Dr. Husam Balkhy
Dr. Husam Balkhy
5841 S. Maryland Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637
About Dr. Husam Balkhy,
Heart Valve Surgeon
Hello! My name is Dr. Husam Balkhy and I am a cardiac surgeon having graduated from KAU College of Medicine, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 1987. To date, I have performed approximately 4,000 cardiac surgeries, of which 1,800 involved heart valve procedures. I regularly perform surgery at University of Chicago Medicine. Read more...
I believe my greatest strength is that I have a deep belief in being my patients’ advocate at all times. I put myself in their shoes and derive great satisfaction in explaining complex cardiac surgical procedures in very simple terms.
In this age of multiple procedures I try to explain all the different therapeutic options and help the patient make decisions. In addition I am a big proponent of safe, less invasive surgery using the latest technological advances. I believe that heart surgery can be performed using less invasive approaches safely to minimize trauma and enhance recovery while maintaining the efficacy of the procedure.
53 Patient Reviews for
"Excellent is the best word that I can think of to describe my treatment by Dr. Balkhy."
-- Joe Gimbel, heart valve surgery patient
"Dr. Balkhy and his team define professionalism and expertise. Friendly, knowledgeable, consistent, cohesive, and experts in their field. I don't have any other heart surgery to compare it to, but Dr. Balkhy and his team made this process and overall experience incredibly smooth.
Dr. Balkhy sat with me before the surgery for almost an hour and answered every question until I had no more questions. The entire nursing staff was gelled together as one unit. They continually worked as a cohesive team before and after surgery. The robotic surgery itself was incredibly smooth, considering the procedure. I opted for a minimally-invasive approach with Dr. Balkhy instead of a sternotomy.
I was home two days after surgery and back in the gym doing light workouts about a week and a half post-op. I'm now five weeks out and am close to 100%. Going to the gym daily and increasing my lung capacity as my left ventricle hopefully recalibrates to a smaller size.
I highly recommend Dr. Balkhy and his team; his bedside manner is stellar, his cutting-edge expertise is world-class, and he has no arrogance or hubris. The best possible combination for a surgeon. "
-- Jay Reagan, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Robotic Surgery, 01/26/2023
"I am very grateful to Dr. Balkhy and his team for the amazing care they demonstrated before, during and after my surgery to repair my mitral valve.
Dr. Balkhy quickly convinced me to become my surgeon due to his calm but very confident manner, his answering all my questions and offering a lot of information about mitral valve surgery, unprompted. I was also inspired by his reputation in, and passion and dedication for, cardiac robotic surgery.
My recovery has been very manageable considering the scope of the operation, and I now have a good possibility of enjoying a lifetime repair."
-- Ian Watson, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 01/24/2023
"Dr. Balkhy was the only cardiothoracic surgeon who confidently stated, “I can fix you.” He successfully repaired my mitral valve via minimally invasive robotic surgery. Dr. Balkhy and his team provided world class care before, during, and after surgery. I was back to my new and improved life in six weeks with no physical restrictions."
-- Stacy Dubin, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 11/28/2022
"Dr. Balkhy and his incredibly organized and friendly staff were amazing! I had two valves repaired with a minimum of pain afterward and back to my normal routine within a week. "
-- Margaret Caravello, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 11/21/2022
"Dr. Balkhy and his team did a great job of making me feel confident that they could do this surgery via the robot. He answered my many questions and continued to stay in touch with me."
-- Brad Lepoudre, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 11/10/2022
"Dr. Balkhy was absolutely wonderful. He listened, answered my 25 plus questions honestly and with integrity, and genuinely seemed to care about me and doing the best he can for ALL of his patients. I’m so grateful that my cardiologist recommended him to me, although I feel quite certain I would have found him no matter what, as it wasn’t easy for me to deal with having this surgery.
I’ve always been quite healthy and active and it was a real blow to hear my mitral valve had severe regurgitation and needed to be surgically repaired. I’m four weeks post surgery as I write this, and while I’ve had a couple of “hiccups” with my recovery, Dr. Balkhy and his whole wonderful team (shout out to Chirocka) continue to get me through them and reassure me that my mitral valve repair was a complete success. I deal with osteopenia so having a sternotomy was not an option I was willing to undergo.
I’m very grateful for and to him, and would recommend him to anyone who needed heart surgery. "
-- Melody Vantucci, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 10/25/2022
"Dr. Balkhy is excellent. Top notch. Everyone in his office was extremely helpful, kind (especially to someone with anxiety) and very professional. They reviewed all of the pre, surgical and post processes with me and answered the questions I had. They did so as follow-up to the surgery as well. I'm good for I hope another 30 years--I hope-- (I'm 70 now) thanks to Dr. Balkhy. I can highly recommend Dr. Balkhy and his team.
P.S. Dr. Balkhy and staff asked if I used all the pain pills he gave me. I shared that, thanks to the minimally invasive robotic surgery, I didn't use any of the pills and didn't experience any pain, just a little discomfort."
-- Mick Weltman, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 01/18/2022
"Outstanding experience from my first meeting to my surgery and my one month follow-up appointment. Doctor Balkhy explained exactly what he was going to do and how the entire process would work. His team of people were very important to the process and fulfilled their roles with compassion and great expertise.
I am so grateful for the results which included a fully repaired mitral valve. Within a few weeks after surgery, all of the side effects were almost 100% resolved.
I couldn't recommend Dr. Balkhy to a higher degree - he was the best!"
-- Barry Alpert, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 06/14/2021
"Dr. Balkhy is a Master surgeon! I was admitted into the University of Chicago Hospital for surgery early Thursday morning on July 23, 2020 and I was released from the hospital on the afternoon of Saturday July 25, 2020!
Dr. Balkhy did a great job and I would strongly recommend him over traditional open heart surgery! My recovery time was cut down to weeks instead of months and that was only because I had some underlying conditions that myself, and my General Practitioner, weren't even aware of! If I didn't have these underlying conditions, I would have been fully recovered in 10 to 14 days! Thank you Dr. Balkhy!"
