Providing Expert Care for Complex Heart Surgery Patients
By: María Alejandra Pulgar
@marialepulgar – NAHJ #37172
The pioneer on transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) surgery in the United States, Dr. Robert Farivar, has joined the team at Kendall Regional Medical Center as Medical Director of Cardiovascular Surgery.
Prior to moving to South Florida, Dr. Farivar was the Chief of Cardiac Surgery at the Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. He has extensive experience in minimally invasive valve surgery, aortic and mitral valve replacement, a need he has observed in the aging population of South Florida.
“South Florida is attractive for so many reasons; the people, the weather, the diversity and the challenges!” says Dr. Farivar, adding that locally “there is not a lot of expertise in mitral valve repair and minimally invasive surgery of the heart. There is a lot of mitral disease, owing to the elderly population.”
Complex heart surgery is a very specialized field that requests extensive experience and preparations to increase success and Dr. Farivar is an expert in the field. He has published many papers and held lectures on the minimal invasive and small incision heart surgery procedures that help patients, especially the elderly, to recover and improve their health.
Detecting and preventing heart disease
Dr. Farivar is a heart surgeon who intervenes when patients are referred to him by their primary care physician or cardiologist. He recommends people to seek medical attention and follow up with their primary health providers when having symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, palpitations or a family history of premature cardiac death (younger than 65). “If you have a murmur, or a relative with heart failure, or a family member who has died below age 65 of a heart disorder, then it can be smart to see a cardiologist around the age of 40.”
“Most of the diseases are a combination of genetics and environment. The four preventable causes of heart disease are Smoking, High blood pressure, Diabetes Mellitus and High cholesterol.”
Integral care for those “faint of heart”
With an average patient age of 67 years old, Dr. Farivar and his team care for adults, from 20 to 100 in need of cardiac surgery, paying special attention to help them feel confident of the procedure they will have. “We keep all of our patients informed about what we plan, and we operate expeditiously, so they don’t feel that they have to wait too long. I give my patients my cell phone number so that we can keep in touch. We have a direct line to our office manager as well, all these to help avoid any problems.”
“It is important to have expertise in the people (the practitioners) and in the equipment. You should also trust that your doctor has your best interests at heart and that you can relate and communicate with your doctor.”
Dr. Farivar is very enthusiastic about joining the Kendall Regional team that cares for so many people in need of heart surgery. His experience and knowledge is an asset to continue developing their advanced cardiac programs that help enhance the quality of cardiovascular care for patients in Miami-Dade County.