John A Macoviak

John A. Macoviak Discusses a Perspective on Leadership, Prep, Recovery, and Long-Term Care for Cardiothoracic Transplant Surgery Patients

John A Macoviak
Benefactor Bob Hope – 1992 First Heart Transplant at Eisenhower Medical Center, Rancho Mirage, CA
John A. Macoviak
1967 United States First Heart Transplant and Brain Death Press Conference with Dr. Shumway

John A. Macoviak provides an overview of the surgery, including what to expect before, during, and after the operation. Aseptic technique is of paramount importance, especially for heart transplant surgery.

About the Author

John A. Macoviak MD was trained by Norman E Shumway MD Ph.D. the charismatic brilliant pioneering surgeon and humorist similarly talented to his close colleague Denton Cooley MD, who helped forged modern cardiac surgery from an impossible to a practical discipline. Shumway said, “it is a young man’s job, hard to get to do”. He and all of his Stanford colleagues and faculty over the decades provided unrelenting support for their trainees.

John A. Macoviak MD in 1987 established the premiere Washington DC Regional Heart Transplant Consortium of 7 Hospitals through a politically charged of intense public interest and uncontrollable publicity in this pinnacle of politics shining city on a hill. The unexpectedly arduous “Certificate of Need” (CON) process the press followed closely for an entire year before the first 30 transplants Macoviak performed at 3 of the 7 hospitals under intense scrutiny, uncontrollable public interest, and adverse characterizations which followed for many years.

One of the 3 hospitals was Georgetown University which was Dr. Macoviak’s college and medical school alma mater where Robert Wallace MD was a cardiac surgeon and Chairman of Surgery. The latter had hoped to be the sole Heart Transplant Center in Washington DC and recruited Dr. Macoviak, but the CON process demanded otherwise in large part because their percentage of cardiac surgeries and politicians was offset by the other 6 other centers.  

John A Macoviak retired at age 50 as a heart transplant surgeon due to long missed and misdiagnoses while actually having hypermetabolic Grave’s hyperthyroidism, cervical spine, and familial diabetic peripheral neuropathy, He continues his 40-year career as a healthcare satirist, fiction and non-fiction author. He was a former academician.


John A. Macoviak’s teachers at Penn include Chairman Clyde Barker MD a world-renowned Mainline tennis player and Renal Transplanter, and Chief of Cardiac Surgery L. Henry Edmunds MD. At Stanford  Norman E. Shumway MD Ph.D. a master of the media and publicity like no other. John A. Macoviak recognized this when asked by Shumway to speak to the Bay Area Newspapers about a boy named Piotr from Poland who Shumway did an amazing successful pro bono surgery for complex congenital heart surgery. He trained all his residents exceptionally well as a surgeon, but no one could compare to his international powerful media, universities, and surgical societies’ political expertise. He provided us all with unrelenting support over the decades which followed. Both Penn and Stanford had developed intensely pyramidal residency training programs.

Since its inception, Cardiac Transplant Surgery created in the United States and first performed in

1967 has been a large team effort advanced by powerful charismatic visionaries who were widely

pursued by the press in the pioneering era and broadly. They can be deeply personally criticized by

holier peers in the status quo. just like most of those who deviate from the norm in the name of

positive progress. Unless they have protective wealthy and or powerful fractions and factions. Norman

E. Shumway MD Ph.D. deserved a Nobel prize as Father of Heart Transplantation in the eyes of many was the most powerful and magnanimous surgeon of the 20th Century a faithful supporter of his often-burnt-out trainees he termed his “movers and shakers”. He would never ‘stoop to conquer’ any of them who had sacrificed so much to learn and follow his leadership. Leaders he trained experienced Kipling’s “Triumph and Disaster” alike, including John C. Baldwin MD a Rhodes Scholar and a genius who tragically drowned in a rip current in Coronado. He was close friends with a powerful Stanford Nurse and was near his prominent Shumway trainee friend Stuart Jamieson MB who had moved from South Africa to San Diego  married to a philanthropist. Both men were wonderful, charismatic, and brilliant surgeons trained by Shumway who followed their leader and were all unrelenting supporters of their trainees.

