Sir Magdi Habib Yacoub OM FRS (Arabic: د/مجدى حبيب يعقوب [ˈmæɡdi ħæˈbiːb jæʕˈʔuːb]; born 16 November 1935), is an Egyptian retired professor of cardiothoracic surgery at Imperial College London, best known for his early work in repairing heart valves with surgeon Donald Ross, adapting the Ross procedure, where the diseased aortic valve is replaced with the person's own pulmonary valve, devising the arterial switch operation (ASO) in transposition of the great arteries, and establishing the heart transplantation centre at Harefield Hospital in 1980 with a heart transplant for Derrick Morris, who at the time of his death was Europe's longest-surviving heart transplant recipient. Yacoub subsequently performed the UK's first combined heart and lung transplant in 1983.

Magdi Yacoub

Yacoub in 2008
Born (1935-11-16) 16 November 1935 (age 88)
EducationCairo University
Known for
SpouseMarianne Yacoub
Medical career
InstitutionsUniversity of Chicago
Harefield Hospital of Imperial College London
Sub-specialtiesCardiothoracic surgery
Heart transplantation
AwardsOrder of Merit
Knight Bachelor
Order of the Nile

From 1986 to 2006, he held the position of British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College Faculty of Medicine. He is the founding editor of the journal Disease Models & Mechanisms.

His honours and awards include the Bradshaw Lecture from the Royal College of Physicians in 1988, a knighthood in the 1992 New Year Honours, the Texas Heart Institute's Ray C. Fish Award for Scientific Achievement in Cardiovascular Disease in 1998, the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004, the European Society of Cardiology's gold medal in 2006, the Order of Merit in 2014, the Lister Medal from the Royal College of Surgeons in 2015 and the Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor Achievement Award (KAHAA) in 2019.

Following retirement from the National Health Service (NHS), he continued to operate on children through his charity, Chain of Hope. In 2008, he co-founded the Magdi Yacoub heart foundation, which launched the Aswan Heart project.

Early life and education edit

Magdi Habib Yacoub was born on the 16th of November in 1935[1] in Bilbeis, El Sharqia, Egypt to a Coptic Christian family,[2][3] and spent his childhood moving around a number of different small towns.[4] His father was a surgeon, who later worked in public health. He died in 1958.[4] Yacoub later recalled that both his father and the death of his youngest aunt at age 22 years from an uncorrected mitral stenosis during childbirth[5] inspired him to study medicine and cardiology, saying that “this young woman would not have died if we had had access to facilities which were then available in a few centres around the world”.[6][7]

At the age of 15, he entered the University of Cairo College of Medicine with a scholarship.[4]

Early surgical career edit

National Heart Hospital

In 1957, Yacoub graduated in medicine from Cairo University and completed two years of residencies in surgery.[4] In 1961[8] or 1962[6] he moved to Britain to study for his fellowship while working under Sir Russell Brock, consultant surgeon at Guy's Hospital.[6]

Heart valve surgery edit

Ross Procedure

In 1964, he was appointed rotating surgical senior registrar to the National Heart and Chest Hospitals,[9] where he worked with cardiothoracic surgeon Donald Ross. Here, they worked on repairing heart valves in people with severe valvular heart disease and heart failure.[9][10][11] Four of their cases, operated on between December 1965 and October 1967, were reported on in the British Medical Journal (1968) in an article titled "Too ill for cardiac surgery?". Three had severe aortic valve disease and one had rheumatic heart disease with multiple affected valves. All four had a poor prognosis with death expected within a few days and all four survived surgery.[9][10] He carried out a number of Ross procedures, where the diseased aortic valve is replaced with the person's own pulmonary valve, particularly in growing children.[12][13] It became a popular alternative to the surgical treatment of aortic valve disease in young adults and avoided the need for anticoagulation and repeated operations. Yacoub modified the operation by planning remodelling of the autograft root, the Ross-Yacoub procedure,[13][14][15][16] performed in carefully selected people.[17] At a time when cardiologists may have been reluctant to refer for surgery, Yacoub's search for operable people earned him the name "Magdi's midnight stars".[9]

Later, his application for a job at the Royal Brompton Hospital was turned down.[18] In 1968, he moved to the United States[6] and the following year he became Instructor and then Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago.[4]

