expert type icon EXPERT

Dr. Hazem Y. Afifi, M.D.

Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Dr. Hazem Y Afifi M.D. is a top Cardiothoracic Surgeon in Las Vegas, . With a passion for the field and an unwavering commitment to their specialty, Dr. Hazem Y Afifi M.D. is an expert in changing the lives of their patients for the better. Through their designated cause and expertise in the field, Dr. Hazem Y Afifi M.D. is a prime example of a true leader in healthcare. As a leader and expert in their field, Dr. Hazem Y Afifi M.D. is passionate about enhancing patient quality of life. They embody the values of communication, safety, and trust when dealing directly with patients. In Las Vegas, NV, Dr. Hazem Y Afifi M.D. is a true asset to their field and dedicated to the profession of medicine.
30 years Experience
Dr. Hazem Afifi, M.D.
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Albany Medical College
  • Accepting new patients

Can arrhythmia cause a heart attack?

It depends on the arrhythmia. A supra ventricular arrhythmia involving the atrium, atrial flutter or atrial fibrillation is unlikely to cause a heart attack although the latter READ MORE
It depends on the arrhythmia. A supra ventricular arrhythmia involving the atrium, atrial flutter or atrial fibrillation is unlikely to cause a heart attack although the latter if very rapid or for an extended period will stress your heart which can, in turn, cause a heart attack. A ventricular arrhythmia, however, is much more harmful and can be fatal, both of which can be the result rather the cause of a heart attack. Both require immediate defibrillation by electric paddles to prevent imminent death.

What causes breathing problems after open heart surgery?

Breathing problems can be common very early after heart surgery. The most common reason is some degree of fluid overload due to fluid shifts from the surgery or postoperatively. READ MORE
Breathing problems can be common very early after heart surgery. The most common reason is some degree of fluid overload due to fluid shifts from the surgery or postoperatively. This can be treated with diuretics to help the kidneys remove excess fluid. Other causes can be excess fluid outside the lungs in the chest or around the heart which may need to be drained and can be detected by a chest Xray. An echocardiogram of the heart is very useful to determine heart function and to evaluate proper functioning of the cardiac structures as well.

Can you have a heart attack without knowing it?

A heart attack can manifest in several ways. Although chest pain or discomfort sometimes with radiation to the arm or jaw, many patients may never know they have had a heart attack. READ MORE
A heart attack can manifest in several ways. Although chest pain or discomfort sometimes with radiation to the arm or jaw, many patients may never know they have had a heart attack. This is most common in diabetes which affects the nerves of the heart as elsewhere in the body so pain is usually not as pronounced. In diabetics, nausea, vomiting, and profuse episode of sweating can be the only signs of a heart attack. In non-diabetics, a sensation of heartburn or indigestion can occur.

When should you go to the ER for tachycardia?

If the heart rate is causing chest pain or shortness of breath, or if consistently rapid above 120, then urgent medical attention should be sought. In general, a resting heart READ MORE
If the heart rate is causing chest pain or shortness of breath, or if consistently rapid above 120, then urgent medical attention should be sought. In general, a resting heart rate should be less than 100, and it is even lower, close to 60 in more younger and fit individuals.

What does pain in the left arm feel like during a heart attack?

A dull persistent pain radiating down the left arm associated with chest pain or pressure or a heaviness in the chest and arm is a sensation often described by those having a heart READ MORE
A dull persistent pain radiating down the left arm associated with chest pain or pressure or a heaviness in the chest and arm is a sensation often described by those having a heart attack.

Can you have heart attacks after stents?

A heart attack can occur after stents. It is essential to follow the instructions of your cardiologist regarding taking prescribed medications, especially blood thinners which READ MORE
A heart attack can occur after stents. It is essential to follow the instructions of your cardiologist regarding taking prescribed medications, especially blood thinners which are essential to maintain patency (flow) of the stents, particularly newer drug-eluding stents that require a year of blood thinners. Diabetics have been show to have a high rate of in-stent stenosis (recurrent narrowing of stents) than non-diabetics. Smoking after stents also can contribute to disease after stents and increase a chance of a heart attack.

