by Jeff Zbar
Updated 2 yearss ago
Heart disease is the leading cause of death of men and women worldwide. At the Cardiovascular Program at UHealth - the University of Miami Health System, renowned physician scientists are combatting this epidemic with a combination of world-class care and innovative treatments found nowhere else in the world.
Backed by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, UHealth’s cardiovascular program provides advanced, innovative care, minimally invasive cardiac surgery, and access to a wide range of clinical trials to treat the most complex cases. Working in a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach, UHealth’s commitment to breakthrough translational research and innovative clinical care delivers more personalized clinical treatment that saves lives.
This pioneering approach is taking cardiovascular care far beyond the commonly used practice model, notes Division Chief Jeffrey J. Goldberger, M.D., M.B.A.
“Our researchers and physician-experts are conducting leading-edge research and trials, applying state-of-the-art discoveries from around the U.S. and the world, and offering new therapies to our patients before they’re available elsewhere in the community,” Dr. Goldberger says. “We’re providing access today to what will become the future standards of care.”
INNOVATIVE PROCEDURES, A PROVEN APPROACH
The Cardiovascular Program at UHealth offers patients the full range of proven treatment protocols as well as the most advanced approaches to treating cardiovascular disease that keep the program on the forefront of heart health. These include:
- Advancements in treatment of atrial fibrillation (AFib). This heart rhythm condition, which affects 33 million people worldwide, can cause strokes and heart failure. Working internally and with colleagues at other research universities, physicians at the University of Miami Health System are involved in clinical testing of new approaches to catheter ablation, heart rhythm disorders, minimally invasive catheter ablation, and novel MRI mapping to improve treatment of AFib.
- Transradial Artery Access (TRA). Interventional cardiology procedures historically have been performed through the femoral artery in the groin. This can lead to higher rates bleeding and other complications. Access via the radial artery in the patient’s wrist reduces such complications and improves patient outcomes, especially in high-risk patients with heart attacks and who require immediate treatment, says Mauricio G. Cohen, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at UHealth.
- Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR). UM cardiologists were the first to perform TAVR in Florida. This procedure is a minimally invasive approach without open heart surgery to treat aortic valve disease. Patients with leaky mitral valves can be treated with the “mitral clip” procedure or transcatheter mitral valve repair.
- High-risk Complex Percutaneous Coronary Interventions and Chronic Total Occlusion Program. These programs apply highly specialized techniques to treat patients with complex disease or chronically occluded coronary arteries.
“We are able to offer hope to patients who were deemed too high-risk or complex to undergo open bypass surgery or stent procedures at other institutions,” said Carlos Alfonso, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine and Fellowship Program Director.
In addition to advanced treatments developed through clinical studies, the chronic underlying conditions of cardiovascular disease are also addressed by the University of Miami Preventive Cardiovascular Program, led by nationally-known lipid expert Carl Orringer, M.D., and the Hypertension Clinic, headed by Maria Delgado-Lelievre, M.D. Both programs provide in-depth screening and innovative approaches to the treatment of chronic cardiovascular problems that contribute to bigger issues, such as heart attack and stroke.
Combined with progressive research programs in areas such as prevention of sudden cardiac arrest, ventricular arrhythmias, innovative minimally invasive cardiothoracic surgery, and advanced device interventions for treatment of coronary and valvular heart disease, the University of Miami is a national leader in treating the most complex cases of heart disease.
A MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAM APPROACH TO EVERY CASE
Leveraging a multidisciplinary team approach to detecting, diagnosing, and successfully treating a host of cardiovascular issues is a unique strength at the University of Miami Health System.
With a clinical structure unique to the region, and a rich environment for innovation and discovery, the cardiovascular team includes cardiac electrophysiologists, interventional cardiologists, and cardiothoracic surgeons; neurologists; radiologists and imaging specialists; and nurse coordinators who help patients navigate the program and protocols.
At the Comprehensive Atrial Fibrillation Center, for example, specialists include not only arrhythmia experts like Dr. Goldberger, but hematologists, neurologists, imaging radiologists, engineers, and endocrinologists.
“We look at each case from various perspectives, from clinical care to clinical and translational research,” says Dr. Goldberger, himself a renowned electrophysiologist. “We collaborate on each case so each patient receives a highly individualized solution that presents the best option for their unique condition.”
TREATING PATIENTS, NEAR & FAR
When a man in Monroe County suffered a massive heart attack, his life depended on fast care. EMS discovered him in full cardiac arrest, and an ambulance ride to the nearest hospital likely wouldn’t be quick enough to save him.
Thanks to the new collaboration between Monroe County and the University of Miami Health System, the patient was flown in a Fire-Rescue helicopter directly to the University of Miami hospital helipad.
There, the team of cardiologists at the University of Miami took over.
Weeks later, the man – who might otherwise have died of the heart attack – walked out of the hospital on the road to recovery.
Whether from across the region or from the Americas, patients travel for the world-class care found nowhere else but the Cardiovascular Division at the University of Miami Health System.
“As a research-based hospital and a trauma facility, it’s our mission to provide the best care to patients, no matter where they come from,” says Dr. Cohen. “This is especially true if they have a cardiac condition that requires a higher level of care found only at a multidisciplinary academic medical center.”
To learn more about the combination of world-class care and innovative procedures delivered by the renowned experts at the University of Miami Health System, visit UMiamiHealth.org/heart or call 305-243-5554.