Department Colorectal Surgery
Primary Location Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Type of Doctor Adults Only
Languages English
Surgeon Yes
Locations Specialties & Treatments

Treatment & Services

  • Abdominal Perineal Resection
  • Anorectal Fistula Treatment
  • Anorectal Surgery
  • Clinical Trials
  • Colectomy
  • Ileoanal Pouch
  • J Pouch
  • Laparoscopic Abdominal Perineal Resection
  • Laparoscopic J-pouch Surgery
  • Minimally Invasive Colorectal Surgery
  • Pelvic Pouch Surgery for Ulcerative Colitis
  • Pouchoscopy
  • Rectal Cancer Surgery
  • Re-Do Rectal Surgery
  • Reoperative Abdominal Surgery
  • Reoperative Pelvic Surgery
  • Resection of Colon and Rectal Diseases
  • Strictureplasty
  • Surgery For Crohn's Disease
  • Surgery for Rectovaginal Fistula
View all 20 Treatment & Services +

Specialty in Diseases & Conditions

  • Cancer
  • Cancer of the Colon, Rectum and Anus
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Ulcerative Colitis
View all 5 Specialties +


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About Amy Lightner, MD

Dr. Lightner is an Associate Professor of Surgery in the Department of Colon and Rectal Surgery at Cleveland Clinic, OH and associate chief of surgical research, and is the Primary Investigator of the surgical inflammatory bowel disease translational laboratory.  Thus, her time is split between operating, conducting research, and overseeing/directing the research fellows in colorectal surgery.

Prior to coming to Cleveland Clinic, she completed her surgical training in General Surgery at University of California at Los Angeles and post-doctoral work at Stanford University under a California Institute of Regenerative Medicine Training Grant focused on the differentiation pathways of embryonic stem cells.  After completing her fellowship at Mayo Clinic, she stayed on as surgical faculty and was the Director of the Translation, Implementation and Practice Platform within the Center for Regenerative Medicine at Mayo Clinic, enterprise-wide. She was recruited to Cleveland Clinic for her translational laboratory work and clinical trial work in stem cell therapy for Crohn’s disease.

Dr. Lightner has received an extramural career development award to study the use of stem cell based therapies for IBD and has received additional internal funding for ongoing clinical trials in stem cell based therapy for perianal and rectovaginal fistulizing Crohn’s disease.  In addition, she is currently the primary investigator of a multi-center international randomized control trial studying a variation in surgical technique for ileocolic Crohn’s disease and the primary investigator for an industry sponsored trial for stem cell therapy in Crohn’s disease. she is a member of the editorial board of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Colorectal Disease and Diseases of the Colon and Rectum, is the surgical chair for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation annual meeting, and is the associate chair of the IBD committee within the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. She is considered a leading expert in regenerative surgery and how it applies to IBD and is regularly invited to give talks nationally and internationally on this topic.

Education & Professional Highlights

Education & Professional Highlights


Education & Fellowships

Fellowship - Mayo Clinic
Colon & Rectal Surgery
Rochester, MN USA

Residency - David Geffen School of Medicine @ UCLA
General Surgery
Los Angeles, CA USA

Medical Education - Boston University School of Medicine
Boston, MA USA

Undergraduate - Stanford University School of Medicine
Human Biology
Stanford, CA USA

Additional Training

  • Postdoctoral fellowship in Stem Cell Biology at Stanford University

Professional Highlights

  • Stem cell therapy for Crohn's disease
  • Reconstructive pouch surgery


  • Surgery - General Surgery
  • Colon and Rectal Surgery

Specialty Interests

inflammatory bowel disease, stem cell therapy, pouch reconstruction

Awards & Honors

  • Sherman Prize for Emerging Leader in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Awarded to an emerging leader in inflammatory bowel disease with monetary support for research endeavors. 2018.

    2018 Transform the Practice Award, Translational work cost for “The intra-arterial delivery of mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of luminal Crohn’s disease: safety, efficacy, and its implications for disease discovery.” Primary Investigator, Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN, 2019-2021.

    Center for Regenerative Medicine Research Award, The local delivery of mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of fistulas related to Crohn’s disease of the pouch” Primary Investigator, Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN, 2019-2021.

    Center for Regenerative Medicine Research Award, The local delivery of mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of rectovaginal fistulas related to Crohn’s disease” Primary Investigator, Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN, 2019-2021.

    2018 Department of Surgery Small Research Grant, Translational work cost for Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Fistulizing Crohn’s Disease: Optimizing the Cellular Product for Future Investigation.”Primary Investigator, Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN, 2018-2020.

    2018 Research Career Support and Advancement Award, Translational work cost for “The intra-arterial delivery of mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of luminal Crohn’s disease: safety, efficacy, and its implications for disease discovery.”, Primary Investigator, Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN, 2018-2020.

    American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons Career Development Award, Targeted, intra-arterial delivery of mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of luminal Crohn’s disease, Primary Investigator, Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN, 2018-2020.

