Dr. Hazem Afifi is a cardiothoracic surgeon practicing in Las Vegas, NV. Dr. Afifi specializes in surgical procedues of vital organs in the chest such as the heart, lungs, esophagus and more. As a cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Afifi typically treats conditions like heart disease and lung disease. This class of surgeon can also include cardiac surgeons, cardiovascular surgeons, congenital heart surgeons and general thoracic surgeons.
Education and Training
Albany Medical College MD 1991
Cornell Medical Center Surgery 1996
SurgeryAmerican Board of SurgeryABS
Thoracic SurgeryAmerican Board of Thoracic SurgeryABTS
Dr. Hazem Y Afifi M.D.'s Expert Contributions
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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. READ MORE
PVCs are known as premature ventricular contractions. Although they can occur normally in all individuals, when they are frequent, one sometimes feels palpitations and it may cause lightheadedness. If the PVCs remain frequent, then the heart over time can become weaker resulting in a cardiomyopathy. Ablations are not always successful, but there are many medications that can minimize PVCs. I would consider Beta blocker medication prescribed by your doctor, which are very commonly prescribed. If PVCs remain frequent after 1 year, it is not unreasonable to see if second ablation by an experienced EP cardiologist is worth attempting. READ MORE
Caffeine is a stimulant, and it would be best to reduce to one cup per day. Stopping completely may increase some anxiety and may be counterproductive, but in general, minimizing caffeine before and after heart surgery for a couple of weeks is recommended. READ MORE
There are many causes of an enlarged heart, or cardiomegaly. Common causes include hypertension, coronary artery disease, valve disease or even fluid around the heart. It is very important to have a full workup of the heart and lungs to exclude common etiologies. Many of these causes are much less common at age 33, but determining which one is critical to take steps to treat this. Surgery is helpful in some of these diagnoses, but your doctor likely will use this as a last resort. READ MORE
Low hemoglobin, or anemia after heart surgery, is very common in the early postoperative period or even the first one to two months after heart surgery. However, two years after surgery should prompt a review of other causes of fatigue. There are many medications used after heart surgery which can contribute to fatigue, such as beta blockers, and others that can contribute to anemia, such as blood thinners. READ MORE
The recovery period after heart surgery is different for everyone, depending. READ MORE
Areas of expertise and specialization
- Society of Thoracic Surgeons
- Strong Mem Hsp U Rochester, Thoracic Surgery; Mem Sloan-Kettering Cancer Ctr, General Surgery; U Ma Mem Hlthcare-Univ Campus, General Surgery
- New York Presbyterian Hospital-New York Weill Cornell Center
- Summerlin Hospital Medical Center ( Las Vegas, NV )
- Spring Valley Hospital Medical Center ( Las Vegas, NV )
- Valley Hospital (Las Vegas, NV)
Dr. Hazem Y Afifi M.D.'s Practice location
Las Vegas, NV 89118Get Direction
LAS VEGAS, NV 89118Get Direction
Las Vegas, NV 89106Get Direction
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Get to know Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Hazem Afifi, who serves patients in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Currently licensed to practice medicine in Nevada, Arizona, and California, Dr. Afifi is a board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon who is in practice at Las Vegas Cardiovascular Surgeon Specialists in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Las Vegas Cardiovascular Surgeon Specialists can provide quality care to patients who have suffered a heart attack or have been diagnosed with heart, vascular, or lung disease that requires surgical intervention. Committed to fostering better patient outcomes, their traditional and minimally invasive procedures have given patients hope for a healthier life.
Among his professional experience, the doctor is affiliated with Spring Valley Hospital Medical Center, St. Rose Dominican Hospitals San Martin Campus, and Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. He is a member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
Additionally, he is board-certified in surgery by the American Board of Surgery, an independent, non-profit organization founded for the purpose of certifying surgeons who have met a defined standard of education, training, and knowledge. Likewise, he is board-certified in thoracic and cardiac surgery by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, an American surgical organization devoted to surgery of the chest.
Throughout his academic career, he earned his Medical Degree from Albany Medical College in Albany, New York in 1991. He then went on to complete an internship in general surgery at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts. This was followed by a residency in general surgery at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center, where he served as Chief Resident. He was a Research Fellow and Instructor in cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York, where he completed a fellowship in clinical cardiothoracic surgery.
Cardiothoracic surgery, also known as thoracic surgery is the field of medicine involved in surgical treatment of organs inside the thorax and general treatment of conditions of the heart and lungs. A cardiothoracic surgeon, like Dr. Afifi, is a medical doctor who specializes in surgical procedures of the heart, lungs, esophagus, and other organs in the chest.
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