Harefield Hospital edit

In 1973, he became a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon at Harefield Hospital,[6] West London, opened in 1921 as a TB sanatorium of single storey pavilions typical for such a hospital.[19] [18] He later recalled that "I was tempted to stay in Chicago, as I was interested in the research they were doing there, but I had already accepted the position at Harefield before going to the US, so I was honour bound to return".[6] At Harefield, he worked closely with Rosemary Radley-Smith, consultant in paediatric cardiology.[18]

As a visiting professor to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Yacoub, Fabian Udekwu, C. H Anyanwu, and others formed part of the team that performed the first open heart surgery in Nigeria in 1974.[20]

Arterial Switch edit

Arterial switch operation

In 1977, he devised a two-stage approach for an arterial switch operation (ASO) in older people with transposition of the great arteries with an intact ventricular septum (IVS).[21]

Harefield Hospital transplant unit edit

Yacoub began the transplant programme at Harefield Hospital in 1980 with a heart transplant for Derrick Morris, who became Europe's longest surviving heart transplant recipient until his death in July 2005.[22] Two years later, he performed a heart transplant on John McCafferty, who survived for more than 33 years, until 10 February 2016 and became recognised as the world's longest surviving heart transplant patient by the Guinness World Records in 2013,[22] surpassing the previous Guinness World Record of 30 years, 11 months and 10 days set by an American man who died in 2009.[23]

In December 1983 Yacoub performed the UK's first combined heart and lung transplant at Harefield.[24]

From 1986 to 2006, he held the position of British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College Faculty of Medicine.[18][25] In 1988, he became a member of the Royal Colleges of Physicians, twenty years after qualifying in surgery.[26]

He is the founding editor of the journal Disease Models & Mechanisms.[27]

He treated a number of politicians and celebrities throughout his surgical career, including comedian Eric Morecambe in 1979,[28][29] Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou in 1988,[30][31] and actor Omar Sharif in 1993.[32][33]

Later career edit

He retired from the National Health Service in 2001 at the age of 65.[2][5]

In 2006 he led a complex operation which required removing a transplant heart from a person whose own heart had recovered. The original heart had not been removed during transplant surgery nearly a decade earlier, in the hope it might recover.[2][34]

In April 2007, it was reported that a British medical research team led by Yacoub had grown part of a human heart valve from stem cells.[35]

Charities edit

In 1995, Yacoub founded the charity Of Ahmed Sherif "Chain of Hope",[36][37] through which he continued to operate on children,[38] and through which the provision of heart surgery for correctable heart defects are made possible in areas without specialist cardiac surgery units.[39]

He is also the head of the Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Foundation, co-founded with Ahmed Zewail and Ambassador Mohamed Shaker in 2008,[40][41][42] which launched the Aswan Heart project and founded the Aswan Heart Centre the following year.[43]

Honours and awards edit

(Order of Merit) 2014

Personal and family edit

He is married to Marianne and they have three children[33] and a number of grandchildren.[38]

Yacoub enjoys swimming, listening to classical music and growing orchids.[6][60]

Selected publications edit

Books edit

  • Annual of Cardiac Surgery. Current Science (1994). ISBN 9781859221433. J. Pepper (Ed)
  • Cardiac Valve Allografts : Science and Practice. Steinkopff-Verlag Heidelberg (1997). ISBN 9783642592508. With A. C. Yankah and R. Hetzer

