Advancements By Year

2012: Major Advances in Cardiac Care

Maimonides Medical Center becomes the first and only accredited Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) Program in Brooklyn. Earlier in 2012, Maimonides became the first Brooklyn hospital to perform an LVAD implantation.

In May, Maimonides performs its first Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure, offering Brooklyn patients a new and innovative approach to the treatment of severe aortic stenosis.

In October, Maimonides unveils the ultra-modern Hybrid Operating Room (OR), which minimizes both risk and recovery time, while also maximizing outcomes for our patients. The Hybrid OR at Maimonides allows different specialists to seamlessly work together to provide a more effective surgical experience for the patient.

In December, the Maimonides Cardiac Institute is renamed the Maimonides Heart & Vascular Center to reflect our multidisciplinary team approach in treating patients. Our cardiac and vascular departments work together to create a fully integrated service with a common entry point into care, allowing Maimonides to best meet the needs of Brooklyn’s most seriously ill patients.

2002: Furthering Cardiac Research

Maimonides is the site for TECAB (Totally Endoscopic Coronary Artery Bypass) Study on minimally invasive open-heart surgery utilizing the surgical robot (we were not principal investigators).

2001: Technological Advances for Patient Safety

Already renowned for its cardiac expertise and named one of the nation’s Top 100 Heart Hospitals by Modern Healthcare Magazine in 2000, Maimonides furthers its cardiac reputation by being the first hospital in the United States to implement fully automatic external cardiac defibrillators at the bedside. These devices save precious minutes in the resuscitation of patients in cardiac arrest.

1997: Cardiac Innovations Continue at Maimonides

Dr. Jacob Shani, Chair of the Department of Cardiology and Chair of the Cardiac Institute, invents a wrist clamp to aid in radial artery catheterization. His continued international recognition follows his past innovations in cardiac catheterization and interventions, including the invention of a special angled catheter (called the Shani Right) for cardiac interventions in 1992, as well performing the first coronary atherectomy in New York State in 1991.

1996: Maimonides is the First Filmless Catheterization Lab in the Nation

Maimonides begins to store images digitally, becoming the first cardiac catheterization lab in the nation to become filmless. This allows diagnostic images to be effortlessly transmitted to various areas within the hospital and electronically archived, thereby improving patient care by allowing staff to be more efficient in obtaining, reviewing and storing important images.

1992: Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU) Opens

The CTICU provides expert care and treatment to patients who have undergone various open heart procedures. The CTICU team -- cardiothoracic surgeons, fellows, NP’s and RN’s -- provide close observation during a patient’s recovery.

The Maimonides Cardiac Institute is established. Comprised of several specialized centers, programs and services Maimonides Medical Center offers the Brooklyn community the highest level of expertise and quality of service.

1983: Maimonides is Designated as a 911 Heart Center

Maimonides is the first hospital in Brooklyn to receive a 911 Heart Center designation. With this designation, any Brooklyn resident with a cardiac event requiring emergent care would be quickly brought to Maimonides Medical Center.

1982: Advances in Aortic Surgery

Soon after his arrival at Maimonides, the late Dr. Joseph Cunningham establishes new surgical techniques to detect and reduce spinal cord injuries during the repair of aortic aneurysms. These techniques become the standard of care in aortic surgery, and Dr. Cunningham goes on to serve as Chair of Surgery at Maimonides for 26 more years.

1976: Expanding the Boundaries of Medical Knowledge

Dr. Edgar Lichstein becomes Director of Cardiology at Maimonides and helps continue the tradition of expanding the boundaries of medical knowledge. Dr. Lichstein was a chief investigator for the historic BHAT (Beta-blocker Heart Attack Trial) that established the efficacy of a new class of cardiac medications. The public may be familiar with the most commonly prescribed of these drugs – Metoprolol, Inderal and Lopressor.

1970: Life-Saving Device Gets Its Start at Maimonides

The world’s first intra-aortic balloon pump is developed and utilized at Maimonides. Inserted through the patient’s thigh and directed into the aorta, the balloon pump deflates when the heart pumps blood and inflates when it relaxes, thereby reducing stress on the heart. The device continues to save lives to this day.

1967: A Transplant First

The first human heart transplant in the United States is performed at Maimonides; just days after doctors in South Africa did the same. Headed by Dr. Adrian Kantrowitz, the transplant team removes the heart of a brain-dead baby and implants it into the chest of a 19-day-old infant with an untreatable and fatal heart defect. Unfortunately, the tiny patient only lives for 6 hours following the transplant, but the milestone procedure paved the way to the routine transplants of today.

1966: Maimonides Implants First Mechanical Heart

During a six-hour operation, the first mechanical heart is implanted in a 63-year-old woman at Maimonides. The artificial heart device can take over 50 percent of the pumping work of the patient’s heart, and features controls outside the body that can help keep the pumping speed in time with the natural heartbeat. The project is a team effort led by brothers Dr. Adrian Kantrowitz, Director of Surgical Services at Maimonides Hospital, and Dr. Arthur Kantrowitz.

1964: Canine Cardiology

Maimonides is usually in the news for helping people, but in 1964, a New York Times article announces that a successful heart transplant has been performed on a puppy at Maimonides. Like many institutions across the nation at that time, Maimonides was conducting research aimed at the successful transplantation of hearts in humans.

1960: Cardiac Discoveries

Maimonides Director of Cardiology, Dr. William Dressler, identifies a post-myocardial infarction syndrome in which the sac surrounding the heart becomes inflamed. The inflammation is believed to be an immune system response to heart tissue damage caused by a heart attack, surgery or traumatic injury. As a result of Dr. Dressler’s discovery, this condition is now known as Dressler’s Syndrome.

1958: Maimonides Creates Innovative Heart-Lung Machine

A team of physicians and surgeons at Maimonides develop a heart-lung device with electronic controls that give an accurate picture of blood pressure, pulse rate, temperature, heart activity and respiration. Doctors use the machine for the first time during a successful open-heart operation on a six-year-old boy born with a heart defect.

1957: Leading the Way in Patient Testing

Test for candida-fungal infections devised for infants by pediatrician Dr. Philip J. Kozinn (proves vital in transplants and heart-valve surgery 20 years later).

1952: Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory Established

Dr. David Dresdale establishes the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory, ushering in a new era of Interventional Cardiology – an approach which allowed sophisticated diagnoses to be obtained by threading a catheter into coronary arteries to detect blockages and narrowing of blood vessels.

1950: Cardiac Surgery Program Started

The Cardiac Surgery Program was founded by Dr. Charles B. Ripstein. The hospital recruited Dr. W.R. Slatkoff, an assistant superintendent at Montreal General Hospital, bringing cardiac expertise to the people of Brooklyn.

1939: First-Ever Use of Closed-Circuit Television for Teaching Purposes 

On April 12th, a procedure was transmitted from the operating room to the auditorium where medical students were able to learn from watching a live surgery, having more of an impact that a lecture or case study presentation. This accomplishment shows our institution’s embrace of technology, as well as our commitment to enhancing the educational environment.

1930: Cardiac Clinic Opens

Trustees of then named United Israel-Zion Hospital establish a dedicated Cardiac Clinic. This was the era during which many sub-specialties began to emerge in the practice of medicine, and several distinguished physicians at Maimonides were among the nation’s first “cardiologists.”