-- Frank Mondia, Aortic Valve, Transcatheter, 07/23/2020
"Dr Balkhy's team was wonderful to work with from initial contact through today. They are prompt and answered all of the many questions I had. His team explained exactly what was going to happen the day I was having surgery. Having the surgery they were 100% right.
Thankfully, Dr Balkhy was able to repair my mitral valve with robotic surgery. I had surgery July 15th and was released July 16th around 6 PM. I still can't believe with the major surgery I had I was able to go home so fast.
I would recommend Dr Balkhy to any one that unfortunately has to have this type of surgery. My follow up appointment he took his time with my wife and me and answered all the questions I had. He was focused on ME and not his next patient which always good."
-- Steve Jovanovic, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 07/15/2020
"I am a 54 year old male, and found out during a routine physical that I had a heart murmur. The attending physician ordered an echocardiogram where severe mitral valve regurgitation was detected that required corrective surgery. I immediately began researching the different types of procedures available for mitral valve repair. I opted for robotic surgery due to it being less invasive and requiring less recovery time.
The first surgeon I hit on my online search was Dr. Balkhy who practices at University of Chicago Hospital, not far from where I live in Chicago. I searched long and hard to find a more experienced mitral valve surgeon anywhere else in the country than Dr. Balkhy. Once I met with Dr Balkhy and his team I knew I was in good hands, and scheduled the surgery on November 5th.
Dr. Balkhy and his staff did exceptional work, and I was home by November 7th and back on the Peloton on November 12th. Dr. Balkhy and his staff answered every one my numerous questions, and I can't thank them enough for the fantastic care I received before, during, and after the surgery. Dr. Balkhy has done thousands of these procedures, but he still took the time to offer support and reassurance. It is the biggest health scare I have ever had in my life and that support meant a lot to me. I highly recommend Dr. Balkhy and University of Chicago for Mitral Valve repair. "
-- Jim Dore, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 06/11/2020
"Dr. Balkhy is an excellent surgeon. The annuloplasty ring which was put in my mitral valve 14 years ago destroyed the valve. The ring only lasted 12 years. I have been having issues with the valve these last two years. The valve was all scar tissue.
To repair my valve was a complex surgery. It took 11 hours. Dr. Balkhy is known for handling complex problems. The valve was replaced with a tissue valve. I did my research for robotic surgery and chose Dr. Balkhy. If I had not had surgery, the ring would have destroyed the rest of my heart. The rest of my heart is fine.
Thank you to Dr. Balkhy and his wonderful team and the excellent care I received at the University of Chicago Hospital. They saved my life. "
-- Walter Bruce Brieschke, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, Robotic Surgery, 12/02/2019
"Dr. Balkhy was excellent at explaining the procedure. It was a complicated repair but he saw it as a challenge and this allowed me to have a repair instead of a replacement. I highly recommend Dr. Balkhy and his efficient staff."
-- Jonathan Barthel, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 09/05/2019
"I was very reluctant to have heart surgery as I had no significant symptoms despite a severely leaky mitral valve. Would not even consider open heart surgery. The robotic option was everything it was promised to be -- minimal pain (after the first night), only 2 nights in the hospital, no large incisions, no stitches, no blood transfusions, all tubes out the morning after surgery.
Dr Balkhy and especially NP Brooke & staff were very patient with my endless questions and concerns. The valve was repaired (not replaced) to better-than-normal condition. Some minor irregular heartbeats afterwards but no a-fib. "
-- Michael Bollero, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 08/26/2019
"Our experience with Dr. Balkhy was excellent from the first moment we contacted his office! Initially my wife and I were very anxious and worried upon finding out I needed heart surgery. Dr. Balkhy and his team got us in for consultation quickly, and took the time to answer every one of our questions and alleviate our concerns.
My surgery was a robotic, minimally invasive mitral valve repair, and I went home the day after surgery with minimal pain. It’s incredible. Any pain I had was managed with ibuprofen when i was home. I am 52 and very active, didn’t have any desire to spend months recovering from a traditional open heart surgery. Finding Dr. Balkhy was a blessing - I’m back to my normal activities within weeks of heart surgery! My wife and I highly recommend Dr. Balkhy and his team at University of Chicago Medicine."
-- Jeff Wagner, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 02/07/2019
"I am 88 years old with a leaking mitral valve. Was concerned about open heart surgery at my age and was referred to Dr. Balkhy for robotic repair. Surgery was done February 4, 2019 at University of Chicago Hospital and am very pleased to be able to have Dr. Balkhy do the procedure. Recovery much easier and Doctor and his team were great. All were concerned how I felt and had no pain afterward. Cannot say enough how good this experience was and recommend this Doctor and the hospital."
-- William Cheffer, Mitral Valve, Robotic Surgery, 02/04/2019
"Dr. Balkhy has developed and surrounded himself with a team of highly skilled people in his practice. Starting with his office team which is caring, sensitive, and efficient. My consultation with him made me confident and reassured he was the perfect surgeon to preform the robotic procedure for me. Surgery day was anxiety free and the surgical team care at U of Chicago Hospital was excellent. Post surgery, the I.C.U. team knew exactly what I needed when I needed it. They are mind readers! They never left my side until they knew I was comfortable. The additional support teams such as respiration team, physical therapist, occupational therapist, and nursing staff were smart, gentle, and courteous. I left the hospital the day following my surgery.
