Meet Dr. Michael Wait

Michael Wait, M.D., is Professor of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at UT Southwestern, as well as Chief of the Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery Service at William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital and Parkland Memorial Hospital.

There will be advances in cardiopulmonary bypass that will allow us to do safer heart surgery on all patients, and there will be improvements in organ preservation for patients who have to undergo heart and lung transplants.”

In his three decades at UT Southwestern, Dr. Wait has become a leading expert on cardiothoracic care and heart and lung transplantation. He participated in the institution’s first use of the ECMO artificial lung machine during a lung transplant.

Dr. Wait is part of cutting-edge research at UT Southwestern and participates in several FDA-approved clinical trials, including a study of the On-X heart valve that aims to reduce or eliminate the need for blood thinners in patients with heart disease.

Another trial studies the effects of longer-lasting pain relief medications that would wear off after three or four days – rather than four or six hours – and hopefully shorten hospital stays.

Dr. Wait is devoted to treating patients with coronary disease, but he believes they can help keep themselves out of his office by following a few simple tips: exercise; lose weight; stop smoking; and see a dentist regularly.

“A lot of heart valve infections come from people with bad teeth,” Dr. Wait says. “It’s related to the frequency and severity of bacteria that enters the bloodstream. These infections occur frequently  – and they are often worse – in patients with poor dental habits.”

Clinical Interests

Heart and Lung Transplantation

Cardiac Surgery

  • Heart surgery
  • Heart disease
  • Coronary disease

Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery

Cricotracheal Resection and Reconstruction