"We instantly liked Dr. Patrick McCarthy. My recovery from aortic valve replacement has been excellent!"
"Dr. McCarthy explained all my options for my aortic valve replacement then entertained questions from myself and my family. We never felt rushed and were very happy with all interaction with Dr. McCarthy. I was able to leave the hospital four days after surgery with no complications since. I would and have recommended Dr. McCarthy to anyone needing valvular surgery."
-- Michelle Schmaling, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 01/10/2017
"Dr. McCarthy and his team were great. I recommend him to everyone whether they need surgery or not."
-- James Parent, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, 08/25/2016
"Without question, Dr. McCarthy is outstanding!! He is a master and expert in his field. He is all business, yet I know he and his staff are concerned about the well being of the patient and that a positive outcome is achieved. I was extremely nervous about facing this surgery and thought I wanted a skilled surgeon who was also there to "hold my hand". It is just over two weeks after surgery and I am feeling great and have returned to my normal routine. I am now convinced that a surgeon like Dr. McCarthy was not there just to "hold my hand" but to hold my heart and life in his hands and to know what it would take to correct a serious problem.
Thank you for your expertise, a caring staff (especially nurse practitioner, Janice Knuckey,) and above all, thank you for the amazing cardiac miracles you perform each day. "
-- Philip Feo, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 08/02/2016
"I was told that surgeons are precise people, but not very friendly, so I should not expect much in the bedside manner department. Dr. McCarthy is a very nice man. I feel as though he cares about me. He has a great sense of humor as well.
As for the surgical results: just incredible! My surgery was one month ago as I write this, and I feel great. Not only that - my heart murmur is gone. YAY!"
-- Donna Nickel, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 07/26/2016
"Everything went perfect ... I was home in 5 days with no pain and began walking and exercising after 2 weeks. I have not experienced any pain since surgery. Dr. McCarthy's surgical team kept my wife up to date during surgery and Dr McCarthy visited me twice while in hospital ... once in ICU and once in regular care. In addition to the excellent surgery / care by Dr. McCarthy ... his team is superior. I was assigned a CNP from McCarthy's team, Janice Knuckey, that was always available for me via email and during my pre-op and post-op visits. She would answer any questions by email or in person with 100% confidence ... giving me the guidance and confidence I needed during the early stages of recovery. Thank you Dr. McCarthy and to your team. I feel great!!!!"
-- Willard Gerhardt, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 07/25/2016
"I have nothing but gratitude for Dr. McCarthy and the staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. After my first meeting with Dr. McCarthy, I knew I had picked the right surgeon... He was obviously extremely knowledgeable and was able to answer all my questions with confidence. He calmed my nerves and made me believe everything was going to be fine, that this was routine for him. Today, 5-1/2 weeks later, I am back to my normal life! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart! I am forever grateful! "
-- Parris Rappel, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 07/12/2016
"Dr. McCarthy was recommended to me by several doctors - one of which lived in a different state. When I met with Dr. McCarthy, he told me exactly what would happen; he was certain of his findings and the result was the surgery went very well. Dr. McCarthy had an air of confidence and good bedside manner. When you think of open-heart surgery, it's pretty scary. After meeting with the doctor, I wasn't worried. "
-- Jo Ann Byron, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Median Sternotomy, 05/31/2016
"I am 82 years old with long heart history, I selected Dr McCarthy because of his nationwide reputation, numbers of similar surgeries performed every year and altogether and also because of his being Director of heart surgery in both Cleveland Clinic and Chicago NorthWestern Memorial.
I know now that Dr McCarthy was a really very good choice!!!
It was very complicated surgery and hard few first days and weeks but it has been steadily improving and after 7-8 month I was completely back to my normal routine.
Northwestern Memorial recovery conditions are excellent! Everything - doctors of different specialties, nurses, technicians, medical aids were the highest level!
Million Thanks to Dr McCarthy and everyone involved from me and my family!!!"
-- Lev Zilist, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, Maze Procedure, 05/23/2016
"Dr. McCarthy did a great job. I could not have hoped for anything better. I feel great!"
-- Katherine Pfeiffer, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Maze Procedure, 05/12/2016
"I’ve never had such organized and pristine care from every staff member at Northwestern. Dr. McCarthy was great! I tell all my friends, “I went in a sick old lady and I came out looking like Bo Derek.""
-- Dorothea Barber, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 04/21/2016
"When I learned I needed an aortic valve replacement, I shopped around for a CV surgeon. It is the kind of procedure where you don’t want to have it and only then wish you had gone elsewhere. I read the US News & World Report and was thinking about heading from my hometown, Chicago, to Cleveland or Rochester, MN to make sure this procedure was done correctly. I then learned that Dr. McCarthy had been poached by Northwestern Memorial from the Cleveland Clinic, so I stayed in Chicago. I am glad I did. Dr. McCarthy is a first-rate surgeon who runs a first-rate team. I run a law firm for a living and know what it takes to head up a really good group of people. Dr. McCarthy's people were obviously well-trained and knew what they were doing, from Dr. McCarthy himself down to the physical therapists and the nurses who were involved in my discharge. They communicated well, put my interest first, explained what they were doing as we went along, and were very interested in making sure that the operation worked without any complication. I am six months post and have had zero complications."
