Dr. Christopher La Mendola has quite literally, made a life-long commitment to the surgical treatment of heart disease.
His interest in the heart began in the third grade when a teacher handed him a book called "The Heart"; it was a moment that changed is life, and the lives of thousands of his patients, forever. He quickly began to read everything he could about the wonderful advances in heart surgery being made by surgical pioneers like Michael De Bakey, Denton Cooley, Christian Barnard and many others. Awestruck by the amazing accomplishments of these great physicians, he decided as a child, that he too would become a heart surgeon! Soon, he had his mother going to the butcher and bringing home cow and pig hearts for him to dissect, and before long he knew more about the heart than most college students!
His commitment never wavered. He received his B.S. from the University of Michigan and his M.D. from Stony Brook University where he was named a charter member of the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society.
He went on to residency training in surgery at the NYU Medical center under legendary heart surgeon Frank C. Spencer, then President of the American College of Surgeons and author of the premier textbooks in both General and Cardiac Surgery. While at NYU, Dr. La Mendola took a two year sabbatical to work as a Research Fellow in Cardiac Surgery, studying the characteristics of Internal Mammary Artery Blood Flow and its relationship to blood pressure. Upon his return to training, he was promoted to the level of Senior Surgical Resident, Chief Resident and finally, Executive Chief Resident in General Surgery, where his responsibilities included not only clinical duties and teaching, but also the administrative duties associated with running the surgical residency. During this time, he served a several month stint running the prestigious Bellevue Hospital Trauma team, and shortly thereafter, spent two additional years training in Cardiothoracic Surgery at NYU. He completed his residency training after a total of nine years, in 1994.
After finishing his residency, he entered private practice at St. Francis Hospital and has been there ever since. While at St. Francis, he pioneered Off-Pump Coronary Bypass Surgery; he was one of the first surgeons in the country to perform the procedure, and to date, has performed more than 1500 Off-Pump operations, representing one of the largest experiences in the United States. He was also one of the first surgeons in New York to perform minimally invasive aortic valve replacements, and presently is one of only a handful of surgeons in the country who has, on multiple occasions, successfully performed a minimally invasive repair of an Ascending Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm.
Dr. La Mendola is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. He is a member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons as well as the Medical Society of the State of New York and the Nassau County Medical Society.
He is recognized for his experience, skill and compassion.
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