I highly recommend Dr. Husam Balkhy as a cardiac surgeon. He's fantastic. "
-- Susan Macleary, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 01/22/2019
"Dr. Balkhy was easily met, friendly, informative and had an excellent staff. I was in the hospital for 3 days and had no problems with the recovery. Had the followup to the procedure yesterday and feel completely recovered. "
-- Thomas Fuller, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Robotic Surgery, 11/27/2018
"Dr. Balkhy is, simply put, a brilliant surgeon ! I met with him a few weeks prior to surgery at which time he carefully and thoroughly explained the procedures he could do to fix my heart issues. At the time of surgery he did exactly what he said he would do to fix my issues. He robotically did bypass surgery to alleviate the coronary blockages and then, with a small incision in the upper chest area, he replaced my aortic valve. This was all done without having my chest cut opened. 48 hrs. later I was on my way home. Simply amazing !!!. I then returned 3 weeks later to have another procedure done where Dr. Sandeep Nathan (another awesome cardiac surgeon) placed stents in another area to alleviate other blockages that could not be done robotically because of their location. I should tell you that I did have another opinion at another hospital that all this could not be done without opening my chest. The doctors at the University of Chicago have innovative ways to do things that other doctors just cannot do. They are also kind and compassionate along with all their very helpful staff. I would strongly urge anyone who is facing bypass surgery and/or valve replacement to check out these doctors at University of Chicago. I thank Dr. Balkhy and Dr. Nathan for giving me a new lease on life. "
-- Alfred Arman, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Robotic Surgery, 08/27/2018
"Nothing less than OUTSTANDING!!!"
-- David Szymanek, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 07/09/2018
"HAVING THIS SURGERY IS NOT SOMETHING I WISH TO REPEAT. HOWEVER, IF I WERE TO EVER HAVE ANY SURGERY AGAIN, I WANT A SURGEON OF THE CALIBER OF DR. BALKHY! THE MAN, AND HIS TEAM, ARE FANTASTIC. BECAUSE OF THE WAY I WAS GREETED AND TREATED BEFORE SURGERY, DURING SURGERY AND AFTER SURGERY, I HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE COMFORTABLE AND CONFIDENT THROUGH A SURGICAL PROCEDURE. I HAVE HAD SEVERAL SURGERIES IN THE PAST BUT NEVER BEFORE HAVE I BEEN MORE COMFORTABLE WITH THE MEDICAL STAFF, PROCEDURE AND PROBABLE OUTCOME. DR. BALKHY IS A VERY PERSONABLE INDIVIDUAL THAT DOES EVERYTHING POSSIBLE, I BELIEVE, TO MAKE HIS PATIENT COMPLETELY COMFORTABLE WITH ALL THAT WILL TAKE PLACE BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER SURGERY. HIS EXPLANATIONS OF ALL ACTIVITIES ARE EASILY UNDERSTOOD AND HIS PERSONAL FOLLOW-UP IS EXCELLENT. THE MANNER IN WHICH HE INCLUDES THE PATIENT'S FAMILY GREATLY ADDS TO THE COMFORT OF THE PATIENT AND FAMILY. DR. BALKHY'S ABILITY TO PUT THE PATIENT AND FAMILY AT EASE AND KEEP THEM INFORMED IS SECOND TO NONE. DR. BALKHY'S TEAM REFLECTS THE SAME CALIBER OF CARE, LEVEL OF PROFESSIONALISM, HIGH DEGREE OF PERSONAL INVOLVEMENT AND CONCERN THAT HE DEMONSTRATES. DURING MY 36 YEARS OF MILITARY AND 18 YEARS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT I HAVE WORKED WITH A LOT OF "TEAMS" AND I HAVE RARELY, IF EVER, SEEN A TEAM THAT COMPARES TO THIS TEAM. DR. BALKHY'S TEAM TRULY REFLECTS THE HIGH STANDARDS THAT HAVE BEEN SET FOR THE PATIENT'S TREATMENT AND CARE. IT IS TRULY AN HONOR TO HAVE BEEN TREATED BY A MEDICAL TEAM WITH THIS LEVEL OF PROFESSIONALISM AND PERSONAL CARING. AFTER JUST SEVEN WEEKS SINCE SURGERY, I AM HAPPY TO SAY THAT I AM NEARLY BACK TO FULL ACTIVITIES. A LITTLE LONGER AND I WILL BE BACK TO FULL STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE."
-- John Proffit, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 04/25/2018
"Dr. Balkhy was fantastic. The minimally invasive robotic surgery is the way to go! I was out of the hospital in 48 hours with only needing 2 Motrin every 4 hours for pain management. I was able to return to work on a limited basis in two weeks. The whole experience at University of Chicago was top notch. I am very thankful for Dr Balkhy and his team."
-- David Keller, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 02/12/2018
"Dr. Balkhy and his team were wonderful: competent, caring and helpful in every aspect of care including all our follow-up questions. The procedures were minimally invasive with very little pain during the healing process. My wife and I highly recommend Dr. Balkhy for these procedures"
-- Edwin Gatons, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, Maze Procedure, 01/22/2018
"Dr. Balkhy and his entire medical team at University of Chicago were outstanding. From the initial consultation to the follow up visit post-op, Dr. Balkhy and the medical team provided excellent care, support and the outcome of the minimally invasive procedure was a complete success. I highly recommend Dr. Balkhy and the University of Chicago."
-- Mark Sharrard, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 12/18/2017
"Eighteen months post surgery and I have logged over 1,500 miles on my mountain bike and, as I approach 50 years old, am in as good of shape as I have been at any point over the last 15 years.
Despite my cardiologist's hesitation, I did not want to proceed with my surgeon and hospital choice for mitral valve repair without first investigating the robotic option. Dr. Balkhy and his team were great from the beginning, willing to take as much time as I needed to answer questions. I had visited other open-heart surgeons and Dr. Balkhy said, "If you go with one of those guys, they will do a perfect job on your heart valve. No question. But here is no need for you to have your chest cut open. If you do not go with us, go to Mayo or Cleveland. Avoid having your chest mutilated."
With that, I cancelled my Mayo appointment (too far from home to travel in the winter for one) and scheduled my surgery with U of C Medicine. I have never regretted it. I barely have scars at this point. My cardiologist says my heart is operating perfectly and I only need to come see him once per year.
Regarding facilities, when I made my first visit to the University of Chicago Medicine, the lobby seemed chaotic and a tad tired, but I put that aside as I met with the team. I can tell you that, on the morning of my surgery, my wife and I walked into a welcoming, modern and very comfortable environment. Everyone was great and the care was top notch.
