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Department of Surgery Referrals Patient Clinician Researcher

Heart Surgery

Cardiac Surgery — Columbia University Medical Center, New York

Emile Bacha, cardiothoracic surgeon
Emile Bacha, MD
Chief, Division of Cardiac, Thoracic & Vascular Surgery
Michael Argenziano, cardiac surgeon
Michael Argenziano, MD
Section Chief, Adult Cardiac Surgery

Welcome Letter from Division Chief

Welcome to the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University Medical Center. Our cardiothoracic surgeons help to shape the future of heart and lung surgery, spearheading innovative research and advancing new and less invasive surgical techniques. Our core mission is to provide all of our patients and their families with the best possible care—through outstanding surgical results as well as through comprehensive and compassionate care.
Learn about thoracic surgery »

Adult Cardiac Surgery

Performing over 1,600 open-heart procedures a year, the cardiac surgery section stands alone in the region and among the best in the world. The U.S. News & World Report "America's Best Hospitals" survey has ranked NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital's cardiac program in the top 10 for seven years running. As of 2007, it is the only cardiac program in the New York region ever to have made the top 10.

In addition to on- and off-pump coronary bypass surgery (CABG), we perform a high volume of valve procedures, and are recognized for our innovation and skill in valve repair. Our surgeons undertake some of the most complex and challenging cases, such as combined bypass and valve repair or replacement procedures.

We offer unparalleled expertise in a range of surgical specialties:

  • The Aortic Surgery Program offers expertise in medical, surgical, stent, and minimally invasive management of all types of acute and chronic aortic problems, including aneurysms, Type A and Type B dissection, and aortic root reconstruction.
  • With over 25 years of experience, the Cardiac Transplantation Program is one of the top heart transplant programs in the world—performing 70 to 100 heart transplants in a typical year.
  • Founded in 1990 to advance the use of cardiac assist devices as a bridge-to-transplantation, the Mechanical Circulatory Support Program now also offers assist devices as a destination therapy for patients with end stage heart failure who are not eligible for a transplant.
  • The Minimally Invasive and Robotic Cardiac Surgery Program seeks to surgically treat cardiac disease through smaller incisions, resulting in a faster recovery with less discomfort. We have performed over 800 minimally invasive operations to date and have the most extensive experience in robotic cardiac surgery in the U.S..
  • The Pacemaker-Defibrillator Program offers special techniques for pacemaker and defibrillator insertion developed over more than 35 years of experience in more than 1,000 defibrillator and 3,000 pacemaker operations in adults and children. This program has developed cosmetic incisions for device insertion and insertion techniques for children allowing growth from childhood to adult life with the same lead system. Many of these techniques are described here.
  • The Surgical Atrial Fibrillation Program offers a variety of surgical solutions to atrial fibrillation, including the Maze procedure, surgical atrial fibrillation ablation (SAFA), and totally endoscopic beating heart atrial fibrillation ablation.

Pediatric Cardiac Surgery

Pediatric Cardiology

We are recognized leaders in Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, with particular expertise in:

  • Congenital heart defects
  • Mechanical circulatory support devices (LVADs)
  • Pediatric heart transplantation
  • Ross procedure for aortic valve failure

Our surgeons work closely with the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian to ensure the best possible care for our pediatric patients. In addition, we helped to establish the Schneeweiss Center for Adult Congenital Heart Disease to provide specialized care for adult patients with congenital heart disease.

Dr. Emile Bacha - Do children grow out of heart abnormalities?

Dr. Emile Bacha - What diseases often lead to heart transplants in children?

Dr. Emile Bacha - How are pediatric congenital heart defects treated?

Dr. Emile Bacha - Why are some children born with congenital heart defects?


As part of an academic medical center, research is central to fulfilling our mission. Our physician-scientists have brought forth a range of advances in cardiac surgery. Recent highlights include:

  • EVEREST investigation of the Evalve® Cardiovascular Valve Repair System for the non-surgical treatment of mitral valve regurgitation (MR).
  • The FREEDOM Trial, a multi-national, NIH-funded randomized comparison of coronary bypass surgery to stenting in diabetics.
  • An NIH grant supporting the Columbia Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network, for the following investigations:


We recognize that partnerships with other specialists, institutions, and industries can help us to further improve our patient care. Through our close relationship with the Preventive Cardiology Program, and the Center for Advanced Cardiac Care, our patients receive the latest in comprehensive, multidisciplinary care. We frequently partner with industry to advance our development of new surgical devices and minimal access techniques.

Finally, we are sharing our expertise through a network of eight hospitals, whose cardiac surgery programs we help to manage:

  • Arnot Odgen Hospital, Elmira, NY
  • Bon Secours Maryview Hospital, Hampton Roads, VA
  • Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital, Greenville, SC
  • Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters, Norfolk, VA
  • Lifespan Health Systems, Rhode Island
  • Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital, Cooperstown, NY
  • Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Edison, NJ
  • Stamford Medical Center, Stamford, CT
  • The Valley Hospital, Ridgewood, NJ

Read more about this affiliate program, Columbia HeartSource.

Heart Surgery
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