The Columbia Diaphragm Center

An injured diaphragm can result in significant breathing issues that impact daily life. In serious cases, a diaphragm injury can result in a loss of speech and mechanical ventilation. The Diaphragm Center at Columbia University Irving Medical Center provides the most advanced diagnostic and treatment strategies available for diaphragm conditions.

Have you been diagnosed with a diaphragm disorder? Call (212) 305-3408 for existing patients, (212) 304-7535 for new patients to make an appointment with our team.

Our center grew out of a need to develop a comprehensive and focused program devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of diaphragmatic disorders. Most of these conditions are poorly understood by the general medical community. By gathering together some of the most experienced clinicians in this field, we are able to offer the most comprehensive and advanced care for our patients.


The Diaphragm Center team performs a high volume of diaphragm surgeries for diaphragm and phrenic nerve injuries. 

Call (212) 305-3408 for existing patients, (212) 304-7535 for new patients to make an appointment with an expert from the Diaphragm Center at Columbia.

Specific conditions we treat include:

  • Diaphragm paralysis and weakness: a disorder in which the diaphragm does not function as it should. This is due to a weakened signal from the phrenic nerve, or in rare cases, to the diaphragm itself.
  • Diaphragm eventration: a condition in which parts of the diaphragm are located in an abnormally high or elevated position in the chest. cause respiratory problems and exhaustion that can affect daily life. Caused by paralysis, aplasia, or muscular weakness.
  • Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome (CCHS): a genetic disorder that causes receptors in the brain to incorrectly monitor CO2 levels and the body is unable to constantly maintain a normal level of oxygen in the blood.
  • Morgani hernia: a condition in which there is a hole in front of the diaphragm, causing the liver and/or intestines to move up the chest cavity.
  • Bochdalek hernia: a disorder in which a hole in the side or posterior diaphragm, causing the stomach, liver, spleen and/or intestines to move up the chest cavity.
  • Hiatal hernias: occurs when the stomach pushes through the diaphragm via the hole that is usually for your food tube, or esophagus.
  • Para-Esophageal hernias: occurs when a small portion of the stomach squeezes through the diaphragm and remains next to the esophagus. This section of the stomach can have its blood supply constricted by the diaphragm and can cause chest and gastric pain, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, and stomach ulcers.


  • Diaphragmatic pacing / phrenic nerve pacing: a surgical treatment that postpones or eliminates the need for machine-assisted breathing in patients with diaphragm injury, weakness or paralysis
  • Diaphragm plication: a procedure in which the diaphragm is surgically put into its proper place to allow enough room for the lungs to breathe properly.  

To make an appointment with an expert from the Diaphragm Center, call (212) 305-3408 for existing patients, (212) 304-7535 for new patients.

Stories & Perspectives

After Plication, a Rock Singer Hits the Road Again

Charlie’s life was about his music and voice. So when a diaphragm injury threatened his livelihood, he turned to Dr. Mark Ginsburg and the Diaphragm Center for treatment. Now, Charlie’s back on stage and belting it out.


Thoracic Surgery ‒ Mark Ginsburg, MD


Johanna Deutsch, FNP-BC


Pulmonology ‒ William Bulman, MD


Thoracic Surgery ‒ Payne Stanifer, MD


Neurosurgery ‒ Christopher Winfree, MD


Radiology ‒ Jay Leb, MD



We're located at 161 Ft. Washington, New York, NY, the Herbert Irving Pavilion at Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

Call us to make an appointment or learn more

  • (212) 304-7535 for new patients
  • (212) 305-3408 for existing patients