Thank you Dr. Balkhy and team! "
-- Adam Brown, Mitral Valve, Robotic Surgery, 12/14/2017
"One word to describe my experience at the University of Chicago Hospital: Amazing!
Everyone, from Lois the receiving nurse, to Arnold, and Megan, two of my excellent nurses, to McKenzie, one of my nurse practitioners, and Dr. Abumerry and Dr Tong, my anesthesiologists — The staff had impeccable bedside manner and demonstrated expert level professionalism and care.
The procedure itself – – well I don’t remember it – – but when it was over, and I woke up, I had to ask “ when do we start?“. Recovery was quick: I was able to spend three hours working on a status report that I had to do very next morning after my surgery! My mitral valve was replaced with a cow tissue valve, and I’m happy to say, 30 days later, I am fully recovered and able to complete my full workout, which includes an hour of walking , weights, and even pull-ups: I did 11 today!
I did not miss even one hour of work the week of my surgery, and I have to thank Dr. Balkhy and his wonderful staff for that.
Minimally invasive robotic heart surgery is the future, and the future is now!
-- Paul Szews, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 11/30/2017
"I was very pleased with Dr. Bahlky; and his bedside manner is excellent. He used lay language, that my family and I could understand the procedure. He answered all our questions. I would recommend Dr. Bahlky. I believe my results are excellent."
-- Gertrude Winkler, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, 09/12/2017
"My experience was awesome. Explain the procedure thoroughly and answer any questions that I or m family had. If I called and left a message I received a call back. His entire team was great and I would recommend this team anytime."
-- Renee Sanders, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 07/25/2017
"Dr. Balkhy and his entire team were beyond amazing! Less than 6 months ago my life was turned completely upside. At age 36, with three small children, I walked into my doctor's office for a seemingly normal yearly physical to discover that I had heart murmur, which would weeks later be diagnosed as a severely prolapsed mitral valve. An avid runner and health nut, I had absolutely no symptoms and didn't have words to express my distress. The prospect of having open heart surgery was beyond my realm of understanding. I was blessed to be refereed to Dr. Balkhy and team, who were able to robotically successfully repair my mitral valve. Less than four week post surgery I am essentially back to my normal life; raising my three children under the age of nine, running upwards of 7 miles a day and on track to start another school year as an elementary school teacher. No words could express how thankful I am each day for meeting this amazing team. My children and I are simply blessed. So thankful for Dr. Balkhy and his amazing team!"
-- Rachel Washburn, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 07/19/2017
"I am extremely pleased with Dr. Balkhy and his team. They were easy to communicate with, responsive to my questions both pre- and post-surgery, and each member of the team seemed genuinely interested in understanding my wishes and helping me feel comfortable about my options and my choices. As Dr. Balkhy indicated was likely, I spent one night in the ICU, another in the step down unit, then went home with no restrictions except driving for one week. While I was recovering my strength at home, the nurse practitioners responded to my questions promptly and helpfully, and by the 3-week point, I was feeling like myself again. I am grateful that robotic (minimally invasive) surgery was available to solve my atrial fibrilation problem (which could not be resolved by ablation) and the problem of my mitral valve, which had been leaking for decades.
I am also very grateful that Dr. Balkhy and his team were there for me and that I did not have to resort to a more invasive procedure, such as open-heart surgery. I give the highest marks to this outstanding team and to the University of Chicago hospital. "
-- Fay Clayton, Mitral Valve, Tricuspid Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, Maze Procedure, 06/14/2017
"I was fortunate enough to have Dr. Balkhy and his team perform my mitral valve repair and ablation surgery. I had a severely leaking valve with regurgitation for years, when full blown afib also kicked in it was no longer considered manageable. Multiple surgeons said the valve was not salvageable and would need to be replaced. All via the full open chest with a sternotomy, meaning a lifetime of blood thinner and a lengthy recovery. My Cardiologist sent me to Dr. Balkhy who felt he could not only fix the valve, but could do it robotically/endoscopically. And he did. Both procedures were successfully done robotically.
My surgery was on a Monday morning and I was released Wednesday. There was remarkably little pain, to the point I would call it discomfort. Other than tiring easily as I recovered, the process was unbelievably smooth, to the point it unnerved me a bit! I was back at work in two weeks, and pretty much back to normal in three.
Dr. Balkhy and his team are exceptional. They were easily accessible for questions or concerns from the initial consultation, through recovery. During the entire process, I felt they had my best interest at heart. Bottom line, no matter what you have been told, it is not going to hurt to have another opinion, from someone who is a leader in the field. I was Dr. Balkhy’s 500th robotic surgery at the UoC. Here is a brief video of my experience and Dr. Balkhy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9SE0gEyd8A "
-- Jennifer Scott, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, Maze Procedure, 04/24/2017
"Dr. Balkhy, along with everyone on his staff, is amazing. I was able to get an appt with him within 2 weeks from my first call. He took his time answering all my questions & explained my procedure in great detail. I was released from the hospital 48 hours after my surgery & off all pain meds in a week. I feel great & would highly recommend Dr. Balkhy & the University of Chicago to anyone who is need of heart surgery. "
-- Bernard Lindsted, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Maze Procedure, 12/22/2016
"I contacted Dr. Balkhy after being diagnosed with severe mitral valve regurgitation and an episode of atrial fibrillation. He and his team repaired the mitral valve and performed a modified Maze procedure to prevent a fib, all by robotic surgery through small chest incisions. I was able to leave the University of Chicago Medical Center after two days and continue my recovery at home.
Dr. Balkhy and his team have been considerate and caring throughout my hospital stay and follow up appointments. They have my highest recommendation for heart valve surgery."