-- Jim Costello, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, 02/16/2016
"Dr. McCarthy performed my aortic valve replacement using a mini-sternotomy on February 5th. After 3 and 1/2 weeks, the scar is nearly healed. His listening skills are superior; his bedside manners are superb; his team of Nurse Practitioners are well respected, and they work seamlessly among themselves and in tandem with Dr. McCarthy. All questions I pose are answered promptly via Northwestern Memorial Hospital's patient portal message system. The Coronary Care nurses, technicians, dietitians, psychologists, chaplains, discharge planners, & the transporters are highly skilled and caring people. I'm grateful that Dr. McCarthy personally performed my surgery in two hours time. I am well on my way to returning to my active "senior" lifestyle. I highly recommend Dr. McCarthy and Northwestern Memorial Hospital."
-- Ed Miskovic, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, 02/05/2016
"Dr. McCarthy did a splendid job. I am grateful to him for saving my life."
-- Kenneth Klein, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 01/22/2016
"Dr. McCarthy and his entire staff were remarkable. "
-- Elaine Chinn, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, 01/18/2016
"Dr. McCarthy had vast experience with MVR surgery going into my surgery and even during the pre-surgery prep process all the nurses kept saying he was great. It's been 1 week since my surgery and my recovery gets better with every day. I was referred to Dr McCarthy as the best MVR surgeon in the country and I'm sure glad I met him!!"
-- Greg E., Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 12/04/2015
"Dr. McCarthy did a great job, the whole team was great and it was a great experience. I highly recommend him and have recommended him to a few people."
-- Robert Allen, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Root Replacement, 11/30/2015
"I don’t know how things could have gone any better! I think maybe about 100 people worked on me in some way in the 9 days I was there. All were just A1 to help when I felt the roughest! My main hero of course is Dr. McCarthy--what a masterful surgeon. He certainly knows what he is looking for! Thank you for your marvelous care."
-- James Parker, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 11/24/2015
"I am doing relatively well because of Dr. McCarthy’s expertise. He is a master of his craft, the best of the best and I cannot say enough about him. Dr. McCarthy is an off the charts outstanding surgeon. Please don’t waste your time elsewhere if anyone is contemplating valve surgery. I only wish I had seen him sooner, before my first valve surgery."
-- Todd Ruzicka, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 11/05/2015
"I highly recommend Dr. McCarthy for both his surgical skills and bedside manner. He diagnosed my heart to be repairable after other surgeons had reached a different conclusion. So glad I was referred to him for a second opinion."
-- Doris Teat, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, 10/14/2015
"I am very grateful to Dr. McCarthy and his team. I am doing very well. I resumed my routine workout, 3 months after operation (cardio and weights). Dr. McCarthy said that I can scuba dive after 6 months. I did scuba diving in Maldives 7 dives 2 weeks ago (exactly 6 months after operation). No problems at all. My cardio workout consists of stair stepper up to 80 stories in 20 minutes. Sprinting and jogging at 7 mph for .20 miles, etc. Thank you Dr. McCarthy!"
-- Melvin Maw, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 09/22/2015
"Dr. McCarthy is terrific -- from my first meeting with him in his office when he told me on a scale of 1 to 4 for needing surgery, I was a 4.
I had two vacations scheduled at the time, so I asked if the surgery could be after the trip to France. I'll always remember his smile and his casual response that I certainly should go to France. He said, "Go to France, and we'll schedule the surgery for Sept. 21."
My surgery was on Monday. He visited me in my room twice before I was released Friday. Each time, I felt his sincere interest in me and how I was doing.
His team was great, too -- truly helpful and professional.
I healed and recovered as he, the staff and the materials provided described. I had no complications, no infection and very little pain.
Now, a year later, I thank Dr. McCarthy for my good health."
-- Cheryl Wormley, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Maze Procedure, 09/21/2015
"In our first consult, Dr. McCarthy -- who had never met me -- addressed me as "You're the hockey player?" That told me he had taken time to read my papers carefully and find a positive connection on which to start our talk. When I replied, pleased and surprised, "I am. But I know I'll have to stop playing now," Dr. McCarthy said, "We'll have you skating in four months."
That brief exchange to open our consult not only took a little of the edge off for me, it also provided confidence in his confidence that this would go well for me under his care. When I asked, concerned, what percentage of patients my age (69) with an aortic leak this serious survived the operation, Dr. McCarthy said even more confidently, "I have a 99% success rate with this. And you are not in the one percent."
He took care to listen carefully to my concerns and to answer them all directly in the kind of detail I felt I needed. With this major and very unexpected surgery set for just two weeks, I nevertheless left that office highly assured that I had selected exactly the right surgeon, and the right team. I discovered post-surgery that the operation went nearly exactly the way he'd predicted (given my otherwise very athletic shape then) and that they were exceptionally sure my expanded ventricle would shrink back to normal size very quickly, which it did even before I left the hospital.
I could not recommend a surgeon (and team) any more forcefully or with any more firsthand knowledge unless I was one of that team myself. Lastly: I walked 5 miles within the first 8 days after surgery. 10 within 2 weeks. Both walks were fast-paced and I had absolutely no problem and was not remotely winded. I skated my first competitive hockey game exactly four months to the date of my surgery: 90 minutes skating nearly full-out, also without being winded. And I played the last 6 weeks of the season without incidence. My resting pulse returned to my normal 54 within a month. I'd say Dr. McCarthy not only saved my life expertly but also gave me the confidence I needed to return to my normal routines, including a sport as rigorous as hockey. A year later, I am back to form completely. Best Possible Outcome!"
