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Dr. Gary Schaer, MD is a cardiology doctor who practices in Chicago, IL. He is 63 years old and has been practicing for 38 years. Dr. Schaer is affiliated with Rush University Medical Center.
I started medical school in 1975 and finished in 1979. Interventional cardiology did not exist as a specialty. There were no balloons. There were no stents. There were no ways for doctors - interventional cardiologists like me - to open up and unclog blocked coronary arteries. All of this technology, all of these tremendous advances have established themselves over the last twenty-five years, all during the time that I've been in practice. It's a great joy to take a patient who's having chest pain - whether it's in the setting of a heart attack or it's a more chronic problem - and then be able to treat that blockage without surgery - with a minimally invasive approach with balloons and stents. We're doing research now with stem cells. These are stem cells that may come from the patient's own body or perhaps from an unrelated donor. The stem cells are then injected using a small catheter, a minimally invasive approach, injecting the stem cells directly into the damaged heart muscle to try to repair and regenerate some of that damaged heart muscle to improve the patient's quality and perhaps quantity of life.