-- Joseph Corns, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, Maze Procedure, 09/26/2016
"I cannot say enough for my deepest gratitude expressly for Dr. Husam H. Balkhy and his exceptional cardiac team. You must see him for your second, third or fourth opinion if you have never heard of port access surgery that you may very well be a candidate for despite what other surgeons might have told you as you need to find the surgeon who is specifically trained and experienced for this "forefront of medicine," very well known to deliver at The University of Chicago Medicine & Biological Sciences. I was saved from doing a full sternotomy and a single bypass that was advised by others. Later, it was discovered that I did not even need a bypass! My scar is so small that it amazes people that this is even possible! People love my story and my successful recovery that only had a few expected typical issues from post open heart surgery. Dr. Balkhy endured a difficult surgery with me as my valve was severely calcified for its removal. I must say I am forever thankful for his patience, skill and love of his work. From the moment my husband and I visited with him for the first time, we enjoyed his very personable assistance in answering our questions (that he probably hears everyday) but addresses with a steady calm and individualized assessment with added valuable substantial important details for consideration that other surgeons never even noticed on the medical records that were transferred to him for his review. All this with a superb bedside manner providing a pure approach to the needs of your particular situation by an amazingly and truly skilled surgeon in his craft of port access aortic valve replacement. It gives you the least invasive approach to aortic valve replacement, allowing for a much quicker and safer recovery. I do feel sorry for folks who have never heard of this procedure or the many other innovative cardiac surgical approaches that Dr. Balkhy also is well known for. Please visit: http://www.uchospitals.edu/physicians/husam-balkhy.html I highly recommend that you make an appointment with him before your final decision at 773-834-7821 for Robotic and Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery and his nurse, Brooke Patel will schedule you. I am eternally blessed to find this excellent surgeon and every single person on his team! May they continue to be blessed in their sincere efforts in helping to bring many more to have their hearts on the mend!"
-- Joanna Prisiajniouk, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini-Thoracotomy / Port Access, 07/21/2016
"I am so thankful that I had my mitral valve repaired robotically by Dr Balkhy and his team. Dr Balkhy and his team took care of me every step of the way from the initial appointment all the way to follow up questions during my recuperation. When I came for my initial visit Dr Balkhy and his staff took the time to explain the process and answer any questions I had. I left the office feeling that I knew what would happen and that Dr Balkhy and his staff were more than capable of doing a good job.
Dr Balkhy prepared me for what to expect after the surgery so I wouldn't be caught by surprise. He also recognized that I lived far from the hospital and endeavored to limit the number of commutes I needed to make for pre-op tests as well as getting me released so I wouldn't need to go home during Chicago rush hour.
Several questions arose after I got home. Each time I called Brooke, Dr Balkhy's nurse practitioner. Most of the time I got her right away. When I did not, she always got back to me within an hour or so. Each time I called she gave me the information I needed and demonstrated great concern for me.
I was amazed at how quickly I recovered from the surgery. With respect to day to day activities, including driving, work, and my energy level, I was back to normal in about 2 ½ weeks. Before my surgery I worked out regularly. At 6 weeks I am already doing 40 minute aerobic workouts and light weights. Needless to say it will take more time to get back where I was but I am well on my way. Here are the details. My recovery from the surgery has been very simple and fast. I had the surgery done on a Monday, starting at 7:30 AM. I woke up and had my breathing tube removed at about 4PM that day. I was sitting up in a chair about 2 hours later. I spent the night in the ICU and had all the remaining tubes removed the next morning (Tuesday) and was moved to a step down room. Once I got moved I took a walk around the floor. I felt a bit unstable, but other than that I felt good. I had some pain at the incision in my groin area and then a portion of my right chest under the rib cage felt sore. I only needed to take half of the pain killer dose to control my pain enough so I could do the breathing exercises.
I did not spend any time in bed on Tuesday until it was time to go to sleep. I took numerous walks around the floor. By my second walk I didn’t feel the least bit unstable. I was walking slowly for me but I found that each time I walked I felt a little better.
I was released on Wednesday. I had very few restrictions. I wasn’t supposed to drive or do any intense exercise or heavy lifting as long as I was on the pain killer. As it turned out I didn’t take any of the pain killers once I got home. I simply took Advil. Upon arriving home I was able to walk just fine and go up and down steps fairly easily, though I did favor the side of my groin where the incision was located (but only during that first day and a half). Thursday was my first full day at home. I took Advil that day every 6 hours as directed on the package. I took 2 the next 2 days and after that I just took 1 each night before going to bed for another 3 days. After that I used ice on my groin for about 10 minutes in the evening for a few more days. I stayed home that first week, each day increasing the amount of walking I did. I have a Vivofit to track my steps. By the end of the week I was walking about 10,000 steps a day. As the week progressed the pain in the groin became less each day. The pain under the rib cage became more of a numbness and ache. Neither was very bad as shown by how little Advil I was taking.
I went back to work one week after my surgery – on Tuesday. I had my wife drive me on Tuesday, but after that I drove myself. I also worked from home on one day that week. My energy level was still low but I had no problem getting around, even walking up steps to the second floor. I was moving a bit slower than normal, but I felt well enough to get some work done that week. So that was the second week after my surgery.
By the middle of the third week (about 2 ½ weeks after my surgery) I felt that my energy level was back to normal. I still had some aches, but nothing that required medication or even ice. At this point I was walking over 15,000 steps a day and I even began to get on an Elliptical and Treadmill machine at the gym. I started at 5 minutes and felt fine during the exercise and also felt fine the next day. The second time I increased my time to 15 minutes and still felt fine so I continued using the machines about every other day. Initially I didn’t allow my heart rate to get over 100 bpm. I gradually allowed myself to work harder and raise my heart rate more. At my one month follow-up visit with Dr. Balkhy, he reinforced that I did not have any restrictions and that I could do whatever I wanted to do. After that I got more serious about reconditioning my heart. I started working out on the Elliptical hard enough to get my heart rate over 130 bpm for at least 10 minutes. I also began doing light weights.
It is now 6 weeks since my surgery. Today I worked out on the Elliptical for 40 minutes, keeping my heart rate over 130 bpm for 35 minutes of that time. I have also progressed with my weights a bit.
