Name Of David Letterman’s Heart Surgeon

Lisa was recently diagnosed with severe mitral valve regurgitation due to due to mitral valve prolapse. That said, Lisa is currently searching for a heart surgeon. She writes to me, “Hi Adam: I live in New York…. And, I am curious… Do you know the name of David Letterman’s heart surgeon?”

David Letterman

As you may know, David Letterman had emergency heart surgery on January 14, 2000 at New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York. David Letterman’s surgeon was Doctor O. Wayne Isom, the Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Due to a blocked artery, Letterman had quintuple heart bypass surgery.

Dr. Wayne Isom - David Letterman's Heart Surgeon
Dr. Wayne Isom – Letterman’s Surgeon

As a result of heart surgery, Letterman missed his first television show in twenty years of late night entertainment. In total, Letterman was out for five weeks during his recovery. Upon Dave’s return to The Late Show, there was a week-long celebration featuring Jerry Seinfield, Julia Roberts, Rudy Giuliani, Bill Cosby, Regis Philbin, etc.

As for Doctor O. Wayne Isom, Letterman’s surgeon, he too is a very celebrated person. Recognition for Dr. Isom’s work includes:

  • The Greenberg Prize
  • The American Heart Association’s distinguished Bugher Foundation Award for Achievement in Cardiovascular Science and Medicine
  • The Hero With A Heart Award from the National Marfan Foundation
  • The first annual Humanitarian Award from the Larry King Cardiac Foundation
  • The NYSAE Education Research Foundation
  • The highly coveted Third Year Teaching Award from Weill Cornell Medical College’s medical students.

I hope that helps you better understand a little bit more about David Letterman’s heart surgery and Doctor O. Wayne Isom, Letterman’s heart surgeon. If you are looking for specialized heart valve surgeons in New York, you may also want to consider Dr. David Adams (for mitral valve surgery) or Dr. Paul Stelzer (for aortic valve surgery).

Keep on tickin!

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick

Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of

To learn how Adam has helped millions of people with heart valve disease, watch Adam's video, subscribe to his free newsletter, or visit his Facebook, or Twitter pages.

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