NYU Winthrop to offer heart transplant services

NYU Winthrop to offer heart transplant services
Dr. Nader Moazami, a cardiothoracic surgeon, will lead the collaborative effort between NYU Langone Health and NYU Winthrop Hospital to bring heart transplant services locally to Long Island. (Photo courtesy of NYU Winthrop Hospital)

Patients with chronic heart problems on Long Island have received a second option to receive heart transplant services.

NYU Langone Health will offer pre- and post-surgical care to patients at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, the hospital announced on Friday.

NYU Winthrop is the second hospital on Long Island to offer heart transplant care. Northwell Health’s Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital in Manhasset began heart transplant services this summer.

“What’s unique about our program is that we’re really combining two great hospitals and working collaboratively,” said Dr. Kevin Marzo, chief of the cardiology division at NYU Winthrop.  

The transplant surgery will be done at NYU Langone Health’s hospital in the city, but the evaluation and post operation care will be done in Mineola.

It allows patients to be evaluated as transplant candidates on site as they’re being treated for their heart problems and other health conditions, Marzo said.

Heart disease and stroke were among the top five personal concerns of Long Islanders, according to the Long Island Health Collaborative community service survey, conducted Jan. 1 to June 30 this year.

The heart disease death rate per 100,000 people in Nassau County from 2013 to 2015 was 226.3, which is slightly higher than the national rate of 221 per 100,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, heart disease accounts for 1 in every 4 deaths in the United States.

The transplant team is comprised of doctors, nurses and social workers to evaluate if a patient is a candidate for a transplant. The heart transplant services will be led by cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Nader Moazami.

Moazami joined NYU Langone earlier this year from Celveland Clinic. He has performed over 300 heart transplants, according to the release.

“We’re quite fortunately to have a leader in heart transplant surgery to bring his experience locally,” Marzo said. 

Moazami knows how to treat chronically ill patients and determine when it’s the right time for surgery, Marzo said.

Some of the most challenging aspects of heart transplant services isn’t the surgery itself, Marzo said. It’s the assessment of transplant candidates and managing the patients after surgery, he added.

The collaboration between the centers is creating a “seamless process” for end-stage heart failure patients, Moazami said in a release.

“Already, we’re seeing an exceptionally strong spirit of collaboration in our efforts, working toward the most successful patient outcomes possible,” Moazami said.

There are several options for patients with chronic congestive heart failure after medical therapy fails them, Marzo said.

One is a Left Ventricular Assist Device, which helps pump blood in the body for patients who’s hearts can no longer do so. The Left Ventricular Assist Devices can either be a stand alone treatment or a bridge to a heart transplant, Marzo said.

Alex Reyentovich, medical director of the Heart Transplant and Ventricular Assist Device Program at NYU Langone Health, is also part of the collaborative team between the hospitals.

Reyentovich has extensive experience with the Left Ventricular Assist Devices and treating patients with advanced heart disease, according to the release.

Marzo said the team began screening patients with Left Ventricular Assist Devices in the first week of December to see if they’re transplant candidates.

The first NYU Langone transplant will likely be in the near future, Marzo said, based on availability and appropriateness of a perfect match.

Janelle Clausen contributed reporting. 

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