Based on how I am progressing, I have very positive expectations to be back in shape in the near future. "
-- Andrew Richman, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 05/23/2016
"I can't say enough good about the doctors involved or the robotic procedure. The facilities were top notch. Every individual I Interfaced with were extremely dedicated and helpful. I would also highly recommend the robotic procedure if you can as I walked from the ICU the morning after to the my room. Slowly, but still up and about for short hall walks too. Was on my way home the following day so only 3 days in hospital! The doctors were also very helpful answering questions over the following week. Follow up visit 5 weeks after surgery says all is well and A-fib is gone also. Still recovering and biking miles slowly going up."
-- Eugene Cassella, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, Maze Procedure, 05/19/2016
"On Thursday, September 24, 2015 I woke up with severe chest pain and immediately went to the hospital. When I arrived in the ER, I was diagnosed with aortic dissection. In comes Dr. Balkhy who I credit with saving my life.
This was my second heart surgery and at the age of 80 I know it was certainly a challenge for him. My recovery was more than I expected I can walk without assistance, I've gotten back some of my strength, and am very amazed about my recovery happening so fast.
I'm glad that Dr. Balkhy was in the right place at the right time and God gave him the know how to do what he does because truly it's a gift."
-- Louis Rollins, Aortic Valve, Valve Repair, 09/24/2015
"Dr. Balkhy and his team (Carida, Dotti, Brooke and MacKenzie) not only put my wife and I at ease during my consultation prior to the surgery, but throughout the entire experience. We were told what to expect. My wife was kept totally informed during the progress of the surgery, which put her mind at ease.
I was up and out of bed the day after the surgery; returned home 5 days later. With 3 weeks of Physical Therapy in-home and some follow-up PT at a local rehab unit, I am on the way back to full recovery, and feeling fine.
I cannot say enough about the professionalism and warmth experienced at the consultation and at the follow-up 5 weeks after the surgery. I always felt during and after the consultations that I was Dr. Balkhy's only patient, because he gave my wife and me all the time we needed to get our questions answered, and his entire team also came in during the consultations in the event we had questions for them. I really felt cared for in every possible way. We cannot recommend this team highly enough."
-- Orion Samuelson, Aortic Valve, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, Median Sternotomy, 09/14/2015
"I live in Wisconsin and, at first, did not consider traveling out of the state to Chicago for surgery. But, after meeting with Dr. Balkhy, I realized that he is the Teacher and others are Students when it comes to mitral valve repairs done using his amazing technique that has left me with minimal scars and feeling amazing.
His nurses, especially Sue and Dorothy, were with me from Day 1 (before the surgery), the 2 days in the hospital, and were 100% available for questions and answers weeks after the procedure.
This was my very first major surgery of any kind, and Dr. Balkhy and his team were the absolute best in all areas. I would HIGHLY recommend Dr. Balkhy and his nursing team. They are truly world-class and the best possible choice for surgery. A+++"
-- Scott G, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 06/09/2015
"This has been quite a journey for me, but I have to describe the extremely positive experience with Dr. Balkhy and his team at University of Chicago Medical Center. First some history. I had been watching along with my cardiologist my leaky mitral valve for almost 40 years, watchful waiting is what this was referred as. I knew the day would come when it would need to be repaired, just didn't know when. I have been a very active person through all of this. I have two rather large gardens that I keep, am active outdoors, and have run 20 marathons, three 50k trail races and various others of shorter distance.
I have for most of my life worked out everyday and have logged over 34,000 miles running life to date. Needless to say when the valve started acting up this past winter and tests showed it was time to have the valve fixed I was not ready to hear this news. I had to find the option that would be the most successful and get me back to active the quickest.
Because I knew this day was coming I had over the years researched the procedures, methods, and hospitals that performed them. My research kicked into a higher gear especially regarding the use of robotics to perform the surgery. Now was the time to set up and interview various surgeons to determine the best one to operate on me. The experience with other hospitals and surgeons without mentioning names was not a positive experience. This was not true with Dr. Balkhy and the rest of his team. From the beginning they all made me feel very comfortable and worked with me to answer any and all questions. Because of my extensive research I had some very specific questions and was always treated with respect and none of the condescension or arrogance that I saw elsewhere.
After deciding this was the place to go and that Dr. Balkhy and his team were the right people to get it done we quickly worked out a schedule. I made a quick trip to Chicago a week prior to surgery for some pre-testing that was required. This day at the hospital was also a very positive experience. Everyone was so nice and professional. There wasn't any negative experience at all and no wait times I would consider out of the ordinary. Everyone from the valets, receptionist, nurses and technicians did an exceptional job. The day of the surgery and afterward continued the experience. I was so nervous, but check-in was painless, and everything moved along well. Everyone along the way explained things thoroughly, allowed time for any questions, and showed genuine concern for me and my family the entire way.
The surgery itself went very well and from what I understand text book. While I don't remember anything my family was well communicated with the entire day. Some many hours later they were able to meet me after waking in the ICU. I was well taken care of while in the ICU and was able to move to a step down unit the following afternoon. I spent one day in the step down unit and was visited by Dr. Balkhy that afternoon. I was very happy to hear from him in detail how things went and to find out I was on schedule to head home the next day. Who would have ever guessed you could leave the hospital after major heart surgery after only two days.
Since arriving home the recovery has been nothing short of phenomenal. I never had to take any pain medication stronger than Tylenol. The first day home I was able to go for multiple short walks. By the third day I was able to walk 1.5 miles. By the 5th day I was able to add work in my garden and other light chores. After 10 days I was able to jog half mile at the end of my daily walk. By two weeks I was able to rototill my garden and mow the lawn. I was able to drive myself 6 hours up north to go fishing for multiple days. Since then I have been able to add more extensive yard work like trimming evergreen trees and building a stone retaining wall. 21 days since arriving home I was able to jog 2.5 miles in 25:05 with no issues. Today I really feel almost back to normal and even the five small incisions are completely healed. Even with my research the results have far exceeded anything I could have hoped for at this point.
