Dr. Brian Lima is a renowned leader and recognized authority on advanced heart failure, heart transplantation, and mechanical circulatory support devices that are surgically implanted to help provide full heart support for people with advanced heart failure. He serves as the Surgical Director of Heart Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support at Medical City Heart Hospital in Dallas, Texas.
When Dr. Lima was only 10 years old, his father survived a heart attack at a very young age, sparking his son’s drive to make a difference in the world of heart care. After that, he vowed early on that he wanted to dedicate his life to helping people and their families pull through that scary experience.
That dedication to saving and touching lives carries over into his work today. Dr. Lima takes the time and effort to get to know his patients, keep them and their loved ones educated and informed, and prepare them for any potential complications. Within the area of heart surgery, he focuses on advanced heart failure.
“Many of the scenarios we’re dealing with are imminently life-threatening situations,” he says. “I develop a deep connection with patients and their families, even offer them my cell phone number, so that they can feel comfortable and I can allay their fears.”
Through years of thorough expertise and research, including establishing the first and only heart transplant program on Long Island, NY, Dr. Lima offers lifesaving opportunities to those who otherwise would have to travel long distances for pre- and post-care and a lifetime of follow-up.
In addition to heart transplantation, Dr. Lima’s expertise encompasses the entire spectrum of adult cardiac surgery, including coronary artery bypass grafting, valve repair and replacement, aortic surgery, and the surgical management of heart failure with ventricular assist devices (LVADs) and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Dr. Lima is at the forefront of innovation and is excited to work with the latest generation of assist devices, such as the HeartMate 3, which allows the team to improve quality of life for patients.
Dr. Lima remains actively engaged in several ongoing clinical research studies; he has published more 80 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has presented and lectured on advanced heart failure care at numerous national and international conferences, including for the International Society for Heart & Lung Transplantation. Dr. Lima is also a best-selling author of Heart to Beat – a surgeon’s story of success and overcoming adversity.
Dr. Lima graduated Magna Cum Laude in Chemistry from Cornell University and received his medical degree from the Duke University School of Medicine. During medical school, Dr. Lima was a recipient of the prestigious Stanley J. Sarnoff research fellowship award in cardiovascular sciences, which funded a year of investigation at the Transplantation Biology Research Center of the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He completed his residency in general surgery along with a cardiovascular research fellowship at Duke University Medical Center. He then completed his heart surgery training at the Cleveland Clinic, where he received the Dr. Charles H. Bryan Clinical Excellence Award in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. He served as an Associate Professor of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell.
For Dr. Lima, a fascination with advanced medicine and a passion for helping people go hand in hand. “The science behind heart transplantation is so exciting. The potential to save so many lives with such a precious resource to see the heart beating on its own after having been out of a body from somewhere else, hundreds of miles away it’s just magic,” he says. “There’s nothing else like that.”