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Department of Surgery

(212) 312-5370

Department of Surgery Overview

The Department of Surgery is one of the major clinical departments at New York Downtown Hospital. The Department is headed by Steven G. Friedman, M.D., Chair of Surgery, and Pauline Hecht, M.D., Associate Chair. Division Directors are listed below.

Downtown Hospital surgeons perform more than 7,500 outpatient and inpatient surgical procedures each year in the Hospital's modern operating rooms. Laser, laparoscopic, endoscopic, endovascular and other minimally invasive surgical procedures are performed daily.

There are ongoing departmental programs for clinical quality assurance and quality improvement, as well as continuing graduate medical education.

The Surgery Faculty Practice Suite is located on the fifth floor of the hospital, immediately adjacent to the department's administrative offices. Surgeons in a wide variety of specialties have offices in this state-of-the art facility and are readily available to see outpatients in consultation and for follow-up care. The suite also contains operating rooms for minor surgical procedures. There is a fully equipped ophthalmology practice suite on the second floor. A pain management clinic is available on-site in cooperation with the Department of Anesthesia.

The Department maintains an ACGME-approved residency training program in surgery as an integrated part of the surgical residency training program at the Weill Cornell Medical College. Surgical residents in postgraduate years 1-4 rotate at Downtown Hospital. Downtown Hospital is also a clinical site for training in surgery for senior students in the Lenox Hill-Pace University Physician Assistant Program through the New York State Education Department. The Department of Surgery has a clinical rotation for foreign medical graduates as well.

Surgical conferences are held each Thursday morning throughout the academic year and include guest speakers, lectures by attending and resident staff, and a bimonthly morbidity and mortality conference.

Breast Surgery

The New York Downtown Hospital offers treatment for a wide spectrum of breast disease. Management of benign conditions such as breast pain and fibrocystic change, as well as nipple discharge and benign breast masses is offered. Management of screening for high risk patients is provided, as well as close coordination for radiologic procedures such as mammography, breast ultrasound and breast MRI.
Oncologic breast surgery including: sentinel lymph node biopsy, partial mastectomy, and mastectomy are performed by our surgeons. Optimal cosmetic result is achieved by breast conservation surgery, nipple sparing mastectomy, as well as skin sparing mastectomy, and close coordination with our reconstructive surgeons.

The physicians of the Breast Service are:

Dr. Robbi Kempner
Chief, Division of Breast Surgery

Dr. Pauline Hecht
Associate Chairman, Department of Surgery
(646) 898-4744

Dr. Donald T. Summers
Dr. Sam Kwauk
Dr. Howard Beaton
Dr. Shaw Fu Hwang
Dr. Mark Lee

Please call (646) 588-2500 for appointments.

Colon and Rectal Surgery

Downtown Hospital offer state-of-the-art care in the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders affecting the lower gastrointestinal tract, specifically the colon, rectum, and anus. These disorders include colon and rectal cancers, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticular diseases, and functional problems such as rectal prolapse, fecal incontinence, anal fissures, and hemorrhoids. Colorectal surgeons specialize in the minimal access approaches to colon and rectal surgery using the most modern laparoscopic techniques. This results in decreased postoperative pain, shorter postoperative recovery time, and less scarring. The colon and rectal surgeons are:

Steven Brandeis, M.D., Director of Colon and Rectal Surgery
Donald Summers, M.D.
Brian Harlin, M.D.
Daniel Hunt, M.D.
Please call (646) 898-4744 for appointments.

Ear, Nose and Throat (Otorhinolaryngology)

Dr. Joshua Levinger's clinical interests include the management of sinus disease, including advanced endoscopic sinus surgery and image guided surgery, as well as the treatment of sleep apnea, and a wide range of other ear, nose, throat, and head and neck disorders. The latter include sinusitis, tonsillitis, swallowing disorders, acid reflux, salivary diseases, hearing loss, and facial trauma. Dr Levinger treats adults and children.

Dr. Levinger is an Assistant Attending Otorhinolaryngologist at New York Downtown Hospital and at New York Presbyterian Hospital / Weill Cornell Medical Center. He is an Assistant Professor of Otorhinolaryngology at Weill Cornell Medical College.

To make an appointment with Dr. Levinger, call (646) 962-4451


Dr. Grace Sun specializes in Adult and Pediatric Cornea, Comprehensive / General Eye Care, Cataract, Cataract Surgery (sutureless surgery, accommodating and multifocal intraocular lens), Corneal Disease, Cornea Surgery (cornea transplantation, PK, DSEK, DLEK, artificial cornea, K-pro), Refractive Surgery, Laser Vision Correction (LASIK, custom LASIK, IntraLase LASIK, PRK, INTACS), Clinical Research / Clinical Trial, Blurry Vision / Decreased Vision, Dry Eyes, Tearing Eye / Watery Eye, Red Eye, Conjunctivitis.

