In honor of February being “heart month,” the February 21, 2014 episode of ABC’s The View, entitled “Barbara’s Heart to Heart,” featured Emile Bacha, MD, Director, Congenital and Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital at NewYork-Presbyterian.

In this episode, Dr. Bacha escorts Barbara Walters through the hospital where she underwent heart surgery four years ago. She says that while most of us think of heart disease as affecting adults, babies can have heart disease too. Dr. Bacha introduces her to three such patients in the pediatric surgery ward, which treats children born with serious heart defects from before birth up to age 18.

According to Dr. Bacha, 99% of patients recover “very well” after surgery for congenital heart defects. But the team’s goal is not merely recovery. “Most are able to live normal lives and participate in sports and other activities. That is very important to us,” says Dr. Bacha.

In his typical modest style, Dr. Bacha says, “I am just the front person. The real work is done by everybody else — it truly takes a team.”


Transplant Patient Reunites with Care Team

by Columbia Surgery on January 30, 2014

Twenty years after receiving a heart and double-lung transplant at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, grateful patient Sean Kunzli and his family came to New York City for a celebratory reunion with his surgeon, Craig R. Smith, MD, and the team that performed this lifesaving surgery. Born with congenital heart disease, Mr. Kunzli underwent the risky and rare transplant in December 1993. Today, Mr. Kunzli is healthy and, according to Dr. Smith, one of the longest surviving recipients of a heart and double-lung transplant.


Sheila Ryan, Mr. Kunzli’s mother; John Siceloff and his wife, Birgit Jorgensen, NP, who was a transplant coordinator at NYP/Columbia in 1993 and is now at NYP/Weill Cornell; Deborah Songailo-Cottrill, Mr. Kunzli’s cousin; Dr. Craig R. Smith, Surgeon-in-Chief, NYP/Columbia; Sean Kunzli; Chelsea Kunzli, Mr. Kunzli’s daughter; Wendy Kunzli-Schaub, Mr. Kunzli’s sister; and Dr. Mark E. Ginsburg, Associate Director of Thoracic Surgery, NYP/Columbia

*Courtesy NY Press January 2014*


Surgery for Aortic Stenosis: PARTNER Trial Update

January 25, 2014

TweetResults from PARTNER trial Cohort B show that patients with severe aortic stenosis who are unable to undergo traditional surgery for technical reasons fared better with transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) than patients who were just too sick to undergo valve surgery. Approximately 300,000 Americans have aortic stenosis, or narrowing of the aortic valve in […]

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Paul Kurlansky returns to Columbia for HeartSource and CIOR roles

January 17, 2014

TweetAssistant Professor of Clinical Surgery, NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center Director of Research, Recruitment and Continuous Quality Improvement, HeartSource Paul Kurlansky, MD, returns to the home of his post-graduate training for a dual role at Columbia HeartSource and the Center for Innovations and Outcomes Research (CIOR). Dr. Kurlansky received his baccalaureate degree from Harvard University and […]

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Concurrent Coronary Artery and Valvular Heart Disease: Hybrid Treatment Strategies in 2013

December 16, 2013

TweetA review published by Columbia University Heart Valve Center’s doctors: Kendra J Grubb, MD*; Tamim Nazif, MD; Mathew R. Williams, MD; and Isaac George, MD Having both heart valve disease and Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is a common health problem in our aging population. Statistics show patients who have aortic stenosis frequently experience CAD symptoms […]

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TCT Conference Recap

December 9, 2013

TweetThis year marked the twenty-fifth annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics Conference (TCT). TCT is a yearly event where interventional cardiologists, cardiac and vascular surgeons, nurse practitioners, and other health care professionals meet to discuss the latest breakthroughs and developments in the field of interventional cardiology. This year’s conference in San Francisco had over 12,000 attendees, and […]

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Hybrid Cardiac Surgery Twitter Chat: Questions and Answers

November 14, 2013

Tweet On November 8th, 2013, @ColumbiaSurgery and @HeartValveCntr encouraged followers to ask NYP/Columbia Heart Valve Center’s doctors, Isaac George, MD, Attending Cardiac Surgeon, and Tamim M. Nazif, MD, Attending Interventional Cardiologist, about their questions and concerns during a Twitter chat, “Hybrid Cardiac Surgery: A Minimally Invasive Approach to Coronary and Valve Disease.” As promised here […]

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Hybrid Cardiac Surgery: A Minimally Invasive Approach to Coronary and Valve Disease

November 11, 2013

TweetIt is estimated that nearly 1 in 8 people over the age of seventy-five have heart valve disease. Thanks to new technology, many of the patients who were not good candidates for conventional surgery in the past, can now be treated with hybrid surgical approaches. Hybrid cardiac surgery uses both interventional and conventional cardiac procedures […]

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New Faculty Appointment: Joseph Costa, DHSc, PA-C

October 29, 2013

TweetInstructor in Clinical Surgical Sciences (in Surgery), Division of Thoracic Surgery Joseph Costa, DHSc, PA-C, is the first Physician Assistant to become a faculty member at NYP/Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He gained this historic status through a unique path that began with his position as Dr. Craig Smith’s private PA in Cardiothoracic […]

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Hybrid Cardiac Surgery: A Minimally Invasive Approach to Coronary and Valve Disease

October 11, 2013

TweetWhat do you want to know about heart valve disease and treatment? Join the conversation on twitter, Friday November 8th at 3:00 PM/ET at @Columbiasurgery, using the hashtag #heartmeded. An estimated 5 million people are diagnosed with heart valve disease every year in the United States. Valve disease may be congenital or acquired later on […]

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