About Us

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

The Department of Surgery has a long tradition of surgical excellence and innovation. The Department of Surgery is organized in seven Divisions, which include: General Surgery; Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery and Dentistry; Pediatric Surgery; Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery; Kidney, Pancreas and Liver Transplantation; Trauma, Critical Care and Burns and Vascular and Endovascular Surgery. General Surgery, the largest division, is composed of seven sections: Bariatric and Minimally Invasive Surgery; Breast Surgery; Colorectal Surgery; Endocrine Surgery; GI Metabolic Surgery, Hepato-biliary Surgery and Surgical Oncology. We have a fully accredited General Surgery and colorectal Residency Program, and Minimally Invasive Surgery, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Vascular Surgery Fellowships.

View the Department of Surgery Annual Report 2004-2011

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.

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. Today our surgeons continues 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.

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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