-- Alan Steinberg, Aortic Valve, Valve Repair, 09/14/2015
"I am 74 years old and back to full activity level, without restrictions. We just returned from kayaking and I also bike and water ski with my grandchildren."
-- Sandra Branda, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, 08/11/2015
"I am 80 years old and exactly 1 year to the date after my surgery I was back to paddle boarding and I am leaving for Machu Picchu soon. I am very grateful for Dr. McCarthy."
-- Mary Erickson, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 08/10/2015
"I met Dr. McCarthy before the surgery and he was great. Surgery was successful."
-- Gary Bronstein, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 07/17/2015
"I am very very happy with Dr. McCarthy's work, my cardiologist was suprised he could do the repair and not a replacement. I talk about Dr. McCarthy's work at least once a month."
-- John James, Aortic Valve, Valve Repair, Root Replacement, 07/07/2015
"I am filled with enamor and gratitude that I am alive, healthy, and hopeful for a long future and a much better quality of life because of my surgery.
Dr. McCarthy and Dr. Bonow were both very wonderful in bedside manner, expertise, and the compassion and care they provided me. I also want to thank Janice Knuckey for all that she did to help me in the process to prepare for the surgery. Northwestern provided me excellent care before, during, and after surgery. I felt like I was in the best hands."
-- Nicole Busch, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 03/03/2015
"I recommend Dr. McCarthy every chance I get."
-- Philip Kier, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, 02/15/2015
"I am so grateful and blessed to have Dr. Patrick McCarthy as my heart valve surgeon. I highly recommend Dr. McCarthy to anyone that I encounter that needs heart surgery. His experience and great outcomes are what have drawn us towards Dr. McCarthy in our research for a heart valve surgeon.
He is the pioneer in many aspects of heart surgery and has many papers for many procedures that you see published in the cardio thoracic surgeon world for other surgeons to follow. For heart surgery, I would recommend that you choose the surgeon and not a place to go that is convenient or close to home for this kind of surgery. The 30 day mortality rate on US News and World Report at Northwestern Memorial in Chicago is 0% and this is a number that you should look very closely at in your research for your hospital. Please take heed in this statistic and your surgeons experience and support staff. It has just been 13 months since my open heart surgery and I am doing very well. My last echo has shown that all heart damage has been reversed and my numbers are great and I feel great and I will thrive for a very long time with my repaired valve. I have had a great outcome and I attribute that to Dr. McCarthy and his staff at Northwestern Memorial in Chicago. It may have been a different outcome if I chose to go somewhere else, who knows.
God bless Dr. McCarthy for his life’s work and his gift of healing and innovation and teaching. BTW, we just attended Patient Day 2016 at Edwards Lifesciences in Irvine CA in Feb 2016, the manufacturer of my heart mitral valve ring, a truly wonderful experience for the patients and also for Edwards Lifesciences, which I also recommend if you are have one of their products. I was so proud to say that Dr. McCarthy was MY surgeon as his name, the inventor, of some of the products."
-- Janet Ruddock, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 02/03/2015
"I had good results. I am very happy with everything and I had a quick recovery. Dr. McCarthy was very honest and I give him all the credit in the world."
-- Patricia Herrmann, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 02/03/2015
"Dr. McCarthy did an excellent job. I feel great and I have been referring him to everyone."
-- Gerald Quigley, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, 01/20/2015
"Dr. McCarthy replaced my aortic valve with a ministerneotomy. He did an excellent job. I liked him from the outset for his calm and definitive bedside manner. I had no post-operative problems and healed quickly and, with some time and continual effort, was able to return to a very active life. His staff at Northwestern was equally superb."
-- Ron Broadhead, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, 01/09/2015
"Dr. McCarthy is a caring surgeon and highly skilled. I had full confidence in him and his medical team and approached surgery with great calm and confidence.
I would recommend Dr. McCarthy to everyone who needs heart surgery and thank him for his dedication to the heart association and his skillful way to repair our hearts.
I am a grateful, mended heart patient. "
-- Madlyn Daniel, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 01/06/2015
"Dr. McCarthy is one of the most wonderful people you could ask for! He makes you feel like he really cares and that is rare these days! He called me 2 days before my surgery just to ask how I was feeling. Then, he called me a week after I was home to see how things were going. How many surgeons or doctors have you ever heard of doing that? Dr. McCarthy walked me thru every step of what was going to happen during surgery and did it in terms I could understand and answered all my questions thoroughly.
I just can't say enough about Dr. McCarthy and his whole staff!! Northwestern Memorial Hospital is amazing! We never met 1 person that didn't greet us with a smile and couldn't have asked for a more attentive bunch of employees! You expect a few, but EVERYONE!
My stay was 5 days and 4 nights for an aortic valve replacement and 1 bypass. AMAZING EXPERIENCE!!!!"
-- beverly hardwick, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 11/04/2014
"Dr. McCarthy is one of the very best in the country. When I sought recommendations on a cardiac surgeon everyone recommended him, and when I told people I was having surgery, they would say "I hope it's with Patrick McCarthy!". His bedside manner is friendly and professional but not warm and cuddly. But if you want warm and cuddly, get a dog! "
-- Cameron Findlay, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 10/20/2014
"Dr. McCarthy was fantastic as was his nurses and assistants. I can't say enough about how I was treated prior, during, and after my surgery. It has been well over a year now since my surgery and I'm feeling great. I work out in senior fitness class and can climb 3 flights of stairs without loosing my breath. My new valve is great. "
-- Bob Beerheide, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 10/17/2014
"I could not believe how smooth operation of this complexity could be performed! I do believe I would have mitral valve replacement rather then repair if I would choose different surgent and different hospital.
