Columbia University’s Surgical Lung & Chest Care program offers a full-range of services for all lung, chest, and esophageal conditions and complications. We are distinguished by our high surgical volume and outstanding outcomes―meaning we have more experience and better results than other programs. As part of a world-class medical center, our team of thoracic surgeons work in close collaboration with their colleagues in pulmonology, radiology, pathology and more to bring you the most comprehensive care available. We help our patients recover faster, get home sooner and get back to a better quality of life with our innovative and minimally invasive techniques.
To better serve your specific needs, we also offer several highly-specialized care centers:
- Center for Advanced Lung Disease and Transplantation: For people with advanced lung diseases like cystic fibrosis, emphysema and interstitial lung disease, highly-skilled care is a necessity. Columbia hosts the premier center in the northeast for lung failure treatment and lung transplantation. The three-year survival rate for our transplant patients is 81%–well above the national average of 69%. We are constantly developing new methods to replenish and repair lungs previously considered unsuitable for transplant. These discoveries have the potential to greatly increase the number of donor organs available in the future. Our multidisciplinary team also provides the most advanced treatment for acute respiratory failure. We pioneered the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)—temporary support of the lungs using a bypass machine—to help patients in crisis. ECMO may also be used to transport and stabilize patients with ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) and as a bridge to lung transplant. Our ExtraCorporeal Life Support program has received the Platinum Level ELSO Award for Excellence, recognizing distinguished programs worldwide that provide exceptional care. Lean More »
- Emphysema & COPD Surgery Program: Lung Volume Reduction (LVR) is a procedure that removes severely damaged sections of lung to allow the remaining portion to function better, making it easier for the patient with emphysema and COPD to breathe again. Active since 1994, our surgical team is the most experienced in the U.S. in performing this procedure, and Columbia is currently the only medical center in the tri-state area designated a National Center of Excellence for this advanced surgery. Our patients’ one-year survival rate was 99% and three-year was 97% with major improvements noted in quality of life. We also offer a non-surgical LVR bronchoscopic approach for appropriate candidates. Lean More »
- Women’s Lung and Health Center: lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in women worldwide, affecting more women each year than breast cancer, uterine cancer, and ovarian cancer combined. The majority of lung cancers among non-smokers also occur in women. Research indicates that women (especially non-smokers) tend to respond better than men to certain therapies for lung cancer. These findings have led us to create a multidisciplinary center designed to address the specific needs of women with lung disease. Lean More »
- Diaphragm Center: Columbia is proudly home to the first and only multidisciplinary program in the country that exclusively addresses weakness and paralysis of the diaphragm, which can cause respiratory distress, sleep apnea and disorders of the nervous system. We offer treatments for diaphragmatic paralysis like phrenic nerve grafting (a repair of damaged nerves) and plication (flattening the dome of the diaphragm to give the lungs more room to expand). We are also world leaders in diaphragmatic pacing (applying electrical impulses to provide breathing support) and in repair of hiatal hernias. Lean More »
- Esophageal Disorders Center: working closely with medical experts in gastroenterology, our chest surgeons offer the latest advances in the management of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Barrett's esophagus, esophageal cancer, swallowing disorders, achalasia, and hiatal hernias. Lean More »
- The Center for Hyperhidrosis: our center has been a leader in the diagnosis and treatment of hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) in the New York Metropolitan area for decades. The center offers a team approach to hyperhidrosis treatment, offering both medical and minimally invasive surgical therapies, including endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS). Lean More »
Other Specialized Programs
- High-Risk Lung Assessment Program: providing assessment, follow-up care, and ongoing testing, for those who have been found to have respiratory symptoms such as a chronic cough or an abnormality on an imaging study, as well as for those at risk for lung disease due to family history, smoking, or environmental exposures. The program draws upon the full resources of our multi-specialty academic medical center to help patients mitigate risk factors and facilitate rapid referral to additional experts as needed.
- Interventional Bronchoscopy and Endobronchial Therapy Program: jointly founded by Columbia’s departments of medicine and surgery, this program is dedicated to the treatment of people with endobronchial tumors or tracheobronchial obstructions. The program offers a full range of diagnostic and therapeutic options for patients with benign or malignant airway pathology.
- Acute Respiratory Failure/Medical ECMO Program: for adult patients who rapidly develop respiratory failure—typically from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), pneumonia, trauma, pulmonary embolism, or flare-ups of chronic lung diseases such as asthma, emphysema, or cystic fibrosis—we can provide advanced, life-saving options like Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), an artificial lung that can take over breathing during emergencies.
Research and Clinical Trials
As part of a major research center, we are always at the forefront of the latest advancements in medical science. Our patients have access to clinical trials using advanced immunotherapy and individualized gene analysis that more precisely target lung tumors, while decreasing standard chemotherapy side effects.
Programs for Students and Healthcare Professionals