Articles edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b Yacoub, Magdi. Curriculum Vitae: Magdi Yacoub.
  2. ^ a b c "BAU - Beirut Arab University | Honorary Doctorates". Beirut Arab University. 2019. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  3. ^ Bibi-Aisha, Wadvalla (28 April 2011). "Religious bias in Egypt's universities". Nature Middle East. doi:10.1038/nmiddleeast.2011.51.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Yacoub, M. H. (15 January 2004). "Professor Sir Magdi Habib Yacoub, FRS, FRCS, FRCP, DS: a conversation with the editor *". American Journal of Cardiology. 93 (2): 176–192. doi:10.1016/j.amjcard.2003.10.003. ISSN 0002-9149. PMID 14715343.
  5. ^ a b c Presentation speech for Sir Magdi Yacoub for the honorary degree of Doctor of Medicine of the University honoris causa. University of Buckingham. Graduation 2015. Prfessor Mike `Cawthorne.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Baines, Emma (28 March 2006). "Circulation: European Perspectives". Circulation. 113 (12): f45–f48. doi:10.1161/circ.113.12.f45.
  7. ^ Bonn, D. (2000). "Magdi Yacoub: A surgeon and a scientist". The Lancet. 355 (9202): 474–475. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(00)82027-9. PMID 10841138. S2CID 7108760.
  8. ^ Nainggolan, Lisa (27 March 2003). "Yacoub: Surgeon and scientist". Medscape. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d Tansey, EM; Reynolds, LA (September 1999). "Early Heart Transplant Surgery in the UK" (PDF). Wellcome Witnesses to Twentieth Century Medicine: 28 – via Queen Mary, University of London.
  10. ^ a b Emanuel, R. (18 May 1968). "Too ill for cardiac surgery?". British Medical Journal. 2 (5602): 400–402. doi:10.1136/bmj.2.5602.400. ISSN 0007-1447. PMC 1985988. PMID 5649000.
  11. ^ Allar, Daniel (28 August 2018). "Ross procedure boosts survival for younger valve replacement candidates". Cardiovascular Business. Retrieved 29 November 2019.
  12. ^ Yacoub, Magdi; El-Hamamsy, Ismail (15 December 2014). "The Ross operation in infants and children, when and how?". Heart. 100 (24): 1905–1906. doi:10.1136/heartjnl-2014-306453. ISSN 1355-6037. PMC 4251164. PMID 25324536.
  13. ^ a b Torres, Enrique Garcia (11 July 2012). "Ross Procedure With Pulmonary Autograft Reinforcement". CTSNet.
  14. ^ Mark Ruzmetov, Karl F. Welke, Dale M. Geiss, Klay Buckley and Randall S. Fortuna (2014). “Failed Autograft After the Ross Procedure in Children: Management and Outcome”. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Elsevier. doi:10.1016/j.athoracsur.2014.02.038
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  18. ^ a b c d Alivizatos, Peter A. (24 January 2019). "Sir Magdi H. Yacoub, the Leonardo da Vinci of cardiac surgery". Proceedings (Baylor University. Medical Center). 32 (1): 146–151. doi:10.1080/08998280.2018.1532247. ISSN 0899-8280. PMC 6442908. PMID 30956614.
  19. ^ "Hospitals in England and Wales: Buildings, equipment and staff. Photographs, 194-".
  20. ^ John C. Eze, Ndubueze Ezemba, Open-Heart Surgery in Nigeria Indications and Challenges, Tex. Heart Inst. J. 2007; 34(1): 8–10.
  21. ^ Sarris, George E.; Balmer, Christian; Bonou, Pipina; Comas, Juan V.; da Cruz, Eduardo; Chiara, Luca Di; Di Donato, Roberto M.; Fragata, José; Jokinen, Tuula Eero; Kirvassilis, George; Lytrivi, Irene (1 January 2017). "Clinical guidelines for the management of patients with transposition of the great arteries with intact ventricular septum". European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. 51 (1): e1–e32. doi:10.1093/ejcts/ezw360. ISSN 1010-7940. PMID 28077506.
  22. ^ a b "The Telegraph - John McCafferty Longest Living Heart Transplantation Survival",, retrieved 9 February 2017
  23. ^ Prynne, Miranda (24 December 2013). "Brit sets new record for longest surviving heart transplant patient". The Daily Telegraph. United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  24. ^ "Transplant makes British medical history", On This Day, BBC News, 6 December 1983, retrieved 19 September 2014
  25. ^ Burke, K. (2002). "Overseas talent can help us build a better NHS, says Magdi Yacoub". British Medical Journal (Clinical Research Ed.). 324 (7337): 565c–565. doi:10.1136/bmj.324.7337.565/c. PMC 1122503. PMID 11884312.
  26. ^ a b Pyke, David (1992). Pyke's Notes. Location: Royal College of Physicians. p. 193. ISBN 1873240465.
  27. ^ Rosenthal, N. (2009). "Taking translational research to heart: An interview with Sir Magdi Yacoub". Disease Models & Mechanisms. 2 (9–10): 433–435. doi:10.1242/dmm.004176. PMID 19726801.
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  32. ^ "What we do". Chain of Hope. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
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  35. ^ Jha, Alok (2 April 2007). "British team grows human heart valve from stem cells". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 23 November 2007.
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  37. ^ Kirby, Tony (14 August 2010). "ESC tackles child congenital heart disease in poor countries". The Lancet. 376 (9740): 501–502. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(10)61236-6. ISSN 0140-6736. PMID 20722098. S2CID 35352013.
  38. ^ a b "Magdi Yacoub on his life at the cutting edge of heart surgery". Retrieved 14 November 2019.
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  40. ^ "Home - Aswan Heart Center". Retrieved 18 November 2019.
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External links edit