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Cardiopulmonary Disease

Physicians at University of Chicago Medicine specialize in treating acute or advanced-stage cardiopulmonary disease. Using the latest mechanical circulatory support technologies and the most advanced non-surgical and surgical techniques, our goal is to provide each patient with personalized care that best maintains their heart and lung function.

Early Detection and Intervention

Early identification and treatment of cardiopulmonary disease is crucial for reversing organ damage and preventing further injury. Signs and symptoms of cardiopulmonary disease can vary widely and are often dictated by the underlying condition(s) that is causing heart and/or lung failure. Understanding the progression of the disease and knowing when to seek more advanced treatment is essential to providing patients with the highest chance of success. Our expert physicians welcome second opinions and consultations to help determine a patient's exact diagnosis and ideal treatment plan.

Treating Heart and Lung Failure

Medical and technological advances have provided better and more effective treatment solutions for patients in all stages of cardiopulmonary disease. For severe or advanced heart and/or lung failure, our multidisciplinary team, including cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, pulmonologists, thoracic surgeons, intensivists, and other specialists, excels in mechanical circulatory support (such as ventricular assist devices and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) and transplantation. The team works closely together to decide the treatment or combination of treatments that will best meet each patient's needs.

Learn more about:

  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)
  • Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs)
  • Transplantation

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Our adult acute Cardiopulmonary Support/Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) program has been recognized by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) as a Center of Excellence.

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is the only mechanical support for both the heart and lungs. ECMO provides oxygenation and circulation for patients who are experiencing heart and lung failure. With ECMO, blood is channeled through tubes connected to a machine that removes carbon dioxide and then oxygenates the blood before it is circulated back into the patient's body.

The University of Chicago Medicine is one of only a few hospitals performing ECMO in Chicago. We offer ECMO as a treatment solution for acute or end-stage heart/lung failure. Read Frequently Asked Questions About ECMO to learn more.

Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs)

A ventricular assist device (VAD) is used to mechanically pump blood from the heart and circulate it throughout the body. Depending on the patient's diagnosis, a VAD can sustain the right or left ventricle, or in cases where a patient requires left and right ventricle support, a biventricular assist device can be implanted.

Our cardiologists and cardiac surgeons have more been implementing VAD technology for more than 20 years. By offering a wide range of VAD options, including minimally invasive and temporary VAD solutions, we offer our patients the best treatment strategy for their specific diagnosis and lifestyle.

Heart and Lung Transplantation

The University of Chicago Medicine is one of the most respected transplant programs in the world. Our physicians have extensive experience with challenging cases and are dedicated to providing unparalleled patient care. We often treat patients that have been turned down by other institutions and perform multi-organ transplantation, including heart-lung transplants.

Our cardiac surgeons have three decades of heart transplant experience, which includes taking on complex cases and high-risk patients. Read more about our heart transplantation services.

For patients who need single or double lung transplants, our team has the skill and expertise to provide the dedicated, personalized care they deserve. Learn more about our lung transplant program.


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Contact Us

For a consultation or to reach an ECMO Specialist 24 hours a day, please call:

(773) 795-6230

Please do not hesitate to call early, we are available to discuss any patient's suitability as a candidate.

ECMO transport (cannulation on-site and transfer) may be possible. Please contact us for more details.