Dr. McCarthy is very calm, professional and have very dissent bedside manners and have great experience with this type of heart surgery."
-- Arkady Kantor, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Bloodless Surgery, 09/22/2014
"Dr. Patrick McCarthy saved my mum's life. He repaired her mitral and tricuspid valves instead of replacing them. He also performed a Maze procedure for atrial fibrillation. These are 3 complicated surgeries in one. He is a competent, top-notch surgeon. The team at Northwestern Medicine is very helpful and supportive. If you need to go for such surgery he will never leave you behind. He is the one to trust your heart or your beloved one's heart to. We are so thankful to Dr. McCarthy, his team and Northwestern Medicine for our mum's life so she can be with us, with her grandchildren, traveling and enjoying her life to it's fullest."
-- Iryna Martinez, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, Maze Procedure, 08/26/2014
"Dr. McCarthy was able to repair my mitral valve. The surgery took a little over 2 hours. I was back to work as an attorney 6 weeks after surgery. My cardiologist in Rockford said that my heart was skillfully repaired. Often the repaired valve is too tight - but my valve was repaired with just enough give -- not too tight and not too loose. It is the sign of a very skillful surgeon. Dr. McCarthy teased me that I would have to sign a contract not to lift my heavy suitcases of legal cases for at least six weeks after surgery. I followed his advice. I am so glad that I got to Dr McCarthy when I had this heart problem and I would highly recommend him.
I knew I was in extremely competent and gifted hands. Everyone working at Northwestern told me that I had the best surgeon in the entire hospital - and I knew they were right. Dr. McCarthy answered all my questions - and I had a lot of questions. And he has wonderful Nurse Practitioners. Dr. McCarthy has a patent on an annuloplasty ring - and I have one in my heart.
Before surgery I was pale, tired and gasping for breath. Now I walk 5 miles a day, go to the gym most days, swim, run up stairs and am doing so well. I am very grateful."
-- jeanne Fitzpatrick, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 05/19/2014
"Excellent surgeon who repaired my mitral valve instead of replacing it! This made me very happy!"
-- Gail Tepper, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 05/08/2014
"I had a complex set of problems resulting from undiagnosed rheumatic fever at age 10. When surgery was recommended, I knew I wanted to go to Dr. McCarthy, and was pleased when he accepted my case.
I had a great deal of scar tissue and calcification which had to be removed before two valves could be replaced, the third repaired and the Maze. I had a complicated recovery and it has taken a long time to regain strength, but I am very grateful that Dr. McCarthy did not simply look at all my problems and tell his assistant's to "close her up". I had hoped for a perfect repair, but although that was impossible, he kept working away to do the best repair possible. He is not the "teddy bear" type. Surgery is his forte' not hand holding. Admittedly after surgery, we yearn for that. But I hired him as a surgeon, not a friend. I would do so again, and recommend him to others."
-- Ann Lewis, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, Maze Procedure, 04/28/2014
"Dr. McCarthy is a top notch surgeon."
-- Laura Hackl, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 04/16/2014
"I can't describe Dr. McCarthy as "cuddly" as far as demeanor. But, I was looking for someone to trust my life to -- not someone very personable. I was never anything but confident. His staff, particularly Janice, and the staff at Northwestern were terrific."
-- Dirk Richmond, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 09/16/2013
"Dr. McCarthy actually replaced my mitral valve in 2006 and I did very well until 2013 when my old symptoms came back. It was determined that my body had developed some type of autoimmune reaction that caused a piece of skin to grow around the valve, which was preventing the valve from opening and closing as it should. So, Dr. McCarthy replaced the valve again in September, 2013. He found that the tricuspid needed repairing also -- so I had a 2 for 1 surgery. I had more fluid in my lungs so spent slightly more time at Northwestern Memorial. But, I never worried because I knew I had THE BEST HEART SURGEON and THE BEST CARDIOLOGIST. Drs McCarthy and Mehlman are fabulous!"
-- Carol Hoefer, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, 09/10/2013
"Dr. McCarthy is an extraordinary surgeon. He is not one to hang around and shoot the breeze with his patients but he was there when I needed him (to explain the process and in the operating room) and he took the time to contact my Cardiologist in Miami to share all the pre- and post-surgery documentation. I am forever grateful to this fine physician."
-- Robert Winter, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, 08/22/2013
"I strongly recommend Dr. Patrick McCarthy and his team at Northwestern! My surgery was complicated involving mitral valve replacement, Maze procedure and a septal myectomy.
Dr. McCarthy was highly recommended by my cardiologist. His confident manner put me at ease and he and his team did an excellent job. In fact, I'm sure they saved my life.
The cardiac team surrounding Dr. McCarthy are the best including Dr. Robert Silverburg and the team of nurses. Their care both pre-surgery and afterwards are excellent. My entire experience at Northwestern Memorial Hospital was outstanding!"
