News : 2016 : December

Breathing Life, Hope, & Success into South Florida’s Thoracic Care

Thoracic case complexity – coupled with minimally invasive thoracic surgery (MITS) techniques – can equal outstanding outcomes and significantly reduce complications, especially in the hands of South Florida’s leading thoracic experts.

Employing MITS procedures such as video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) and robotic VATS (R-VATS) for anatomic lung resections including segmentectomies and lobectomies, the nationally renowned thoracic surgeons at Sylvester’s Comprehensive Cancer Center have seen a complication rate of just 20 percent – compared to the 40 percent national rate for open chest surgery. Recent outcome analysis indicates even more outstanding clinical short-term results.

“We use the most advanced technology available to perform MITS procedures,” says thoracic surgery chief Dao Nguyen, M.D., “whether it’s for sub-specialized thoracic oncology treatment, non-oncologic thoracic disorders, or providing multidisciplinary support for non-thoracic cancers, including head and neck, neurological, or gynecologic cancers.”

Rated among the top 10 programs in the country – and among the top five in the Southeast U.S. – these robotic thoracic surgical sub-specialists have performed hundreds of VATS lung resections and 400 R-VATS, making them the most experienced and sought-after experts in the region.

“We still have more to do for patients,” says thoracic surgeon and program co-leader Nestor Villamizar, M.D., “including establishing the Esophagus and Foregut Surgery Program incorporating MITS to treat benign and malignant esophageal disorders and the Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Program that incorporates cutting-edge surgical procedures and multi-modality treatment strategies.”

“Across the board, we’ve been able to achieve outstanding measureable outcomes for MITS particular robotic procedures, including reduced length of stay to an average of 3.2 days (compared to recently reported results from a national database indicating an average length of stay for similar procedures of 5 to 6 days), an operative mortality rate of 0.6 percent (compared to the reported peri-operative mortality of 1.5 to 1.8 percent or a 3-fold reduction), significantly less post-operative pain and early return to pre-operative daily and employment activity levels,” said Nguyen.

“Our team performs extremely complex intra-thoracic procedures,” he explains, “and we also function as a tertiary and quaternary referral center, accepting complex-case transfers from regional and international medical centers. It’s our goal and mission to save lives and if we can assist other specialists from around the world, we want to be here for them.”

To refer a patient to Sylvester call 1-844-900-UMMD (8663) and for patient consults, questions and coordination of care call 1-844-500-SCCC (7222).