About Us

Welcome to the Department of Surgery of Weill Cornell Medical College and NewYork-Presbyterian /Weill Cornell Medical Center.

The Department is organized into seven divisions. General Surgery, the largest division, is comprised of six sections: Bariatric and Minimally Invasive Surgery, Breast Surgery, Colorectal Surgery, Endocrine Surgery, Gastrointestinal Metabolic Surgery and Surgical Oncology. Other divisions include: Burns, Critical Care and Trauma; Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and Dentistry; Pediatric Surgery; Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery; Transplantation Surgery (comprised of two sections: Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation and Hepatobiliary Surgery and Liver Transplantation); and Vascular and Endovascular Surgery. We have fully accredited General Surgery, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, General Dentistry and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Residency Programs. We offer Burn Surgery, Colon & Rectal Surgery, Minimally Invasive Surgery, Surgical Critical Care and Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Fellowship Programs.

View the Department of Surgery Annual Report 2004-2011

Since 2004, we have experienced an unprecedented growth and transformation. With 15 new leaders appointed, some from abroad, and nine new comprehensive programs developed, we have broadened and strengthened our clinical, didactic and research programs. These recruitments have increased the complement of full-time faculty by nearly 60% and have added to the more than 400 faculty members- including full-time, part-time, voluntary, adjunct, secondary and affiliated- of our department.

NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center has been ranked the #1 hospital in the NY metro area and among the top ten hospitals in the nation by US News & World Report since 1999 and Weill Cornell Medical College is ranked among the 15 best medical schools in the United States. Many of our faculty members are considered leaders and master surgeons in their respective fields. Our surgeons publish widely and receive many honors and awards in recognition of their contributions to advancing the field of surgery. In 2012, nearly 50% of our full time faculty members are recognized as among the nation's top doctors by Castle Connolly and US News & World Report.

In 1976, the hospital formed the first comprehensive Burn Center in the New York region -- today one of the largest and busiest in the nation. In 1996, we created the first pancreas transplant program in the tri-state area. In 2004 we were the first in the tri-state area to perform minimally-invasive islet cell transplants to cure Type I diabetes. In 2005, the first side-to-side bowel sparing strictureplasty in the eastern United States was performed in our hospital by the surgeon who pioneered the procedure for patients affected by advanced Crohn's disease of the small bowel. That same year, our breast surgeons developed pioneered oncoplastic surgery, and surgeon-scientists at our hospital published an important study showing that the duodenal switch procedure was more effective in promoting weight loss than gastric bypass. In 2006, the NYP/Weill Cornell Bariatric Surgery Center was the first for New York State to be accredited by American College of Surgeons with the highest designation as a center of excellence. In 2007 the kidney transplant program, one of the oldest and highest volume program in the nation, and internationally renowned for innovative strategies to increase opportunities for transplantation, reached a milestone of 3,000 kidney transplants performed. In 2008 our transplant surgeons initiated one of the nation's first three way living donor kidney transplant chains and in 2012, the kidney transplant team performed its 4,000th kidney transplant. In 2010 the first liver transplant was performed at NYP/Weill Cornell, by the surgeons in the department's newly-established hepatobiliary surgery and liver transplantation section, and that same year, the Center for Vascular and Endovascular Surgery was established. In 2011, our pediatric surgery division performed a pioneering single incision pediatric endosurgery, offering young patients virtually scarless surgery. Today our surgeons continue to lead the way in shaping the medical world of the 21st century, and we remain one of the most outstanding academic departments and training programs in the world.

The history of surgery at the New York Hospital, the second oldest hospital in the United States, reflects the evolution of surgery in America, and is marked by some of the most extraordinary achievements in medicine. The New York Hospital was the cradle of early surgical developments and instruction in America, earning a worldwide reputation for excellence and innovation. Many of today's practices and techniques arose from our institution. Our department continues to build upon our rich legacy of surgical innovations, making important contributions to the advancement of new surgical procedures.

Wright Post, MD, one of the first surgeons appointed to the hospital in 1792, was the first in America to successfully treat aneurysms, developing state-of-the-art surgical techniques. In 1878, Lewis Atterbury Stimson, MD, the first professor of surgery at The New York Hospital, performed the first public demonstration of an antiseptic operation in the United States. In 1898, Dr. Stimson organized the charter that established Cornell University Medical College.

William Stewart Halstead, MD, widely regarded as the founder of modern surgery, was trained at The New York Hospital, under the mentorship of Henry Sands, MD, who fostered Dr. Halstead's early interest in anatomy and surgery. Another of our distinguished earliest surgeons was Valentine Mott, MD, a pioneer in vascular surgery.

In 1932, George J. Heuer, MD, joined The New York Hospital as Chief of Surgery and established the nation's second modern surgical training program. During the 1950's, Frank Glenn, MD, the first Lewis Atterbury Stimson Professor of Surgery, was internationally recognized as the leading expert in biliary and cardiovascular surgery. In 1963, the first kidney transplant in the metropolitan area was performed by our hospital's surgeons. Dr. C. Walton Lillehei, who became the Lewis Atterbury Professor of Surgery in 1967, is widely regarded as the father of heart surgery because so many of his innovations were crucial to the evolution of cardiac surgery and cardiopulmonary bypass. He also trained Norman Shumway, MD and Christiaan Barnard, MD, early pioneers of cardiac and organ transplantations.

Thank you for visiting the Department of Surgery's website. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or for more information. Our staff will be happy to assist you in any way they can.

Fabrizio Michelassi, MD, FACS
Lewis Atterbury Stimson Professor of Surgery
Chairman of Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center

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