World-Renowned Cardiac Surgeon Fixes Thousands of Hearts

2 min read  |  February 06, 2024  | 

Joseph Lamelas, M.D., Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at UHealth, the University of Miami Health System, discusses the 20th anniversary of the minimally invasive cardiac procedure he pioneered, known around the world as the Miami Method.

20th Anniversary of Minimally Invasive Heart Procedure “Miami Method”

“20 years goes by quickly.”

Joseph Lamelas, M.D., Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at UHealth, the University of Miami Health System, is marking the 20th anniversary of his Miami Method, a minimally invasive heart procedure that has revolutionized the way cardiac surgeries are performed, avoiding the need to open up the patient’s chest.

“I started making it less invasive, less traumatic. So, the operation today has evolved where the ribs are not even broken. I could do major operations replacing the aorta, the aortic valve, the ascending aorta through a five-centimeter incision without cracking the ribs at all.”

After more than two decades of fixing hearts with the minimally invasive procedure he pioneered, Dr. Lamelas continues to improve upon his technique. Here at UHealth, he trains surgeons from all over the world on this special life-saving surgery.

“I’ve had them come from Japan, from Australia, different parts of the world, but the majority come from the United States,” Dr. Lamelas explains. “The technique has definitely evolved over 20 years. Some of these instruments, I even developed to do the operation. These instruments are the ones that facilitate the operation and provide the exposure to work in a very limited field of vision.”

Dr. Lamelas has operated on more than 18,000 heart patients, many who send him cards every year, grateful for the gift of life.

“For 10, 15 years they send me cards and tell me how they’re doing,” Dr. Lamelas says.

“There’s no substitute for experience. It’s looking for better ways every day to make it better, improved, and more efficient. And obviously the end result is the patient benefits the most from it.”

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, cardiac surgeon, Dr. Joseph Lamelas, focusing on you, Miami Method, mitral valve repair

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