Dr. G. Lionel Zumbro
MD, FACS, RVT, RPVI
Dr. G. Lionel Zumbro
MD, FACS, RVT, RPVI
About Dr. Zumbro
One can not deny that the aggregate medical knowledge in Augusta, Georgia is greater or equal to one in any major metropolitan city. The amelioration of this knowledge is due to the constant influx of great minds and ideas to the area. Dr. G. Lionel Zumbro, Jr. is a great contributor to this growth. He has been a part of our medical community for over thirty years, having performed the first heart transplant in Georgia in 1984, one of his many pioneering heart procedures. He also performed the first combined heart-lung transplant in the Southeast in 1987. He performed the first pediatric heart transplant in the Southeast, as well as numerous other pioneering heart procedures.
Dr. Zumbro is board certified in Surgery and Thoracic Surgery. He is a diplomat of the National Board of Medical Examiners, the American Board of Surgery, and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.
Performed first heart transplant in Georgia at MCG in 1984
Born and raised in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Dr. Zumbro attended undergraduate school at Middle Tennessee State University, where he received a BS in Mathematics in 1960. He then continued his education by going to dental school, inspired by his mother, a dental hygienist. However, while in dental school, Dr. Zumbro became very intrigued with and interested in medicine after taking some pathology courses. He entered medical school at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, where he graduated first in his class in 1965. His surgery internship followed at Walter Reed General Hospital in Washington, DC from 1965 through 1966. He then did his general surgery residency training at Tripler General Army Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii from 1966-1970. This is where he acquired his love for the state of Hawaii and all things tropical. Nevertheless, he managed to leave the paradise in order to complete his cardiothoracic surgery residency at Walter Reed General Hospital in Washington, DC from 1970-1972. He would return to Hawaii many times.
Soon after finishing his surgical training, from 1972 to 1973, Dr. Zumbro served as the Consultant for Cardiac Surgery at the Eisenhower Army Medical Center, as well as the Commanding Officer for the 43rd Surgical Hospital (Mobile Army) in Korea.
In 1973, Dr. Zumbro was appointed the Assistant Chief for Cardiothoracic Surgery Services and Thoracic Surgery Resident Training Program at the Brooke Army Medical Center, a modern state-of-the-art, 450-bed health care facility that provides level-one trauma and graduate medical education, at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
From 1973 through 2005 Dr. Zumbro spent his time teaching and performing surgical procedures in Texas, Hawaii, and Georgia. He came to Augusta in 1975, and along with Dr. Mack Fishback, began an open-heart program at University Hospital. They only did thirty-seven cases that first year, but were able to build the program to several hundred cases later.
In 1980, he became President of Cardiothoracic Surgical Associates of Augusta, where he practiced for thirty years. In 1997, he was appointed Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, until 2002. In 2002, he semi-retired to Hawaii, the island he has loved since his general surgery residency at Tripler Hospital in Honolulu. He returned to Augusta in 2005 and opened Vein Specialists of Augusta in May of 2006.
During these busy and hectic years, Dr. Zumbro managed to have a healthy family, consisting of five children. Jon, George, Gwen, Angela, and Trevor, as well as six grandchildren. He is also a private pilot, an avid fisherman, hunter, and a football fan.
Dr. Zumbro dismissed the idea of on-time retirement and from the beginning of 2006, he has been serving as the Director of Vein Specialists of Augusta. “After years of removing the veins in patients’ legs for coronary bypass,” shares Dr. Zumbro, “I became interested in treating and preserving vein function, since there has been little interest in this area of great need.”
“I feel that hard work, the determination to be successful, and a passion for helping people, through my passion for medicine, particularly cardiovascular medicine, have helped me to achieve what I have achieved today,” shares Dr. Zumbro. What does the future hold for this hard-worker? “I’m retirement age now, but I enjoy working,” laughs Dr. Zumbro. “So I plan to continue working and making the lives of my patients better for as long as I am physically and mentally able to do a good job.”