I can't express enough the gratitude I feel towards Dr.Balkhy and his team at University of Chicago Medical Center. His skill and that of the entire team and the professionalism of everyone that I came in contact with made this traumatic experience into an extremely positive event for me. I could not more highly recommend this team and the robotic option to anyone having to undergo this surgery. "
-- Jeff Paavola, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, Maze Procedure, 05/29/2015
"Dr. Balkhy's careful explanation to me at the consultation and his confidence were very reassuring to me. The surgery went very well and I was out of the hospital on the 3rd day. I had very little pain, only tenderness at the incision sites when pressed. I was back to normal work within 2 weeks.
Dr. Balkhy's follow-up, along with his team, was excellent and answered all the questions I and my wife had. I would highly recommend Dr. Balkhy. He was an answer to prayer, as I relied fully on Jesus Christ and the leading of the Holy Spirit. "
-- Carl Pignotti, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 05/27/2015
"This is my second time seeing Dr. Balkhy to have my mitral valve repaired in the last 14 months . The first time in March of 2014 for a mitral valve prolapse, which caused a severe mitral valve regurgitation. The care I received by Dr Balkhy and his staff bar none where first rate. I went in for this second surgery May 18 th to have the valve repaired. The day after surgery Dr Balkhy met with me and explained in detail what the issue was and what he did to repair it. He showed me a comprehensive video of the before and after of my valve, and explained what he did to repair it. Again, I can not stress the care I received from the consult before, and the excellent care I received before, during, and after surgery . EVERYONE there, from Dr. Balkhy, to his staff, especially Dotti, Sue, and the surgical team, the ICU unit, hospital Doctors and nurses were excellent. My personal experience with this procedure was excellent. I was up and walking around later the next morning in ICU, and home by Thursday. Been walking around the park by my home and feeling really great. No pain, just some discomfort in the incision sites and soreness in the right wrist from all the IV's . I highly recommend Dr Balkhy and his staff and the University of Chicago Medicine . They are the BEST!"
-- Angelo Valenti, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 05/18/2015
"Initially I had a certain amount of anxiety of having any cardiac surgery. That may have been because of a year I spent working as a RN in a cardiovascular intensive care unit, doing recovery of open hearts.
I really did not want to have my chest cracked open. At the University of Chicago I was able to meet with Dr Husam Balkhy and members of his team and discussed Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery and mitral valve repair. All of my questions were answered. Dr. Balkhy's demeanor was calm and reassuring. Most important, I received the impression from the other RNs, that in the operating theater that Dr Balkhy, even as the surgeon, is a team player.
With Robotic Surgery I was out of Intensive care in less than a day, up and about briefly on the second day, and fully ambulatory up and about pacing on the third day and discharge later that afternoon. The care that I received was excellent. At home, I do activity as tolerated and have some discomfort to wound sites only if I over exceed myself. I can, with confidence, recommend Dr. Husam Balkhy and his team at University of Chicago for Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery for any cardiac procedures. "
-- Gary Phelps, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 04/08/2015
"My problem was the surgical removal of a fibroelastoma on the aortic valve. I first went to Dr. Balkhy for a 2nd opinion regarding the removal of the offending mass. It was immediately & impressively apparent that Dr. Balkhy not only "listened" to me but also "heard" my questions and concerns.
I was so impressed with his answers and willingness to have a detailed "conversation" with me about my problem, the surgical procedure itself and the post-op situation that I immediately decided to have him do the surgery. His demeanor is one of gentleness and quiet confidence with not a hint of arrogance. He explained the advantage(s) of robotic surgery vis-a-vis the more standard surgical procedure, even if it was described as "minimally invasive" and stressed the skill and experience of his team. And indeed his "team" is extraordinary and reflect his skill and attitude.
Everything went as he explained/predicted; discharged from hospital on the 3rd day (Sunday); almost no pain or discomfort (my biggest "problem" was the itchy skin where they shaved my chest, What??). My son picked me up at the hospital (mandatory) and after dropping him off at his house, I drove home. Dr Balkhy had said I was cleared to drive as long as I was not taking the narco pain medication. I did not need/take any opioid after Friday afternoon so I was good-to-go. I went to work Monday morning. The only noticeable effect was a certain degree of fatigue near days end lasting perhaps 2 weeks.
My gratitude and regard for Dr. Balkhy and his team at the University of Chicago is unequivocal."
-- Jack Caallahan, Aortic Valve, Robotic Surgery, 03/05/2015
"Dr. Balkhy and his extremely competent & personable staff were nothing short of excellent. At the initial appointment, I met with (nurses) Susan Arnsdorf & Dorothy Krienbring. Two compassionate & accomplished women who explained the role each of them played within the team. Then the doctor came in. He did not rush the appointment & had a very down-to-earth way about him.
It is important to mention, that I had gotten 3 other opinions before finding out about Port Access Aortic Valve Replacement. I had been told by all the previous physicians that I needed to have my sternum "cracked open". However, all 3 of them were wrong - this was not the case.
Dr. Bahlky was able to replace my valve without cutting through my sternum. Thus, the stress to my body, the healing process and the scar were far less extensive. I am so happy I decided to get a 4th opinion and that I found this wonderful team.
The care I received in the hospital, as well as my post-surgical experience was also noteworthy. Having lived through: 3 separate primary cancers, multiple surgeries, chemo & radiation~prior to my heart issues, I consider myself somewhat of an authority on hospitals, doctors & nurses. That being said, this was the highest level of care I have ever received. Nothing is easy about heart surgery or recovery, but I thank God I kept digging until I found an option I could accept."
-- Paula LaBree, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Mini-Thoracotomy / Port Access, 02/24/2015
"I had mitral valve repair using the DaVinci Robot. I was out of the hospital in two days and back to work in two and a half weeks. It's been four weeks know and I feel like a million bucks. I could be more happy with the University of Chicago and Dr. Balkhy's team. "
-- John Fichera, Mitral Valve, Valve Replacement, 02/23/2015
"Dr. Balkhy and his team are the "A-team" for heart surgery.
