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Department Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Primary Location Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Type of Doctor Adults Only
Languages English, Japanese
Surgeon Yes
Locations Specialties & Treatments

Treatment & Services

  • Adult Cardiothoracic Surgery
  • Adult Congenital Heart Disease, Surgery
  • Adult Congenital Heart Surgery
  • Aorta Graft
  • Aorta Surgery
  • Aortic Dissection
  • Aortic Valve Repair
  • Aortic Valve Replacement
  • Aortic Valve Surgery
  • Arterial Coronary Artery Bypass Graft
  • Arterial Coronary Artery Bypass Grafts
  • Artificial Heart
  • Atherosclerosis Surgery
  • Atrial Septal Defect Closure
  • Biventricular Pacemaker
  • Bypass Surgery
  • Bypass Surgery Re-operation
  • Cardiac Surgery
  • cardiac transplant
  • Cardiac Transplantation
  • Cardiovascular Surgery Department
  • Complex Aorta Surgery
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (cabg) Surgery
  • Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
  • Coronary Artery Reoperation
  • ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation)
  • Heart Failure Surgery
  • Heart Surgery
  • Heart Surgery Reoperation
  • Heart Transplant
  • Heart Transplantation
  • Heart Valve Repair and Replacement
  • Heart Valve Surgery
  • High Risk Reoperation Surgery
  • In Situ Revascularization
  • Infective Endocarditis Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Aortic Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Repair
  • Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Cardiovascular Surgeries
  • Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Repair
  • Mitral Valve Replacement
  • Mitral Valve Surgery
  • Off Pump Bypass Surgery
  • Pacemaker Implant
  • Pericardial Window
  • Removal of Atrial Myxoma
  • Removal of Cardiac Tumors
  • Reoperation Valve Surgery
  • Reoperative Heart Surgery
  • Repair Of Aortic Aneurysms And Dissections
  • Repair of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms and Dissections
  • Surgery for Infective Endocarditis
  • Surgery for Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm
  • Surgical Procedures for Atrial Fibrillation
  • Surgical Treatment Of Adult Acquired Heart Disease
  • Surgical Treatment Of Thoracic And Cardiovascular Disease
  • Surgical Treatment Of Valve Endocarditis
  • Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery Section
  • Tricuspid Valve Repair
  • Tricuspid Valve Replacement
  • Tricuspid Valve Surgery
  • Valve Surgery
  • Ventricular Assist Device
View all 65 Treatment & Services +

Specialty in Diseases & Conditions

  • Acquired Adult Cardiac Disease
  • Acquired Valve Disease
  • Adult Congenital Heart Disease
  • Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency
  • Aorta Disease
  • Aortic Aneurysms
  • Aortic Regurgitation
  • Aortic Stenosis
  • Aortic Valve Disease
  • Aortic Valve Regurgitation
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Atrial Septal Defects
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy
  • Dissection Of The Aorta
  • Endocarditis
  • Heart Attack
  • Heart Failure
  • Heart Murmur
  • Heart Valve Disease
  • Heart Valve Infections
  • Infective Endocarditis
  • Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD)
  • Ischemic Cardiomyopathy
  • Mitral Valve Disease
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse
  • Mitral Valve Regurgitation
  • Mitral Valve Stenosis
  • Myxomas
  • Patent Foramen Ovale
  • Pericardial Effusion
  • Rheumatic Heart Disease
  • Tricuspid Regurgitation
  • Tricuspid Stenosis
  • Tricuspid Valve Disease
View all 37 Specialties +


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About Shinya Unai, MD

Shinya Unai, MD, is a surgeon in the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute. He sees patients at Cleveland Clinic Main Campus.

Specialty Interests: Adult cardiac surgery, complex re-operative heart surgery, surgery of the aorta/root, Ozaki procedure, Ross procedure, endocarditis, heart/lung transplantation, ventricular assist device, coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG), valve repair and replacement, minimally invasive cardiac surgery

Number of Patients Treated:  Cleveland Clinic performs more than 4,000 heart surgeries each year. All Cleveland Clinic cardiac surgeons complete between 300-400 cardiac cases per year.  Dr. Unai's procedures include lung transplants, LVAD implants and heart transplants.

Success Rates: Cleveland Clinic Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute surgeons consistently achieve lower-than-expected in-hospital mortality based on the age of our patients, the severity of their illness and their general health condition. Cleveland Clinic ranks among the 1% of US hospitals that earned a 3-star (highest) score in all 3 categories of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons’ risk-adjusted quality ratings for adult cardiac surgery and in lobectomy for lung cancer.