John A. Macoviak answers the question: how exactly do surgeons practice surgery?  Only 1 in 10 surgery residents rising to the top is referred to as pyramid programs. Getting it right takes many surgeries and hardship outcomes learnings which is why what doctors do is called “PRACTICE” with “PRIVILEGES” granted by hospitals and licenses by states and certifications by educational institutions. The “why” people pursue this intense process the author leaves to the reader’s own analysis.    

Cardiothoracic Surgery Explained

Cardiothoracic surgery is a field of medicine that deals with the surgical treatment of conditions affecting the heart, lungs, and esophagus. It is a specialized form of surgery and is seen as highly invasive. Before patients go under the scalpel, they must be prepared both physically and mentally explains John A. Macoviak. This includes a pre-operative evaluation by the surgeon, which will assess the patient’s overall health and fitness for surgery.

The patient will also be asked to stop taking certain medications and fast for some time before the operation. Following the procedure, the patient will go through a recovery period and may face long-term care.

Cardiothoracic surgery is a specialized form of surgery that relies on both pulmonary and cardiovascular procedures to diagnose and treat diseases of the lungs, heart, and esophagus explains John A. Macoviak. Surgeries are usually prepared for and performed by a team of professionals, including nurses, scrub techs,  cardiothoracic surgeons, anesthesiologists, cardiologists, and pulmonologists.

The most common type of cardiothoracic surgery is a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), which is used to treat coronary heart disease. Other common procedures include valve replacement surgeries, lung resections, and heart transplants. These procedures require a deep understanding of how the body’s vascular and pulmonary systems work and can be highly risky if not performed properly explains John A. Macoviak.

Preparation for Cardiothoracic Surgeries

Cardiothoracic surgery is considered to be highly invasive, and as such, patients should be in a relatively stable condition before being considered for the procedure says John A. Macoviak. The surgeon will conduct a pre-operative evaluation to assess the patient’s overall health and fitness for surgery. During the evaluation, the surgeon will take a medical history, perform a physical examination, and order tests, such as blood work, X-rays, and cardiac imaging.

John A. Macoviak says that the purpose of the evaluation is to identify any potential risks or complications that could occur during or after the surgery to prevent injury or death. Once the surgeon has determined that the patient is a good candidate for surgery, the next step is to prepare for the procedure.

The patient will be asked to stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and to fast for a while, usually 12-24 hours before the operation. John A. Macoviak explains that the surgeon will also provide the patient with specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, such as showering with antibacterial soap and shaving the surgical site.

What to Expect During Cardiothoracic Surgery

Before the procedure begins, an anesthesiologist will administer a general anesthetic through an IV to bring the patient to an unconscious state for the duration of the procedure. The surgeon will then make an incision in the chest to access the heart, lungs, or esophagus explains John A. Macoviak. The type of incision will depend on the type of surgery being performed.

For example, a heart transplant or a CABG surgery requires a long incision down the center of the chest, while a valve replacement surgery may only require a smaller incision if done robotically assisted. During the CABG or transplant procedure, surgeons will work with the other team members to repair or replace the affected organ. This may include grafting a section of a healthy artery from another part of the body, bypassing blockages, or implanting new tissues.

Recovery and Long-Term Care Following a Cardiothoracic Surgery

After surgery, the patient will be taken to a recovery room where they will be closely monitored. The recovery period can last for several hours or days, depending on the type of surgery that was performed. During this time, the patient may experience some pain and will be given medication to help manage it, as well as a breathing tube to help them breathe.

Once the patient is stable, they will be transferred to a regular hospital room. Most patients may need to stay in the hospital for a week or more after surgery. During this time, the patient will be closely monitored and will gradually be able to increase their activity level.

John A. Macoviak says that the patient will also be given instructions on how to care for their incisions and will be given a list of warning signs to watch for, such as fever, chest pain, or shortness of breath. Once the patient is discharged from the hospital, they will need to take it easy for several weeks as their body heals.

The patient may need to take new medications, such as blood thinners, and will need to avoid strenuous activity initially. The patient will also need to follow up with their surgeon for regular checkups. In some cases, the patient may need long-term care, such as physical therapy, to help them recover fully.


Cardiothoracic surgery is a lifesaving but highly invasive procedure. Although patients can expect several weeks or even months of post-op recovery and physical therapy, without the advanced and specialized knowledge it takes to perform these surgeries, many more people would suffer from cardiovascular, lung. esophagus and thoracic diseases.