-- Michele Neilson, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, Maze Procedure, 08/08/2013
"From the moment I met Dr. McCarthy, I was put at ease by how he explained everything and took the time to answer all of my questions. He replaced my aortic valve with a bovine valve and I have never felt this good. I was in the hospital for 6 days and immediately noticed that I could breath better and wasn't getting dizzy anymore. I get compliments all the time about how good my scar looks, and I even went in to get a follow up echocardiogram to check how the valve was working and the tech was shocked that I had no scar tissue and how well inside I was already healed after only 3 months. She had no idea who my surgeon was because I live about 3 hours away from where I had my surgery. She just kept saying, "Wow! Your surgeon did an amazing job. I've been doing this job for 15 years and I've never seen a patient at 3 months look this good inside." I would recommend Dr. McCarthy to everyone! He's the very best. My 3 babies and I are so thankful to him for giving me a 2nd chance."
-- Stephanie Friel, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, 06/25/2013
"Results - Excellent. I would recommend Dr. McCarthy and his team. My recovery has been remarkable per my friends and family."
-- David Kohlfeld, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 06/21/2013
"We were so happy to be referred to Northwestern Memorial and Dr. McCarthy by our local cardiologist, Dr. Sehgal. He set an appointment to meet with Dr. Silverberg and Dr. McCarthy. Dr. McCarthy asked me about my activity level and explained the surgery would eventually be needed but was elective at this point. I decided to have the surgery done now. A date was set and the surgery went very well with no surprises. Dr. McCarthy visited me later and explained that I was doing well. I had the surgery on Wednesday morning and was released on Sunday afternoon. I started a walking regimen on Monday starting with a mile and increasing to two miles after a few days. I was riding my bike 10 miles or more after four weeks. I highly recommend Dr. McCarthy and Northwestern Memorial Hospital."
-- Peter Brannen, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 05/08/2013
"Dr. Patrick McCarthy, MD was highly professional with excellent bedside manner and outstanding assistants and support personnel."
-- Gene Griffin, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Median Sternotomy, 11/08/2012
"Doctors have always noticed a heart murmur during routine visits throughout my life but told me not to worry about it until I was older. Then, right after my 54th birthday, I was diagnosed with mitral heart valve regurgitation on the left posterior leaflet. Dr. McCarthy was recommended as the best surgeon to fix a paper thin heart valve, and Northwestern Hospital was recommended as the best place for recovery. I am grateful Dr. Bonno had the wisdom to push my surgery to a sooner date, since my health was rapidly declining. During my surgery, Dr. McCarthy was able to fix a small foramen ovale that was not visible on tests. I consider myself lucky to have had Dr. McCarthy, an experienced and updated surgeon, fix my heart that included unexpected findings. The nursing staffs in ICU and in the cardiac ward at Northwestern Hospital were phenomenal in my postoperative care. I heartily recommended Dr. McCarthy and Northwestern Hospital for anyone with heart problems."
-- Ann Ennesser, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 05/09/2012
"I am totally satisfied with the surgery performed by Dr. McCarthy and his entire team of highly skilled professionals. His skill and judgment were exceptional and everything happened just as he said. I recommend to any patient who needs a heart valve procedure to consult this team, show up, and let Dr. McCarthy do his job. The aftercare was outstanding at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. "
-- James Fisch, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Median Sternotomy, Maze Procedure, 04/09/2012
"I feel Dr. McCarthy performed a miracle. He has to
be the very best heart surgeon for this type of procedure. His manner was so professional. I have
never had better care anywhere. I healed so
quickly. Nothing went wrong. I feel better now than I have ever felt. I have more
energy. I thank god every day. If I had to do
it again, I would."
-- Stella pett, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 03/16/2012
"I had this valve replacement surgery after having two previous surgeries in attempt to repair my mitral valve. This one was very successful in every respect. At this time, I am feeling well and am at about 80% of the physical capability that I hope to reach, hopefully in the next year. At the present time, I am walking 30 min daily and do out door work with little shortness of breath. I look forward to continuation of down hill skiing this coming winter (as discussed with Dr. McCarthy at time of surgery). "
-- Giles Blaser, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, Maze Procedure, 03/08/2012
"Dr. Patrick McCarthy and the Northwestern team are miracle workers under pressure!"
-- David Thomas, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 02/24/2012
"One year after having my aortic valve replaced at Northwestern Memorial Hospital by Doctor Patrick McCarthy I've lost 70 pounds and I am swimming 45 minutes a day. I now have energy to burn."
-- Joe Poracky, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 01/19/2012
"My Aortic valve was in the severe state and the mitral valve was on it's way out also. I'm from Rockford, Illinois and the doctors there kept stalling because I had radiation damage to my heart caused by Hodgkins Lymphoma back in 1978. When I consulted with Dr. McCarthy, he was puzzled why the other doctors were dragging their feet. He said that 40% of his valve replacements were people like me. Doctor McCarthy and his team did a great job and are always there 24 hours a day for you after your release from the hospital. I would recommend them and this hospital to anyone. As I found out, not all surgeons have the skill level Dr. McCarthy has. Thanks to Dr. McCarthy and his team for helping me and my family during this ordeal. "
-- Curt Thorell, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 12/13/2011
"Dr. McCarthy's confidence and demeanor was exactly perfect for me. I was reassured and totally confident he was going to achieve the very best outcome. Dr. McCarthy did exactly what he said he would. I hope I never need to have my heart tinkered with again. However, if I did, I would want him to do it. "
-- Jack Tusk, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Median Sternotomy, 12/01/2011
"I am thankful that Dr. Patrick McCarthy did the surgery. He has excellent bedside manner and the surgery went well. I am happily recovering under the care of a local cardiologist, and now doing cardiac rehab locally. My aorta had expanded to the danger point. We found the right surgeon to do the work."
