Nicholas Smedira, MD

216.445.7052

Nicholas Smedira, MD

Appointed: 1995

Nicholas Smedira, MD
Department: Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Location: Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Mail Code J4-1
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195
WorkAppointment:216.445.7052
DeskDesk:216.444.2480
WorkFax:216.636.6980
Nicholas Smedira, MD
Department: Transplantation Center
Location: Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Mail Code J4-1
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195
WorkAppointment:216.445.7052
DeskDesk:216.444.2480
WorkFax:216.636.6980
Surgeon:
Yes
Treats:
Adults Only

Biographical Sketch

Nicholas G. Smedira, MD is a staff cardiothoracic surgeon in the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery and Director of Quality for the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute. He specializes in heart and heart-lung transplantation, ventricular assist devices, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), heart failure surgery, aortic and mitral valve repair and replacement, off-pump coronary bypass grafting, myectomy and the surgical treatment of left ventricular outflow tract obstruction, treatment of pulmonary hypertension caused by chronic pulmonary emboli, reoperations, and ascending aortic replacement. Dr. Smedira is certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery.

Dr. Smedira has performed more than 5,000 heart operations since 1995, and his accomplishments include the first implantation of the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart after FDA approval, the first combined heart-liver transplant in Ohio and the first ever successful bridge of a patient with a total artificial heart until he received a heart and liver transplant

Dr. Smedira earned his undergraduate (Phi Beta Kappa; magna cum laude) and medical (Alpha Omega Alpha; MD with honors) degrees from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, New York. After completing his residency in general surgery at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, where he became Chief Surgical Resident, Dr. Smedira received fellowships in cardiothoracic surgery, critical care medicine and research from the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. He won a postdoctoral National Research Service Award fellowship. He then received a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, where he was appointed in 1995 as a Staff Cardiac Surgeon.

Dr. Smedira was selected the 2004 Teacher of the Year in Cleveland Clinic's Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery Department. He was a Visiting Professor at the Ministry of Health in Singapore, the Atlantic Health System in New Jersey, the Ottawa Heart Institute in Canada and the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Smedira was appointed to the faculty of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University as a Professor in 2007 and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.

As principal or co-investigator in more than 100 clinical trials and studies, Dr. Smedira has focused his research efforts on his specialty interests, including the surgical treatment of ischemic heart failure, cellular therapy to treat advanced heart damage, bivalirudin as an alternative to heparin during cardiac surgery and rotary blood pumps, such as the HeartWare and HeartMate II devices, which are used to support patients until they receive a transplant or for permanent cardiac support.

In 2008, Dr. Smedira became Director of Quality for the Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute and in this role, guides the efforts to improve the quality and safety of health care delivered at Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Smedira’s quality-related committee memberships include the Quality Institute Executive Team, the Quality and Patient Safety Committee of the Board of Directors, and the Professional Conduct Committee.

Dr. Smedira has been invited to speak about his clinical experience and research findings at hundreds of conferences and symposia worldwide. He is the author or co-author of numerous book chapters on subjects related to his specialty interests, including advances in cardiac intensive care, cardiac surgery, assistive devices and treatment of heart failure. He has authored or co-authored hundreds of published studies and abstracts in peer-reviewed publications, including The New England Journal of Medicine, The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, and Journal of the American College of Cardiology, among others.

Professional Highlights

  • Polly and W. Neil Rossborough Term Chair in Cardiac Transplantation
  • Nursing-Physician Excellence Florence Nightingale Award, Cleveland Clinic  
  • Professor of Surgery, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University

Education & Fellowships

Fellowship - Cleveland Clinic
Cardiothoracic Surgery
Cleveland, OH USA
1994
Fellowship - University of California San Francisco Medical Center
Cardiothoracic Surgery
San Francisco, CA USA
1994
Research Fellowship - University of California San Francisco Medical Center
Cardiothoracic Surgery
San Francisco, CA USA
1992
Residency - University of California San Francisco Medical Center
General Surgery
San Francisco, CA USA
1991
Internship - University of California San Francisco Medical Center
General Surgery
San Francisco, CA USA
1985
Medical School - University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Rochester, NY USA
1984
Undergraduate - University of Rochester
Rochester, NY USA
1980

Certifications

  • Thoracic & Cardiac Surgery

Specialty Interests

Heart transplantation, heart-lung transplant, ventricular assist device, ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation), heart failure surgery, heart valve surgery, off-pump bypass surgery, myectomy, surgery for thoracic aortic aneurysm

Awards & Honors

  • Teacher of the Year, Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, 2004
  • Innovator Award, Cleveland Clinic, 2007
  • Best Docs, Cleveland Magazine, 2002–2009
  • Polly and W. Neil Rossborough Term Chair in Heart Transplantation Research
  • Nursing-Physician Excellence Florence Nightingale Award, Cleveland Clinic

Additional Training

  • Executive management course
  • Professional development course
  • Six Sigma (in progress)

Innovations & Patents

Syncardia Cardiowest Total Artificial Heart

Memberships

  • The Society of Thoracic Surgeons
  • The International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation
  • Fellow, American College of Cardiology
  • American Association for Thoracic Surgery
  • Fellow, American Heart Association

Treatment & Services

Specialty in Diseases and Conditions

Industry Relationships

Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists may collaborate with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries to help develop medical breakthroughs or provide medical expertise or education. Cleveland Clinic strives to make scientific advances that will benefit patient care and support outside relationships that promise public benefit. In order for the discoveries of Cleveland Clinic physicians' and scientists' laboratories and investigations to benefit the public, these discoveries must be commercialized in partnership with industry. As experts in their fields, Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists are often sought after by industry to consult, provide expertise and education.

To assure professional and commercial integrity in such matters, Cleveland Clinic maintains a program that reviews these collaborations and, when appropriate, puts measures in place to minimize bias that may result from ties to industry. The Cleveland Clinic publicly discloses the names of companies when (i) its physicians/scientists receive $5,000 or more per year (or, in rare cases, equity or stock options) for speaking and consulting, (ii) its physicians/scientists serve as a fiduciary, (iii) its physicians/scientists receive or have the right to receive royalties or (iv) its physicians/ scientists hold any equity interest for the physician's/scientist's role as inventor, discoverer, developer, founder or consultant.* In publicly disclosing this information, the Cleveland Clinic tries to provide information as accurately as possible about its physicians' and scientists' connections with industry.

As of 6/3/2014, Dr. Smedira has reported the financial relationships with the companies listed below. In general, patients should feel free to contact their doctor about any of the relationships and how the relationships are overseen by the Cleveland Clinic. To learn more about the Cleveland Clinic's policies on collaborations with industry and innovation management, go to our Integrity in Innovation page.

Consulting and/or Speaking. Dr. Smedira received fees of $5,000 or more per year as a paid consultant, speaker or member of an advisory committee for the following companies:

  • Syncardia Systems, Inc.

Public Health Service-Reportable Financial Conflicts of Interest. Cleveland Clinic scientists and physicians engage in basic, translational and clinical research activities, working to solve health problems, enhance patient care and improve quality of life for patients. Interactions with industry are essential to bringing the researchers’ discoveries to the public, but can present the potential for conflicts of interest related to their research activities. Click here to view a listing of instances where Cleveland Clinic has identified a Public Health Service (PHS)-Reportable Financial Conflict of Interest and has put measures in place to ensure that, to the extent possible, the design, conduct and reporting of the research is free from bias.

* Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists subscribe to the guidance presented in the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals and the AdvaMed Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals. As such, gifts of substantial value are generally prohibited.

Languages Spoken

  • English
Cleveland Clinic Mobile Site