Focusing on You: World-Renowned Cardiac Surgeon Performs Minimally Invasive Procedure

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Patients return to normal life after heart operation at UHealth.

In this segment, Joseph Lamelas, M.D., discusses aortic valve replacement, and how a minimally invasive procedure he pioneered is helping patients get back on their feet and back to their lives.

Juan Quesada is one of those patients.

Juan Quesada was born with a heart defect that caused an aortic aneurysm. In 2013, world-renowned cardiac surgeon, Joseph Lamelas, M.D., used a minimally invasive procedure to fix this life-threatening condition.

“We knew that at one point, my aortic valve needed to be replaced,” says Juan.

When Juan started having shortness of breath nine years later – he knew exactly where to go – to Dr. Lamelas at UHealth.

“The first time I did his operation, I replaced the ascending aorta through a minimally invasive approach,” Dr. Lamelas says. “Then he needed a re-operation for his aortic valve, so I did the operation through the same exact minimally invasive approach to replace the aortic valve.”

“Doctor, your minimally invasive techniques are better for a patient’s recovery, but this is still a big surgery, right?” asks anchor Pam Giganti.

“Psychologically, they progress a lot quicker because they don't feel that they've had a big operation, which in fact, they did have a big operation, but it was done with techniques that are lesser invasive. That reflects not only in the outcomes, but in the recovery, as well,” says Dr. Lamelas.

Juan had his surgery on January 10th. He was home in less than a week!

“To be able to walk out of the hospital in three or four days, that's amazing,” Juan says.

Juan is celebrating his new lease on life. He says never ignore symptoms and if you need heart surgery there is only one answer.

“Dr. Lamelas! He's the only one. He's the only one for me,” says Juan.


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