    Advance the Practice Research Award, Imaging biomarkers derived from integrated Time-of-flight (TOF) FDG PET/MR Enterography for differentiating predominantly fibrotic from predominantly inflammatory enteric strictures in patients with Crohn's disease, Co-Investigator, Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN, 2018-2020.

    Center for Regenerative Medicine 2016 Career Development Regenerative Medicine Award, Career Development Award, Translational work cost for “Angiographic delivery of mesenchymal derived stem cells for the treatment of severe medically refractory Ulcerative colitis (UC)”, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, 2016-2018.

    California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Training Grant, Stem Cell Biology (TG2-01159), 2010-2012.

    Training Grant, Molecular and Cellular Immunobiology (5 T32 AI07290), 2010-2011.


  • 2018-present Associate Editor, Diseases of the Colon and Rectum

    2017-present Associate Editor, Colorectal Disease

    2017-present Associate Editor, Inflammatory Bowel Disease

    2017-present CCF Abstract Review Committee

    2017-present CCF Chair of Surgical Planning Committee

    2017-present ASCRS Practice Guideline Writing Committee

    2017-present ASCRS Associate Chair of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Committee

    2015-present Member, European Crohn’s and Colitis Organization

    2015-present Member, American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons

    2015-present Member, Surgical Society of the Alimentary Tract

    2015-present Member, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation

Research & Publications

Research & Publications

See publications for Amy Lightner, 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 11/13/2019, Dr. Lightner 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

80 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
4.8 out of 5
Explains 4.8
Listens 4.7
Courtesy, Respect & Concern 4.9
Patient Rating of Doctor 4.8

23 Patient Comments

Reviewed on Sep 1, 2020

after a summer of frustrating doctor visits I feel I finally found someone who listened to me and will be able to help me.

Reviewed on Aug 18, 2020

Great Experience meeting with Dr.Lightner. It was informative and helpful.

Reviewed on Aug 4, 2020

*Dr. Amy Lightner, *Dr. Taylor, rock.

Reviewed on Jul 14, 2020

Setting up my appt with Dr. Lightner was very easy and prompt.

Reviewed on Jul 14, 2020

I was very impressed with Dr. Lightner's comments and responses.

Reviewed on Jun 30, 2020

I enjoyed talking to the physician. She was prompt knowledgeable and even asked the questions ahead of me asking. After our conversation I had follow up questions her staff have answered them with compassion and grace.

Reviewed on Jun 30, 2020

Had an acute problem that was addressed post haste This is the indication of a strong organization that supports its providers

Reviewed on Jun 23, 2020

Dr Lightener was outstanding in explaining and talking me through my procedure.

Reviewed on Jun 12, 2020

*Dr. Amy Lightner and her residents were always very gentle and respectful. Great team! Great coach!

Reviewed on Jun 9, 2020

Dr Lightner was very informative and helpful

Reviewed on Jun 2, 2020

Dr. Lightner and her assistants were so helpful and kind.

Reviewed on Mar 25, 2020

I was given amply time to voice the salient points of my biography. Dr. Lightner listened. I am comfortable with placing my life in her hands.

Reviewed on Jan 23, 2020

The doctor and physicians answered all my questions and didn't rush me at all.

Reviewed on Dec 26, 2019

Dr. Lightner's team is very professional, well-coordinated and efficient

Reviewed on Dec 26, 2019

I saw the best surgeons at Duke Hospital and Weil Cornell in NYC and Dr. Lightner was the best surgeon BY FAR. Not only is her bed side manner excellent, she is a very talented and intelligent surgeon.

Reviewed on Dec 11, 2019

I love *Dr. Lightner - She saved my life!

Reviewed on Nov 13, 2019

Dr Lightener was wonderful!!! I could not have asked for a better surgeon & a more caring physician!

Reviewed on Oct 23, 2019

I feel at ease with my doctor. she has a very good bedside manor and is truly concerned about your well being. I would recommend her to anybody. she is very professional in all she does and truly cares about the patient.

Reviewed on Oct 10, 2019

In a time crunch, I was VERY impressed a dr. himself wheeled me in my bed to the OR for surgery.

Reviewed on Oct 9, 2019

Dr Lightner was I stellar. I am grateful and hope she will contact me should she need me in a clinical study. I remain hopeful she will research and develop another option for me other than going back on the ileostomy bag permanently. It was so nice to have a top rate experience like I did and drive 8 hours home with hope Dr Lightner will help me again. She gave me hope. Cleveland Clinic raised the bar to all my previous hospitals that I will only go back to CC.

Reviewed on Oct 9, 2019

Dr Lightner explained my problem at my level and gave me answers. She calmed me and I left there smarter of my condition; I have hope now

Reviewed on Sep 18, 2019

dr lightner was wonderful. she informed me I was with the wrong type of provider, but did not hesitate in setting me up with someone that can help me.

Reviewed on Sep 16, 2019

*Dr. Amy Geighter was my surgeon she was kind & caring to me she did an amazing job. She changed my life.

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