-- Martha Nunemacher, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Root Replacement, 11/15/2011
"My name is Pierre Romeus. I'm here to testify that Dr. Patrick McCarthy saved my life. In the past 6 months I've had problems sleeping, breathing and walking. I was in and out of different hospitals and emergency rooms. A friend suggested me to see the No. 1 Cardiac doctor in Illinois and on November 11, 2011, Dr. McCarthy performed an Aortic Valve Replacement surgery on me. He gave me a new birth of life. Two weeks later I'm feeling better, breathing much better and life is normal again. Thank You so much Dr. McCarthy!"
-- Pierre Romeus, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 11/11/2011
"Just over one week ago, I had my aortic valve replaced by Patrick McCarthy, MD at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. I can't believe how great I feel. I have so much energy and I feel like my heart is working better than ever. Dr. McCarthy and his team have provided me with extraordinary care throughout this entire process. Prior to my surgery, Dr. McCarthy took the time necessary to provide me with all the details surrounding my procedure and valve selection while answering all our questions and giving me the confidence to quickly schedule my surgery. While I was in the hospital, I was visited many times by Dr. McCarthy and his cardiac team members, who were extremely skilled and very patient focused. They were always ready to answer another question or to take extra time with me. Since returning home, I have received several home health visits and phone calls from Dr. McCarthy's team to keep up with my progress and to fulfill Dr. McCarthy's continued recovery regime. I strongly recommend Dr. McCarthy and his cardiac team at Northwestern!"
-- Michael Milligan, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 10/10/2011
"We were so pleased with Patrick McCarthy, MD. He was highly recommended, which is why we traveled 128 miles for this surgery. Recovery is going well. Dr. McCarthy and his staff, along with Northwestern Hospital in Chicago are highly recommended. "
-- jerry scogin, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Maze Procedure, 07/26/2011
"Dr. Patrick McCarthy was able to do a complex mitral valve repair with a ring. The surgery went very well. When I saw Dr. McCarthy after the surgery, he said the mitral valve was no longer leaking, which made me smile."
-- Betty Butler, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Median Sternotomy, 06/21/2011
"When I agreed to having open heart surgery, I was apprehensive about putting my life in someone else's hands. But, when I met with Dr. McCarthy, his confident and professional mannerism quickly put my fears to rest. He explained the surgical procedure and asked if I had any questions. His calm and easy going style gave me the assurance that I was with the right doctor. Of course it also helped that his reputation was exceptional. Dr. McCarthy successfully completed the surgery in less time time than we were told it might take. During my recovery, Dr. McCarthy stopped by my room to see how I was doing and kidded about our Notre Dame connection. My post surgical recovery went much better than I expected but again as Dr. McCarthy predicted. I was home within a week. After a couple of months, I enrolled in a cardiac rehab program associated with Northwestern Hospital. I completed the program and the program nurses commented about what good shape I was in after the surgery. It is now one year later and I am happy to report that I feel great and have more energy than I had before the surgery. I thank Dr. McCarthy and his wonderful skills for this. I would absolutely recommend Dr. McCarthy to anyone who requires this type of surgery. He is one of the best in the country. I have praised him repeatedly to my friends. I know that he has extended the life of my heart and with that has provided me with a better quality of life. Thank you Dr. McCarthy!"
-- Gregory Athas, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 06/20/2011
"Doctor McCarthy sat down with me before the surgery and answered all my questions. His bedside manner was business-like and serious, but friendly. I only saw him once after the surgery. Surgery and recovery are going well."
-- Maureen Birkett, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, 05/17/2011
"I am a 91 year old, very healthy, male. Patrick McCarthy, MD was truly a great inspiration. When others turned me down, he gave me hope. A little over 4 weeks and I am doing very well. A little slow, but to be expected. Dr. McCarthy took all the time I needed to explain the procedure, answer all my questions and what to expect. He did a wonderful job and he and his staff, as well as, Northwestern Hospital, treated me with great care and respect. I would recommend him to anyone who needs this type of surgery."
-- Beldon Rich, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 05/02/2011
"I can't say enough about Dr. Patrick McCarthy. So professional, very talented, communicated everything so well. I can't imagine anyone doing a better job. Dr. McCarthy was fantastic."
-- Tony Spohn, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Maze Procedure, 04/19/2011
"I also had an aortic aneurysm fixed along with my valve replacement. Doctor McCarthy was wonderful!! He took his time in explaining things to me in terms that I would understand. My surgery was a success! He is very caring and THE best heart doctor in Chicago."
-- Bev Thompson, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 03/28/2011
"Words simply cannot describe Dr. McCarthy, his team and the experience I had at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. My family was kept well informed during my 4-hour surgery, that started early, and finished in a timely manner. Dr McCarthy and everyone around him treated me very well. Although I only met with him a few times, my coincidence going into surgery was immediately bolstered."