Dr. Sun works in conjunction with Weill Cornell Eye Associates to offer a wide range of ophthalmic services, including cataract, cornea and external disease, retinal and vitreous disorders, glaucoma, pediatric ophthalmology, oculoplastics and neuro-ophthalmology. Furthermore, these services cover the entire range of complexity from accurate eyeglass and contact lens to the most complex intraocular surgeries such as keratoprosthesis (artificial corneal replacement) and vitreoretinal surgery for diabetic retinopathy or complicated retinal detachment.

Dr. Sun is an instructor of Ophthalmology at Weill Cornell Medical College and an Assistant Attending Ophthalmologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital / Weill Cornell Medical Center.

To make an appointment with Dr. Sun, call (212) 312-5250.

Oral and Maxillo-facial Surgery

Dr. Hoschander provides the full spectrum of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery with an emphasis on orthognathic and reconstructive surgery, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, laser surgery, oral and maxillofacial pathology, implant dentistry including grafting procedures with PRP, maxillofacial trauma management, and dento-alveolar surgery such as removal of impacted teeth and other extractions.

Please call (212) 265-7788 for appointments.

Pain Management

Vadim Kushnerik, M.D. (212) 312-5247

Plastic Surgery

Downtown Hospital plastic surgeons perform a full range of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures, made necessary by trauma, cancer and congenital defects. Common aesthetic procedures include breast augmentation and reduction, facial rejuvenation, liposuction, abdominoplasty and rhinoplasty. Reconstructive procedures include breast reconstruction, skin cancer, and major flap procedures. The plastic surgeons are:

Gerald Ginsberg, M.D., Chief, Division of Plastic Surgery
Victor Rosenberg, M.D.
Kenneth Rose, M.D.

Please call (646) 588-2500 for appointments.

Spine Surgery

Dr. Brisson offers surgical treatment for the vast majority of spinal disorders related to degenerative spine disease. The range of procedures available includes lumbar and cervical microdiscectomies for herniated discs and laminectomies for stenosis. More complex procedures, in conjunction with thoracic and vascular surgery, include anterior and posterior decompressions, instrumentation and fusions of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine.

Paul Brisson, M.D., Chief, Division of Spine Surgery
Please call (646) 898-4744 or (212) 966-8890 for appointments.

Surgical Oncology

The Downtown Hospital surgeons are trained in the most up-to-date management of malignant neoplasms (cancer). The surgical specialists within each division treat the appropriate neoplasms. The general surgical oncologist is:

Sam Kwauk, M.D.

Please call (212) 966-8890

Thoracic Surgery

The thoracic surgeons at Downtown Hospital offer many new and innovative procedures for the treatment of benign and malignant diseases of the lungs and esophagus. These include invasive airway and esophageal surgery with endoscopic techniques such as photodynamic therapy, laser, endocautery, dilatation, and stenting with temporary and permanent stents. Video-assisted thoracic surgery, also known as VATS, is offered for lobectomy, segmentectomy, and wedge resection for lung nodules. VATS resection of mediastinal tumors including thymoma, pericardial tumors, and neurogenic tumors is performed at Downtown Hospital. VATS is also offered for treatment of pneumothorax, hyperhidrosis syndrome, bullous disease and emphysema. Our thoracic surgeons perform VATS esophagectomy with combined laparoscopy and thoracoscopy or laparoscopy and neck incision. Laparoscopic surgery for achalasia, GERD, hiatal hernia, Zenker diverticulum, all esophageal diverticula, and esophageal perforations is also performed at Downtown Hospital. The thoracic surgeons are:

Christos Stavropoulos, MD
Adam Saltman, MD

Please call (646) 483-0934 for appointments.

Trauma and Critical Care

The Trauma Service at New York Downtown Hospital is covered at all times by attendings from the Department of Surgery. They are:

Donald Summers, M.D.
Herrick Wun, M.D.
Sam Kwauk, M.D.
Howard Beaton, M.D.
Shaw-Fu Hwang, M.D.


The urologists at Downtown Hospital offer state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment for diseases of the kidneys, bladder, ureter, urethra and male reproductive organs. This includes management of medical problems such as urinary infections, and surgical problems such as the correction of congenital abnormalities and the surgical management of cancers. The urologists are:

Benjamin Peng, M.D., Director of Urology, (212) 226-2200
Yan Wolfson, M.D. (646) 588-2500
Please call the above numbers for appointments.

Vascular Surgery

Our vascular surgeons are experienced in the latest techniques for treatment of arterial diseases throughout the body, outside of the heart. By using special catheters combined with fluoroscopic equipment, many minimally invasive procedures can be performed for abdominal aortic aneurysms, as well as for blocked arteries in the legs and those leading to the brain. Leg bypasses, carotid endarterectomy, dialysis access surgery and varicose vein surgery is also performed at Downtown Hospital. Often such procedures can be performed with a shorter hospital stay or on an ambulatory surgery basis. The vascular surgeons are:

Steven G. Friedman, M.D., Chairman, Department of Surgery
Herrick Wun, M.D., R.V.T.

Please call (646) 588-2500 for appointments.

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