Education and Training:  Dr. Unai earned his medical degree from the University of Tokyo School of Medicine, Toyko, Japan. He served a general surgery residency followed by a cardiovascular surgery residency at Mitsui Memorial Hospital, Tokyo, serving as Chief Resident during his final year of training. Dr. Unai continued his specialty training as a cardiovascular surgery fellow at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia Pa. He completed his training as a clinical associate in minimally invasive, complex adult cardiac surgery, heart/lung transplantation and aortic surgery at Cleveland Clinic. He joined the Cleveland Clinic staff in 2017.

Research and Publications: Dr. Unai has participated in multiple studies related to outcomes for
endocarditis and aortic valve disease. Dr. Unai has authored or co-authored nearly 100 papers published in leading medical journals, primarily focused on his surgical specialties such as endocarditis, Ozaki and Ross procedure, heart / lung transplant, and complex heart valve/root surgery. He also has made numerous presentations at major medical meetings in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Consult QD articles:

The Ross Procedure in a Reoperative Setting: A Case Study
When the Ross Procedure Fails: Fifth Operation Offers Young Man a New Start
Transient Neurological Symptoms in the Lead-Up to Redo Aortic Valve Replacement: A Case Study
Surgical Solutions to Anomalous Coronary Arteries and Myocardial Bridges in Adults
Snapshots from the AATS 102nd Annual Meeting

About Dr. Unai: “I became a heart surgeon because I wanted to help people. Many of our patients are incredibly sick, but it is a true privilege to be able to make a positive impact on their lives using the skills that I learned from long years of training. I believe good communication and working as a team with the patient in the center is the key to good outcomes.”

Leisure Activities: In his leisure time, Dr. Unai enjoys spending time with his family, playing the piano and skiing.

Education & Professional Highlights

Education & Professional Highlights


Education & Fellowships

Residency - Mitsul Memorial Hospital
Cardiovascular Surgery
Tokyo, Japan,

Residency - Mitsul Memorial Hospital
General Surgery
Tokyo, Japan,

Medical Education - University of Tokyo

Fellowship - Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Cardiac Surgery
Philadelphia, PA USA

Additional Training

  • Heart and lung transplants, Ventricular Assist Device (VAD)

Specialty Interests

adult cardiac surgery, complex reoperative heart surgery, heart transplantation, ventricular assist device, lung transplantation, coronary artery bypass surgery, valve repair and replacement, minimally invasive cardiac surgery

Awards & Honors

  • Dr. Charles H. Bryan Annual Clinical Excellence Award, Cleveland Clinic, 2016
Research & Publications

Research & Publications

See publications for Shinya Unai, MD.

(Disclaimer: This search is powered by PubMed, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. PubMed is a third-party website with no affiliation with Cleveland Clinic.)

Industry Relationships

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. 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, Cleveland Clinic tries to provide information as accurately as possible about its physicians' and scientists' connections with industry.

As of 7/3/2022, Dr. Unai has reported no financial relationship with industry that is applicable to this listing. In general, patients should feel free to contact their doctor about any of the relationships and how the relationships are overseen by Cleveland Clinic. To learn more about Cleveland Clinic's policies on collaborations with industry and innovation management, go to our Integrity in Innovation page.

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.

Patient Satisfaction Reviews

167 Patient Satisfaction Reviews

The Patient Satisfaction Rating is an average of all responses to the care provider related questions shown below from our nationally-recognized Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey. Patients that are treated in outpatient or hospital environments may receive different surveys, and the volume of responses will vary by question.

Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best score.

The comments are submitted by patients and reflect their views and opinions. The comments are not endorsed by and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cleveland Clinic.

Overall Star Ratings
4.7 out of 5
Explains 4.7
Listens 4.7
Courtesy, Respect & Concern 4.8
Patient Rating of Doctor 4.7

7 Patient Comments

Reviewed on Mar 22, 2023

I have the utmost respect and confidence in Dr. Unai. I am looking forward to working with him. I think he is the best surgeon at Cleveland Clinic and the nicest.

Reviewed on Mar 10, 2023

Dr Unai spoke to Dr Cremer prior to the appointment and both agreed surgery not indicated at this time. Dr Unai clearly explained surgical risks and why it would be best to reevaluate heart function in six months. I was satisfied with the doctor's opinion.

Reviewed on Dec 29, 2022

The doctors are exceptional. *Dr. Unai is the most intelligent, caring and skillful doctor I have ever met.

Reviewed on Nov 13, 2022

If it wasn't for *Dr. Unai, I would not be here - alive.

Reviewed on Aug 1, 2022

Doctors and their immediate staff were terrific, responsive to needs.

Reviewed on Jul 19, 2022

The interaction I had with the doctor was one of the best experiences I have had in a long time. Not only did he explain my health, the options, the timing but his willingness to engage me in conversations and answer all of my questions was "priceless" ! Whatever you pay him is not enough!

Reviewed on Jun 14, 2022

Time w/physicians was understandably limited but of excellent quality, & physicians patiently answered questions.

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