-- David Cunningham, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, 03/11/2011
"I lived in the Washington, D.C. area for approximately 40 years, when a significant mitral valve problem was detected during an annual physical. I was told by an expert at the Washington Hospital Center in DC (a well regarded cardiac program in DC) that I had a particularly difficult valve problem and that I would need a highly experienced and highly qualified surgeon to be able to do a repair as opposed to a replacement of the valve. Because we had family connections in the Chicago area, we preferred to do the surgery in Chicago. My own research indicated that Northwestern Memorial had one of the best heart surgeons in the country, Patrick McCarthy. However, I wanted to rely on my internist's recommendation because he has treated me for over 20 years and is widely respected in the Washington DC area. He recommended, without knowing my preference, that I see Dr. Robert Bonow then head of Cardiology at Northwestern. Dr. Bonow,as I later learned, is one of the top experts in the country in mitral valve issues. Dr. Bonow, after seeing me recommended, as I hoped he would, Dr. Patrick McCarthy. He believed that Dr. McCarthy could do this complicated repair while other doctors elsewhere might choose valve replacement. It was absolutely the right recommendation.Dr. McCarthy explained the surgery, told me he felt it was highly likely that he could repair it, and told me he could perform the surgery a week later. I said let's do it. My surgery was successfully performed January 28, 2011. I was in intensive care for about 2 days (the care was super), regular care for another 4-5 days, and was released. I began cardiac rehab in mid March, 2011 where I live out of state. I have to admit, it does take a while to regain your strength, but cardiac rehab did the trick. It has now been 15 months since the surgery and I have had no problems, no complications. All my tests since then have been fine, including a stress echo which I just took to see how my heart was doing a year later. I feel fine. I am very grateful to Dr. McCarthy and would gladly recommend him to anyone facing such surgery. I am grateful that all roads seemed to have led to Northwestern and Dr. McCarthy. "
-- Jeffrey Gibbs, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 01/28/2011
"Very Professional. Doctor McCarthy had good understanding of the proposed procedure before surgery. Surrounded himself with excellent team. Result was quite good with recovery better than expected so far."
-- Linda Reents, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Median Sternotomy, 01/03/2011
"We instantly liked Dr. McCarthy. He was very interested in me and answered all of my wife's questions -- especially about what valve he would use (bovine) and the fact that Northwestern hospital has all heart patients in private rooms which results in infection rates below 1%. When his assistant said that he had an opening, we said yes! My recovery has been excellent. Cardiac rehab began and now I'm walking over an hour each day and I work out with a trainer twice weekly. "
-- john difazio, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 11/02/2010
"Dr. McCarthy has great experience - all business - all confidence. His team is GREAT - extremely professional, proactive, caring, sensitive, resourceful."
-- Andy Pini, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 07/26/2010
"Dr. McCarthy was very brief, all business, and did not spend much time with me after surgery. I am better. I'm happy with the results."
-- Carole Rice, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Replacement, Maze Procedure, 05/18/2010
"When I learned that I would be having heart surgery I was both scared and excited. Scared because it was major surgery and I had never had any surgery before and excited because I had the opportunity to have my valve repaired and hopefully, have a normal life expectancy. On 3-4-2010, Dr. Patrick McCarthy and his amazing staff repaired my bi-lateral prolapsed mitral valve. Dr. McCarthy specializes in various types of mitral valve surgeries and is considered to be one of the best in his field. Not only is he a talented surgeon, but he has the ability to relate to his patients. When I met with him the first time and he told me he was 95% sure that he would be able to repair my valve instead of replace it, I started to cry from happiness that I might be able to be repaired. At that moment he paused while describing the procedure and looked at me and said "clearly you would like to hear more about me being able to repair your valve"...he understood where I was at in that moment and paid attention to what I needed from him. You see my Wisconsin heart surgeon said that my valve repair was very tricky and that he only knew of two surgeons who would have a strong possibilty of repairing my valve instead of replacing it. and he referred me to Dr. McCarthy. At 41 years of age, a repair was in my best interest as opposed to a valve replacement. So, I traveled to Chicago and was fortunate that Dr. McCarthy took my case on. As I reflect upon Dr. McCarthy and his staff and the entire hospital experience, I am truly thankful from the bottom of my repaired heart!! "
-- Julie Poff, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Median Sternotomy, 03/04/2010
"I briefly met Dr. McCarthy in a pre-scheduling interview. I did not see or meet with him pre-op or post-op. However, I was very happy with the result."
-- John Ristow, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 01/21/2010
"I am very pleased with Dr. McCarthy and Dr. Upton and I continue to be cared for at Northwestern. I am now following with Dr. Greenfield as my cardiologist. I would recommend Dr. Greenfield and Dr. Patrick McCarthy. They both have helped me quite a bit and I am doing extremely well. I am very pleased with Northwestern and the care has been phenomenal."
-- Thomas Radcliffe, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 11/09/2009
"Dr. McCarthy's whole team at Northwestern Memorial was wonderful. They took very good care of me - listening to what my concerns were, visiting me every day, and making me feel at easy. I am thankful I found such a great doctor."
-- Rosa Bernardi, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 07/01/2009
"I was born with a bi-cuspid aortic valve. While my primary doctor was aware of this and liked the sound of my heart, he never specifically treated me -- except for prescribing anti-biotics prior to dental work or surgeries.
I was shocked when I was diagnosed, strictly by luck that I had an aortic aneurysm "the kind John Ritter died from". This was told to me on a visit to the emergency room... I went there for attention with no symptoms of any kind. I was told the aneurysm was almost 6 centimeters and needed to be operated on soon. I was released the following day and told to see the cardiologist and surgeon I saw in the hospital. I did. They failed my test.
