Our Approach & Expertise

We are pleased to welcome you to the website for the NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center Cardiac Transplantation Program. The top transplant program in the nation by volume and one of the largest programs in the world, we have over 30 years of experience in caring for cardiac transplant patients. Under the guidance of Yoshifumi Naka, MD, PhD, Director, Cardiac Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support Programs. We currently perform over 100 heart transplant surgeries each year, making ours the largest U.S. heart transplant program by volume. The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) ranked the program first in the nation in 2006 and 2007. One of 12 high-performing transplant centers in the nation, the Hospital's heart transplant program is part of the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) Transplant Center Growth and Management Best Practices Study.

We sincerely believe that the care we provide our heart transplant patients is second to none. We measure this excellence not only in clinical outcomes—how many patients in our program are successfully transplanted and return to productive lifestyles—but also in the quality of life of our patients during the entire transplant process, from their evaluation as a transplant candidate, to their surgical care as a patient in the hospital, and throughout their follow-up treatments as a transplant recipient.

The surgeons and cardiologists of NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia have a long and distinguished history of advancing "standards of care" by using innovative surgical techniques, applying our basic scientific research in immunosuppression to the clinical setting, and inventing and perfecting life-sustaining cardiac assist devices that prolong life during the wait for organ availability. We are recognized leaders in the development of left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) that can either be used to prolong life while waiting for organ availability, or as a destination therapy for patients who are not eligible for transplantation. (To learn more about cardiac assist devices, please click here.)

Alternate waiting list strategies for heart transplantation are helping to maximize the use of extended donor organs. As a result, waiting times to transplantation are lower at NYP/Columbia than at other centers in the region, and the ability to transplant sooner translates into better post-transplant outcomes. The heart transplant program has implemented extended criteria protocols for both organ donors and transplant recipients. Today, extended donor organs are routinely utilized, and may be offered to patients over age 65 or those formerly considered too compromised to undergo transplantation. These extended criteria protocols are significantly widening the availability of organs and providing the option of transplantation to patients who would otherwise be denied treatment, with superior results.

Transplant recipients are not passive participants in their health care. They must be proactive and influential activists during the entire process. They must maintain their health while waiting for an organ, manage the physical challenges of surgery and its long recovery period, and reintegrate themselves into family and work roles. They face many substantial lifestyle changes, including unceasing monitoring of cardiac and total health, an extensive medication regimen, and committing to healthy habits in eating and physical exercise.

Our transplant team joins our patients in their lifelong commitment to returning to and maintaining sustained good health.


Yoshifumi Naka, MD, PhD

Director, Cardiac Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support Programs