Cardiac Surgery at University of Miami Health System

Safe Cardiac Surgeries During COVID-19

Cardiac surgeries continue at U Health during COVID-19.

Dr. Joseph Lamelas is Chief of Cardiac Surgery at UHealth, the University of Miami Health System. For more information on a minimally invasive approach to cardiac surgery or to make an appointment, call 305-689-2784 or visit the UHealth health news blog.


The COVID-19 pandemic has people with underlying medical conditions -- including those with heart issues -- on high alert. For those with urgent cardiac needs, Dr. Joseph Lamelas, Chief of Cardiac Surgery at University of Miami Health System, continues to treat the most complex cases.

“In my profession, people continue to get sick and to have cardiac pathologies,” says Dr. Lamelas. “It’s very important to continue operating and helping people that are sick.”

Dr. Lamelas is the pioneer of a minimally-invasive approach to complex heart procedures like mitral valve repair and replacement of the ascending aorta of the heart. He says the hospital stay for patients undergoing minimally-invasive surgery is typically three to four days.

“Minimally invasive surgery offers the patients the ability to recover a lot quicker and it decreases the resources used by the hospital,” he says.

At UHealth, Dr. Lamelas and his team have taken every measure to protect against the spread of COVID-19, including testing patients for the virus before and after surgery. They’ve also taken on a new role of care now that loved ones are no longer allowed in the hospital.

“Patients undergo a major operation and then we essentially become their family members afterward,” says Dr. Lamelas. “We stay in very close communication with the families.”

As always, the UHealth cardiac rehab team helps patients get back on their feet as quickly as possible following their procedure. We have a very impressive and aggressive inpatient rehab team that works with the patients on a daily basis, even the night of the operation,” says Dr. Lamelas.

“Our goal is to get patients out of bed, ambulating and discharged as soon as possible.”


Focusing on You: Innovations in Modern Medicine is a series of healthcare-related stories airing regularly on WPLG Local 10. For more stories like this one, visit YouTube channels for UHealth, the University of Miami Health System.

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