What’s TAVR?

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What’s TAVR?

What’s  TAVR?


Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement

A shiny, new, healthy valve was placed on the end of a catheter, passed along the femoral artery in the groin, deposited to the exact spot with mind-boggling precision, and the old diseased aortic VALVE was replaced!

There isn’t a mark on his chest.













This was done on a Friday and he came home the following Monday. A veritable modern miracle performed by miracle surgeons and nurses in a forward thinking, private sector hospital, right here in the heart of Palm Beach County Florida. JFK

JFK Medical Center     
5301 South Congress Avenue
Atlantis, FL 33462
(561) 965-7300


My letter of endorsement to the entire staff at JFK follows;

Dear Gina Melby,

I would have preferred giving you my endorsement in person. My Italian hands could have provided more emphasis where needed. An email might not convey the enormous gratitude I feel for the Medical-Surgical Team at JFK and the nursing staff.

My husband Alan H. Weigand, was the recipient of a new, functional and healthy Aortic Valve via the TAVR procedure on August 10. The highly skilled team is listed.

  • Robert Cubeddu, MD – Interventional Cardiologist
  • Marcos Nores, MD- Cardio-Thoracic  Surgeon
  • Lawrence Lovitz, MD-Interventional Cardiologist
  • Mark Rothenberg, MD-Interventional Cardiologist
  • Arvind Kapila, MD, Anesthesiology
  • Gayle Barbakoff, RN

They performed a veritable miracle reflecting their exceptional training and the greatness of our American Medical System.

Each one of them remembered the patient was real, with normal fears, and was attached to concerned family. It was a testimonial to the Hippocratic Oath where it all began.

He was successfully discharged on the 13th , 3 days later!

In addition, Angelica Patten, R.N., Nurse Navigator, was responsible for coordinating every facet of the entire miracle with the most exacting precision, never forgetting the Art of Medicine. I’m sure it was no easy task to put the patient, his family, and the doctors all “on the same page”. We all knew exactly what was going on at all times and… she made us all very happy.  She was my first encounter at JFK. Her role as Nurse Navigator was crucial to the success of the actual surgery.

Her assistants,

•          Melissa Almazan, RN

•          Darrell Adair, NMT (Nuclear Medicine Technologist

were perfectly coordinated with Angelica, the Doctors on the Team and with my husband and me.

As we all know the side-effects of the TAVR and any other surgery are considerable. Darrel knew I was aware and kept me informed during the surgery.  Half way through he called me personally and shouted, “THE VAVLE IS IN!!”

His kindness is innate and very much appreciated.  Darrell has become our very dear friend. Melissa’s smile and caring was very reassuring.

Understandably, being a New Yorker myself, I was planning on taking my husband to NY, specifically, Columbia P& S where I had done my Pre- Med training and where my children were born. No Florida hospital was considered.

At some moment, maybe divine intervention, I learned that JFK, a local hospital here in Florida, might be cleared by the FDA for the TAVR. I immediately asked Dr Abovich, our revered cardiologist, his opinion.  Fortunately he knew Dr. Kapila, the anesthesiologist at JFK personally and knew he was very competent.

After some research I came across Robert Cubeddu. MD, who was in Aventura and joining the staff at JFK.

Everyone I spoke to loved him. I was equally impressed. He gave me his cell phone number, was extremely cordial and I knew I was dealing with a real doctor.

It was obvious that he had not done the NY style thousands of patients, but I knew he had the spirit, determination and personality to become a huge success, and I was right!

Angelica took over from there and the rest is history… one outstanding talent after another.

So Gina Melby, your hospital saved me the trip to NY which definitely posed a risk. Your hospital shares the same talents as the big NY Centers. The only difference is in the warmth and friendship that goes with a local hospital.

Cherish these people. They will change the medical-surgical world and make you very famous!

Please feel free to call on me for any endorsements.

Very truly yours,

Constance Alfano-Weigand, MD,CCN,ND

Medical Consultant For Nutritional Medicine


“Where Alternative and Traditional Medicine meet for your good health”

About Dr. Cubeddu,

Because of the changes in Medicare (that’s a whole other story) I had to bring Alan to the hospital at 5: AM the morning of the surgery. I stayed until about 7 when they took him in. They said they were starting at 8: AM and it would be 3 to 4 hours. 

So I went back home to pick up Angela and spend some distracting time with Reagan and Elmo. Darrell called from the hospital after only 2 hours, “The valve is in”!  Of course we were absolutely jubilant!

The next call I got was from Dr. Cubeddu himself, “Where are you?” he said, “We’re done! Huge success! “. I told him I was a half hour away and that I wanted to hug him. “I’ll wait for you “, he said.
Could you believe it?

I rushed my daughter and Reagan into the car. When I got there he was still in scrubs leaning against his car reading a newspaper. There was hugging and tears and one of the most rewarding moments in my life took place.

The noble and respected field of medicine produced a true physician whose skill reached beyond the textbooks and licensing boards to the highest level of human expression.

Thank You Dr. Robert Cubeddu, and your entire staff. 

By | 2018-01-28T11:23:46+00:00 November 6th, 2012|ALFA NEWS|0 Comments

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