Yi Cai, MD
Locations and Appointments
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About Yi Cai, MD
Yi Cai, MD is an Assistant Professor and Director of Sleep Surgery at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She is driven by the desire to improve patients' sleep through innovative clinical and research approaches. As one of the few fellowship-trained sleep surgeons in the New York City area, Dr. Cai has expertise in the diagnosis and surgical management of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). She devotes significant attention to upper airway evaluation in personalizing treatment for her patients and offers the full spectrum of surgical sleep apnea care, ranging from nasal and pharyngeal surgery to skeletal surgery to hypoglossal nerve stimulation (Inspire therapy).
Dr. Cai received her undergraduate degree with honors from Harvard College and her medical degree from Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, where she was awarded the Coakley Memorial Prize and Donald M. Palatucci Prize. She then completed her residency in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco. There, she led quality improvement initiatives as a chief resident, received a Patient Care Fund Award, and served as Co-Chair of the UCSF Resident and Fellow's Council. Dr. Cai then completed fellowship training in both Sleep Medicine and Sleep Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania, a leading institution in sleep medicine care and research. During her fellowship year, she spoke at the premier global conferences in otolaryngology and sleep medicine as a podium presenter and panelist. She also received an award from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine Foundation to attend the Young Investigators Research Forum.
Dr. Cai's clinical expertise is uniquely strengthened by her research and academic experience. She is committed to the practice of patient-centered care and shared decision-making, which are topics that she has published on. She is also dedicated to advancing the field of sleep apnea surgery through research on the cardiometabolic outcomes of OSA surgery and the use of wearable technologies to enhance longitudinal care in OSA. Dr. Cai has served on hospital and national academic committees, mentored numerous medical trainees, and reviewed articles for various research journals. She has also published over 30 peer-reviewed research articles and textbook chapters, including first-author publications in JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, SLEEP, and Essential Sleep Medicine and Surgery.
Specialties & Expertise
- Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation
- Maxillary Expansion
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea Surgery
- Sleep and Snoring Disorders
- Sleep Apnea
- Sleep Apnea Surgery
- Sleep Endoscopy
- Snoring & Sleep Medicine
- Upper Airway Evaluation
- Medical School: Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons
- Residency: University of California, San Francisco
- Fellowship: University of Pennsylvania
Leadership, Titles & Positions
- Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at CUMC
- Director of Sleep Surgery at CUMC
- NewYork-Presbyterian / Columbia University Irving Medical Center
- NewYork-Presbyterian / Weill Cornell Medical Center
- NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital
- NewYork-Presbyterian Westchester