease; angiogenesis. Rush University Medical Center. 312-942-5020

R. Jeffrey Snell

Coronary angioplasty/stents; peripheral vascular disease. Rush University Medical Center. 312-942-5020

Donald J. Tanis

Nuclear cardiology; coronary artery disease; echocardiography. Rush University Medical Center. 708-660-4636

The Cardiomyopathy Predictor

Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle that leads to potentially fatal arrhythmias and, often, sudden cardiac death, even in the very young. Many times, there aren’t symptoms in the early stages, when patients have more options for slowing the progression. But last year, Elizabeth McNally, director of the Center for Genetic Medicine at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, and her team found a previously unrecognized mutation on a gene that controls the development of a protein in the heart muscle. Their study showed that when one copy of the gene doesn’t work right, the heart’s ventricles enlarge—a telltale sign of cardiomyopathy. Identifying the mutation could help doctors pinpoint patients sooner and implant devices such as pacemakers to keep their hearts functioning properly. In a few years, things could get even more sci-fi: Gene-editing technologies might be able to switch off the mutation and essentially cure the disease. —C.K.

 

Pediatric Cardiology

Brojendra Agarwala

Congenital heart disease. University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital. 773-702-6169

Karim A. Diab

Congenital heart disease; fetal cardiology. Rush Children’s Hospital. 312-942-6800

Daniel H. Gruenstein

Interventional cardiology; congenital heart disease; cardiac catheterization; angioplasty and stent placement. University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital. 773-702-6172

Peter Koenig

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. 312-227-4100

Stephen M. Neuberger

Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge. 847-723-6465

Elfriede Pahl

Cardiovascular disease; heart failure and heart transplantation research. Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. 312-227-4100

David A. Roberson

Echocardiography; fetal cardiology; congenital heart defects. Advocate Christ Medical Center, Oak Lawn. 708-684-5580

Dolores A. Vitullo

Cardiovascular disease. Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. 312-227-4100

Thomas J. Weigel

Echocardiography; cardiovascular disease. Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. 312-951-5800

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Thoracic & Cardiac Surgery

Rudolph Altergott

Cardiac, coronary artery, and heart valve surgery. Presence St. Joseph Medical Center, Joliet. 630-324-7900

Carl L. Backer

Cardiovascular surgery. Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. 312-227-4240

Mamdouh Bakhos

Mitral heart valve and minimally invasive cardiac surgery; heart and lung transplant; LVAD. Loyola University Medical Center. 708-327-2503

Husam Balkhy

Minimally invasive cardiac, robotic cardiac, and coronary artery surgery; atrial fibrillation. University of Chicago Medicine. 773-702-2500

Michael A. Bresticker

Cardiac and coronary artery surgery; aortic aneurysm; heart and lung transplant. Amita Health Alexian Brothers Medical Center, Elk Grove Village. 847-593-4116

Daniel G. Ciaburri

Coronary artery and heart valve surgery. University of Chicago Medicine. 773-834-6890

Ronald D. Curran

Heart valve, coronary artery, minimally invasive thoracic, and mitral heart valve surgery. Swedish Covenant Hospital. 773-907-1035

Joseph M. Forbess

Cardiovascular surgery. Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. 312-227-4240

Bryan K. Foy

LVAD; valve surgery; TAVR. Edward Hospital, Naperville. 630-416-8500

John G. Grieco

Cardiac and heart valve surgery; coronary revascularization. Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Downers Grove. 630-324-7913

Thomas Hinkamp

Cardiac, heart valve, and aortic heart valve surgery; thoracic aortic aneurysm. Centegra Hospital, McHenry. 630-782-1500

Michel N. Ilbawi

Congenital cardiac, neonatal cardiac, pediatric cardiac, pediatric cardiovascular, and pediatric thoracic surgery. Advocate Christ Medical Center, Oak Lawn. 708-684-5580

Axel Joob

Cardiovascular and coronary artery surgery; aneurysm. Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge. 847-723-1550

Stephen F. Laga

Cardiovascular and surgery; aneurysm. Westlake Hospital, Melrose Park. 708-344-5242

Robert March

Cardiovascular surgery; aortic aneurysm. Rush University Medical Center. 630-818-3727

Malek Massad

Heart valve, coronary artery, and lung surgery; heart and lung transplant. University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System. 312-996-4942

Patrick M. McCarthy

Heart valve, aortic heart valve, and coronary artery surgery; LVAD. Northwestern Medicine. 312-695-4965

Edwin McGee Jr.

Edwin McGee Jr.Heart transplant; heart failure; heart valve surgery; mechanical assist devices. Loyola University Medical Center. 708-327-2503

McGee is leading a clinical trial for a new surgical technique for implanting a device that helps a failing heart to pump blood. The surgery involves just a small incision between the ribs, which means less blood loss and a faster recovery.

Patroklos S. Pappas

Aortic valve insufficiency and stenosis; congestive heart failure; coronary artery disease; mitral valve insufficiency and stenosis; ventricular assist devices. Advocate Christ Medical Center, Oak Lawn. 708-346-4040

Jeffrey P. Schwartz

Cardiac surgery; aortic aneurysm; heart and lung transplant. Loyola University Medical Center. 708-327-2503

Gerhard Ziemer

Pediatric and neonatal and infant cardiac surgery; congenital heart disease; thoracic aortic aneurysm. University of Chicago Medicine. 773-702-2500

Additional photos: (Briller) Courtesy of University of Illinois at Chicago/Jenny Fontaine; (shah) The University of Chicago Medicine Photos: (Volgman) Courtesy of Rush Production Group; (McGee) Loyola Medicine; Illustrations: Anders Wenngren

About This List

This list was compiled by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., a health care research and information company founded in 1991 by a former medical college board chairman and president to help guide consumers to America’s top doctors and hospitals. Castle Connolly’s nomination survey, research, screening, and selection process, under the direction of an MD, involves many hundreds of thousands of physicians as well as academic medical centers, specialty hospitals, and regional and community hospitals across the nation. Castle Connolly’s physician-led team of researchers follows a rigorous process to select doctors on both the national and regional levels. Its online nominations process (at castleconnolly.com/nominations) is open to all licensed physicians in America. They are able to nominate physicians in any specialty and in any part of the country, as well as indicate whether those physicians are, in their opinion, among the best in their region or in the nation in their specialty. The doctors’ educational and professional experience is carefully screened before final selection is made among those physicians most highly regarded by their peers. After identifying the top doctors in America, Castle Connolly provides consumers with detailed information about their education, training, and special expertise in its paperback guides and online directories and in national and regional magazine “Top Doctors” features. Doctors do not and cannot pay to be selected and profiled. Physicians selected for Chicago’s “Top Doctors” may also appear online at castleconnolly.com or in conjunction with other Castle Connolly Top Doctors databases online and in print.

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