How long does it take to recover from a pacemaker surgery?

The recovery period after a pacemaker is very brief, usually a few days. It often performed with sedation. A sling is often given after this procedure to prevent dislodgment READ MORE
The recovery period after a pacemaker is very brief, usually a few days. It often performed with sedation. A sling is often given after this procedure to prevent dislodgment of the pacemaker but patients usually recover quickly.

How long does open heart surgery take?

The length of open heart surgery procedure is dependent on many factors; the most important factors are the type of surgery required and the surgeon performing the procedure. READ MORE
The length of open heart surgery procedure is dependent on many factors; the most important factors are the type of surgery required and the surgeon performing the procedure. The surgeon doing this would be the best person to ask.

What are some risks of lung surgery?

If there is significant blood or fluid that cannot be drained by non-surgical approaches adequately, then surgery would be best to performed without delay of weeks or months, especially READ MORE
If there is significant blood or fluid that cannot be drained by non-surgical approaches adequately, then surgery would be best to performed without delay of weeks or months, especially if this is blood. Blood, when undrained, can organize and be difficult to evacuate. Furthermore, the lung will be compressed and will develop an inflammatory layer on its surface that can scar and "entrap" the lung making expansion of the lung difficult later.

Is it possible to live with one lung?

It is possible to live with one lung. There are circumstances, usually lung cancer that require removal of the entire lung, but this is quite uncommon. A patient with one lung READ MORE
It is possible to live with one lung. There are circumstances, usually lung cancer that require removal of the entire lung, but this is quite uncommon. A patient with one lung can maintain a reasonable lifestyle, but may require oxygen with exertion or at night.

After my bypass surgery, I am having heavy bleeding during my periods. Could there be a connection?

After bypass surgery, blood thinner medications are commonly prescribed in the initial post-operative period for several months. Check with your pharmacist or physician to review READ MORE
After bypass surgery, blood thinner medications are commonly prescribed in the initial post-operative period for several months. Check with your pharmacist or physician to review these medications as many generic medications are potent blood thinners. Bypass surgery alone should not worsen bleeding or affect your periods. If the medications are not a factor, you should consult with your GYN specialist to ensure there is no other issue.

My son is 8 years old and has been detected with a hole in the heart. Is surgery the only option?

A hole in the heart requiring surgery is most commonly known as an ASD or VSD (Atrial septal defect or ventricular septal defect). A VSD is most often detected in the first few READ MORE
A hole in the heart requiring surgery is most commonly known as an ASD or VSD (Atrial septal defect or ventricular septal defect). A VSD is most often detected in the first few years of life. Indications for repair of an ASD depend on size, the degree of shunt (blood flow moving from the left to the right side of the heart) and symptoms. If your child is now 8 before it has been diagnosed, the shunt may have not caused severe symptoms. An untreated ASD can continue to place stress on the right side of the heart.
There are new techniques that are percutaneous to place a device to close the hole but they are only used for small ASDs and there is a possibility of a persistent residual hole. If the ASD is large, surgery is the best option to permanently close the hold with few complications. Discussion with an experienced pediatric cardiologist is important to determine how big and the what timing of intervention is needed for your child.

I have been detected with a growth in my esophagus. Should I consult a cardiothoracic surgeon?

A growth in the esophagus, even if not cancerous, can grow and cause symptoms. It would be helpful to consult a cardiothoracic surgeon who is specialized to perform esophageal READ MORE
A growth in the esophagus, even if not cancerous, can grow and cause symptoms. It would be helpful to consult a cardiothoracic surgeon who is specialized to perform esophageal procedures.

What are the risks of an open heart surgery for a hypertension patient?

Although open heart surgery is a serious operation with risks, there are many other factors more important which will affect his outcome. Hypertension alone carries little risk READ MORE
Although open heart surgery is a serious operation with risks, there are many other factors more important which will affect his outcome. Hypertension alone carries little risk in open heart surgery.

What happens in a person to trigger a myocardial infarction?

