World-Renowned Cardiac Surgeon Performs Minimally Invasive Procedure

Patients Return to Normal Life After Heart Operation at UHealth

Joseph Lamelas, M.D., Chief and Program Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Miami Health System, 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.

Joseph Lamelas, M.D. is the Chief and Program Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Miami Health System. For more information about Dr. Lamelas and minimally invasive aortic valve replacement, click here or visit the UHealth blog.


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 Jan. 10. 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.


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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