Both my wife and I have had heart procedures performed by Dr. Balkhy. For me, he closed a couple holes in my heart robotically which were causing strokes. My wife had an aortic valve replacement in 2011. Both of us strongly recommend Dr Balkhy and his team. After researching other approaches and doctors, we are convinced he truly was the best for both of our needs! The robotic process is precise and allows for a much faster recovery with minimal, if any, scaring.
He and his team were excellent about explaining the process, benefits and concerns and recovery. They were exceptional throughout the process and my recovery. My surgery was on Tuesday morning. I was released Thursday morning, fully capable to walk out of the hospital on my own. My recovery has been fast.
My entire experience at the University of Chicago Hospital was outstanding. We are very grateful patient(s). Thank you Dr. Balkhy! "
-- Doug Frohmader, Aortic Valve, Robotic Surgery, 01/20/2015
"I had know for many years that I had a problem with my mitral valve but had only minor problems. I am 76. Recently I noticed that after just a little exercise or normal activities, I would become extremely exhausted and breathed heavy for a short period of time.
After consultation with my personal Doctor, I was referred to a heart surgeon who suggested surgery. I am also a polio survivor and for the past several years have experienced living with post-polio. I am very weak, poor balance, and easily fatigued. He suggested that because of my health conditions, and open heart surgery, I should consider selling my home and moving into assisted living.
My family did not agree. With a referral to Dr. Balkhy, from my daughter-in-law who knew Dr. Balkhy, we met with the Doctor and were completely satisfied with his assurance that robotic surgery would give me a quicker recover with less pain etc.
I was home in 48 hours after surgery and I am a new man. I had little pain and recovered amazingly quick. I can't say enough good about Dr. Balkhy. I have had no problems since the day of surgery."
-- Gerald Deleeuw, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 01/16/2015
"I had a wonderful experience, Dr. Balkhy's whole team was supportive through out the whole process. I traveled from Michigan to the University of Chicago because Dr. Balkhy did the mitral valve repair robotically. Locally, they only offered me open heart.
On the morning of Jan 9, i went in to surgery confident that everything would turn out well. On Jan 10, i was walking carefully in intensive care and on Jan 11 i was released from the hospital. I never needed a pain medication. I took a week off work and returned to work on Jan 19. Not bad for a 64 year old guy.
I have only the highest praise for the medical team and the robotic process and would urge anyone to see if it was a suitable option for them rather than open heart. He even repaired a hole in my heart from birth.
I am willing to discuss further if someone who is facing surgery is interested."
-- William Thurner, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 01/09/2015
"Dr. Balkhy is a very caring doctor along with his staff. I felt like a family member during my surgery. "
-- Mary Hawkins, Aortic Valve, Robotic Surgery, 07/21/2014
"DR BALKHY TOOK THE FEAR OUT OF HAVING OPEN HEART SURGERY. I WAS IN THE HOSPITAL FOR TWO DAYS AND ICU FOR ONE DAY AND WAS ABLE TO RETURN TO WORK IN LESS THEN A MONTH. I HAVE HAD TWO ECHO TECHNICIANS TELL ME THAT I HAVE THE BEST MITRAL VALVE REPAIR THEY HAVE SEEN IN THEIR TWENTY AND THIRTY YEARS OF EXPERIENCE. I CANNOT SAY ENOUGH ABOUT DR. BALL BY AND HIS TEAM. I LOVE MY SURGEON!!!!!"
-- Nancy Pettet-Schubert, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, 05/08/2014
"At every level of contact Dr. Balkhy and his team were excellent. I would, and have, recommended Dr. Balkhy to family, friends, coworkers and complete strangers. Excellent is the best word that I can think of to describe my treatment from first visit through the recovery process. "
-- Joseph Gimbel, Aortic Valve, Mini-Thoracotomy / Port Access, 10/10/2011
"Dr. Balkhy used the robot to perform mitral valve repair and coronary bypass procedures on me. This being the 3rd time in the United States that this combination has been accomplished. Dr. Balkhy was extremely encouraging, supportive, compassionate and competent. I feel very blessed to have had Dr. Balkhy, his team, and the hospital staff. I highly recommend this gifted surgeon!"
-- Don Marlow, Mitral Valve, Valve Repair, Robotic Surgery, 09/30/2010
"Dr. Balkhy possesses an incredible mix of surgical talent and great bedside manner."
-- Jason Smith, Aortic Valve, Valve Replacement, Root Replacement, 08/26/2008
My Specialities &
My heart surgery specialties include:
- Robotic cardiac surgery including mitral valve surgery
- Minimally invasive aortic valve surgery
- Atrial fibrillation treatment
In addition, I have research and clinical interests specific to:
- Robotic cardiac surgery
- Minimally invasive surgery for atrial fibrillation
- Totally endoscopic coronary surgery
Education, Training & Certificates
Dr. Husam Balkhy, heart surgeon, graduated from KAU College of Medicine, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 1987.
Dr. Balkhy completed his General Surgery Residency at Tufts New England Medical Center in 1994. He then completed a Vascular Surgery Fellowship at Lahey Clinic in 1995 and a Cardiothoracic Surgery Fellowship at Tufts New England Medical Center in 1997.
In addition to being board certified in cardiothoracic surgery, Dr. Balkhy was awarded the Spirit of Caring in Health Innovation Award by Community Memorial Hospital.
with Dr. Husam Balkhy, MD
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Balkhy, you can:
- Call (773) 757-5030 right now
- Request an appointment by clicking here.
The office of Dr. Balkhy is located at 5841 S. Maryland Ave., Chicago, IL 60637. To get driving directions to this office, please click the map below.
> Click for driving directions to Dr. Balkhy’s office.
News & Online References Featuring Dr. Husam Balkhy
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Page last updated: March 3, 2023