It is commonly thought that stress or exertion can precipitate a myocardial infarction. However sometimes there are no specific causes that can trigger a myocardial infarction. READ MORE
It is commonly thought that stress or exertion can precipitate a myocardial infarction. However sometimes there are no specific causes that can trigger a myocardial infarction. It is not uncommon for patients to say they were resting in bed, awakened during sleep or siting in a chair and suddenly experienced chest pain or shortness of breath. Patients can have progressive plaque buildup and when it reaches a critical level, or disruption of a plaque, this can cause sudden symptoms.

My 4 year old son recently has an irregular heartbeat. Would he need a transplant in the future?

The need for a heart transplant is evaluated on many factors, most important of which is heart function. A irregular heart beat may be a manifestation of a weak functioning heart. READ MORE
The need for a heart transplant is evaluated on many factors, most important of which is heart function. A irregular heart beat may be a manifestation of a weak functioning heart. A pediatric cardiologist who specializes in this field will need to moniter his heart function, most likely with periodic echocardiograms, and assess his response to medical treatment.
If he ultimately needs one, his doctor will place him on a transplant list which has many factors to determine a possible match for him. Only after he has surgery, will they determine if accepts the transplant.

What is the difference between a cardiologist and cardiothoracic surgeon?

A cardiothoracic surgeon performs the invasive procedures such as coronary bypass surgery and valve replacement or repair. A cardiologist performs the diagnostic procedures but READ MORE
A cardiothoracic surgeon performs the invasive procedures such as coronary bypass surgery and valve replacement or repair. A cardiologist performs the diagnostic procedures but also performs percutaneous procedures such as placing stents for coronary artery disease.

My son has a hole in the heart. What is the treatment procedure?

A hole in the heart is called PFO (patent foramen ovale), which is quite common, often present in about 10% of the population and usually clinically insignificant with no symptoms READ MORE
A hole in the heart is called PFO (patent foramen ovale), which is quite common, often present in about 10% of the population and usually clinically insignificant with no symptoms requiring no treatment. However, a larger hole is called an ASD (Atrial Septal Defect), which will require closure. The size of the hole and the difference in pressure between the right and left side of the heart will dictate if a procedure is needed to close this. This information can be obtained by an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart). A small ASD can sometimes be treated by a small closure device done without major surgery while a larger hole will require open heart surgery. It is rare for this to recur after open heart surgery and the former procedure may have a small rate of recurrence as it is a relatively newer technique that is used.

I have chest soreness and radiating pain. Is this due to pleurisy or costochondritis?

Radiating pain is sometimes difficult to diagnose by subjective description alone. Costochondritis is most likely if there is point tenderness anteriorly on the chest near a rib. READ MORE
Radiating pain is sometimes difficult to diagnose by subjective description alone. Costochondritis is most likely if there is point tenderness anteriorly on the chest near a rib. Pleurisy is less defined and is inflammation of the pleura or lining of the chest, which is worse with inspiration and usually not affected by palpation. Both, however, should improve with analgesic medication especially NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or tylenol. If the pain radiates down the left or both arms, causes tightness in the jaw or radiates to the back, or if it causes major shortness of breath or sweating than medical attention is needed and a chest X-ray is helpful to rule out common but serious other medical issues such as a collapsed lung, underlying early pneumonia, or other issues. A cardiac problem is uncommon in a person of your age who is otherwise healthy, but it should not be dismissed completely if symptoms persist.

Will diastolic dysfunction lead to heart failure?

When the heart beats, it contracts and then relaxes. Diastolic dysfunction is incomplete relaxation of the heart. Almost half of all patients who have this have normal contractility READ MORE
When the heart beats, it contracts and then relaxes. Diastolic dysfunction is incomplete relaxation of the heart. Almost half of all patients who have this have normal contractility or what is called ejection fraction, the percentage that the heart contracts with every beat. Diastolic dysfunction can occur with age, but probably the most common cause is uncontrolled hypertension, or high blood pressure. Patients who have normal heart function but have severe hypertension can present in congestive heart failure with fluid overload and severe shortness of breath. There are many excellent medications that are available to treat high blood pressure and if it is well controlled, then diastolic dysfunction is minimized.