Focusing on You: Doctor Seeks Out World-Renowned Cardiac Surgeon for Heart Procedure

2 min read  |  February 07, 2023  | 
Disponible en Español |

Joseph Lamelas, M.D., Chief and Program Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Miami Health System, explains how a minimally invasive procedure he pioneered is helping patients who need aortic valve replacement get back on their feet and back to their lives. Jeff Neale, M.D. is one of those patients.

Speedy Recovery for Patients Needing Aortic Valve Replacement


A routine physical revealed a serious heart condition Jeff Neale, M.D. didn’t even know he had.

“The heart was dilated because there was backflow of blood coming in from these two valves that I was born with,” says Jeff.

Jeff, a colorectal surgeon with a busy practice needed his aortic valve replaced and soon! That led him to Dr. Joseph Lamelas.

“His heart function was normal, but the ventricle was dilating. And that means that the valve was leaking for such a long time that it started putting pressure on the heart, and the heart started to grow,” Dr. Lamelas says.

At only 45-years-old, Jeff had no symptoms but was at risk of eventual heart failure. Dr. Lamelas performs a technique to access the aortic valve without opening up the chest.

“It’s a five-centimeter incision that occurs between the ribs. This technique does not require breaking the ribs. So there’s very little trauma to the chest wall,” says Dr. Lamelas.

The minimally invasive heart procedure pioneered by Dr. Lamelas allows patients like Jeff to be out of the hospital and back on their feet within days.

“He is, I feel the greatest to be able to do what he did,” Jeff says.

“With this procedure, two weeks later, a hundred percent normal lifestyle. No limitations at all,” Dr. Lamelas says.

Jeff is back home enjoying time with his wife and daughters. He can’t say enough about Dr. Lamelas and the UHealth team.

“You can’t argue with excellence, perfection, compassion, confidence, all rolled up into one,” says Jeff.

Video transcript compiled by Janna Ross for ‘Focusing on You: Innovations in Modern Medicine,’ a series of healthcare-related stories airing regularly on WPLG Local 10.  For more stories like this one, visit UHealth’s YouTube channel.

Tags: aortic valve, aortic valve replacement, bicuspid valve, Dr. Joseph Lamelas, focusing on you, Miami Method, minimally invasive

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