Noted surgeons join Northwell’s heart transplant team

Drs. Brian Lima (left) and Syed Hussain have joined the heart transplant center at the Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital.

Brian Lima, MD, and Syed Hussain, MD – cardiac surgeons with expertise in heart transplant and all types of adult cardiac surgery – have joined the heart transplant center at the Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital at North Shore University Hospital (NSUH). 

Dr. Lima, who built a reputation as a renowned transplant surgeon at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, TX, has been named director of heart transplantation surgery at NSUH, while Dr. Hussain was recruited from the Cleveland Clinic to serve a key role as the lead procurement surgeon, the individual who surgically retrieves donor hearts, in Northwell Health’s heart transplant program. NSUH received state approval in June to establish a heart transplant center, the only one on Long Island and the first time in 20 years that the state approved a heart transplant program. The center’s first surgery is expected to be performed later this year.

“Thanks to North Shore University Hospital’s growing reputation for excellence, we were able to recruit two nationally recognized cardiac surgeons to join the heart transplant center,” said Alan Hartman, MD, senior vice president and executive director of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at Northwell Health. “Drs. Lima and Hussain have extensive experience in heart transplant surgery and will be integral in launching Northwell’s program, working with our outstanding advanced heart failure team and cardiac experts, all focused on delivering the highest quality of care to our patients.”

Dr. Lima was surgical director of mechanical circulatory support at Baylor University Medical Center, where he also served as director of clinical research in cardiac transplantation and mechanical circulatory support as well as co-director of cardiovascular research services for Baylor Scott & White Health. Dr. Lima was one of the primary cardiac transplant surgeons at Baylor and was instrumental in building the second-busiest heart transplant center in the country – including the nation’s lowest waitlist times.

Dr. Lima is a recognized authority on advanced heart failure therapies, cardiac transplantation and primary graft dysfunction, a life-threatening complication of heart transplantation. He has published more than 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals, conducted  significant research studies and lectured at numerous medical conferences in the United States and internationally.

In addition to heart transplantation, Dr. Lima’s expertise encompasses the entire spectrum of adult cardiac surgery, including coronary artery bypass grafting, valvular repair/replacement, aortic surgery, and the surgical management of heart failure with ventricular assist devices (LVADs) and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Dr. Lima also remains actively engaged in several ongoing clinical research studies. 

Dr. Lima received his medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, NC. During medical school, Dr. Lima was a recipient of the prestigious Stanley J. Sarnoff research fellowship award in cardiovascular sciences, which funded a year of investigation at the Transplantation Biology Research Center of the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He completed his residency in general surgery at Duke University Medical Center as well as a fellowship in cardiac surgery research in the Division of Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery at the same institution.  Dr. Lima completed his cardiac and thoracic surgery training at the Cleveland Clinic, which also included a nine-month advanced fellowship in cardiac transplantation and mechanical circulatory support. He is an associate professor of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell.

Dr. Hussain, a cardiothoracic surgeon with 15 years of experience in a wide range of adult cardiac surgical procedures, will lead the heart procurement team to retrieve the donor hearts, and help Dr. Lima with the heart transplant surgery. Since timing is critical in the procedure, which only allows for about a four-hour window from when the donor heart is retrieved to when it can be implanted in the recipient, he will travel the region by helicopter, plane or ambulance to retrieve donor hearts and bring them to the transplant center.

Dr. Hussain also will join the cardiothoracic surgical team at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore. Previously, Dr. Hussain was a cardiothoracic surgeon in the department of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Hussain has performed a wide range of adult cardiac procedures, including coronary artery bypass graft surgery, complex reoperative cardiac operations, minimally invasive aortic valve and mitral valve repair/replacement, surgery for complex ascending, arch and thoracoabdominal aneurysms, including mini ascending aortic surgery, surgery for infective endocarditis, ECMO, heart failure surgery and left-ventricle assist devices.

Dr. Hussain completed his medical school (MBBS), general surgery residency (master of surgery) and cardiothoracic surgery residency (Mch) from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India’s premier medical institution. After completing his fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Hussain was appointed as a member of the professional staff at the Cleveland Clinic, a position he held for the last eight years. He will be an assistant professor of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell.

In addition to clinical practice in cardiothoracic surgery, Dr. Hussain has been actively involved in clinical research and education. He has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Dr. Hussain has been involved in many clinical research trials and presented more than 60 lectures and presentations on a wide range of cardiothoracic surgical topics internationally and in the United States. He has been a core writing committee member for 2016 American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) Clinical Guidelines for Surgical Treatment of Infective Endocarditis.

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About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 22 hospitals, over 550 outpatient facilities and nearly 15,000 affiliated physicians. We care for more than two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 62,000 employees – 15,000+ nurses and 3,900 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. And we offer health insurance through CareConnect. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit Northwell.edu.

Contacts:
Betty Olt
516-321-6709
[email protected]

Jason Molinet
516-321-6705
[email protected]

About the Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital

The Heart Hospital is among the largest volume centers for complex cardiac procedures in New York and has one of the state’s largest cardiothoracic and interventional cardiology programs. Our specialists offer treatment options for advanced cardiac conditions including abnormal heart rhythms, peripheral vascular disease, complex aortic conditions and heart failure.