A friend recommended Dr. McCarthy as he performed surgery on her brother, when no one else wanted to. (the surgery was a success). I did my homework and contacted Dr. McCarthy's office. His staff was more than cooperative and understanding. I met with Dr. McCarthy and knew immediately he was the ONE!!
He explained everything and took time to answer every question I had so that I could understand. While I was in the hospital there was some question about my need for a defibrillator. He made certain that nothing would be done unless he, the cardiologist and the electro-physiologist all agreed. He is very thorough and I knew I was in good hands. He also kept my family in the know. I knew I made the right decision and his continued care only confirmed that.
Since my surgery I have spoken to many other cardiologists, surgeons, etc.... all have agreed with me that I made the right choice and could not have put my heart in any better surgeon's hands.(no pun intended).
What more could I ask for...definitely he not only has my recommendation but that of other respectful surgeons. I will forever be thankful."
-- Micki Novak, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 06/01/2009
-- Christina Datta, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, 05/05/2009
"Doctor McCarthy is an excellent surgeon and very confident with what he is doing. In my opinion, he is one of the best cardiac surgeons in USA."
-- Nikolay Nikolov, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini Sternotomy, 04/09/2009
"Outstanding. One day after the open heart surgery I walked, carefully. In the hospital 3 days, walked out day 4 after taking a shower. At home week one My wife let me sleep and provided meals. I walked daily, took my first home shower and by day dressed myself. carefully as my chest cavity was still moving around. There was very little pain but breath was weak for a week.
In 17 days, the third week I went to work, with someone opening my car door and driving, also they carried my briefcase for two more weeks. Employees and clients thought I simply took a two week extended vacation.
As President Ceo of my own company I needed to go back to work. I held my staff meetings in week three with 4-6 hour days.
My routine was to walk on the tread mill in the morning, breathing was back to normal with in the first few weeks., dress and go to work.
The air bag was the reason I did not drive myself through week 6. After week 6 I still took a cautious approach but I was on my own. I felt chest movement and healing for up to 6 months but although cautious I was at full speed. Only two employees even knew I had open heart surgery. Clients never knew that I had open heart surgery. Everyone thought I had taken a two week vacation.
That summer I mowed my own lawn, rebuilt my deck, and did pretty much what I wanted. 6 Months is what they said I should expect for full recovery. It was less than that but to be fair I am sure healing took that long to reach 100%. I continued to run my company until 2016. Retired now, my typical day starts with 60-90 minutes of combined cardio, & weights at the gym.
I mix my tread mill, cycling, and elliptical for 20-30 minutes, than 30-60 minutes of pull ups, sit-ups, dips, numerous weight reps with up to 120 lbs. I deliberately limit my weight lift because my cardiologist told me to be reasonable. After all I am now 67 years old.
Occasionally I will get dizzy or light headed for a second or two if I stand up too fast from a full kneel. Or when golfing in 85-90 plus degree heat, I can get light headed bending over to tee up a golf ball. But I can still drive the ball 245 yards or more all the time.
I greatly appreciate the skill and talent of the medical team that repaired my valve. They gave my full life back. I carry the grand kids on my back for horsey rides, enjoy a loving relationship in all ways with my wife, and very few people even think i am not top of life and health. I do take a baby aspirin a couple days a week.
best wishes to all. "
-- philip krempely, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 02/12/2009
"Dr. McCarthy is exceptional doctor in a first class facility at Northwestern Memorial in Chicago. He has patents on certain valve replacement procedures."
-- Timothy Zajeski, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 02/03/2009
"I was extremely pleased with the result and hospitalized for only 6 days. Doctor Patrick McCarthy is in high demand and I chose him for his expertise in surgery. "
-- Stuart Upchurch, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 07/15/2008
"My aortic valve surgery went very well. Recovery was pretty fast with a return of energy I had not felt in many years. I am doing very well 8 years after surgery and am very grateful for the excellent and successful surgery by Dr. McCarthy and the excellent treatment at Northwestern Medicine!!! "
-- Duane McBride, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 05/15/2008
"Doctor McCarthy is an excellent surgeon. He is personable and professional. My surgery was a success and I am 100%. I feel great and I am back to a full and active life."
-- John Robbins, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 12/18/2007
"I only remember seeing Dr. McCarthy once after the surgery, but I was wonderfully cared for by his whole team of doctors and nurses. I was extremely happy with the entire process and with the result. And, I experienced NO pain throughout!"
-- Charlotte Hartzell, Aortic Valve, Valve Repair, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, 11/27/2007
"My experience can only be described as excellent. Patrick McCarthy, MD and his team explained the surgery fully and the choices I needed to consider. The pre-surgery prep was excellent. The informed consent procedures were spot on. (I know because I studied them years before.) The post-operative care could not be better both in the ICU and afterwards. I was in reasonably good shape prior to the surgery, and I'm sure that helped. Now if I could only lose the 8 lbs I gained during my recovery! But once by ounce, I will lose that eventually!"
-- Jerry Goldman, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 03/27/2006
> See 88 more patient testimonials
"Dr. Patrick McCarthy is the finest surgeon to do an Aortic Stenosis. A kind, compassionte surgeon who performed a miracle task. Giving life back to me. I can now climb dunes and walk beaches. "
-- Shirley Medema, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Maze Procedure, 05/18/2005