VA Miami Healthcare System

Quick Summary

U.S. veterans living with mesothelioma in Florida can get treatments through the VA Miami Healthcare System. The Miami VA is able to treat pleural mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma. The Mesothelioma Veterans Center can connect veterans to top mesothelioma doctors at this facility and others near you.

Address
Bruce W. Carter Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center
1201 Northwest 16th Street
Miami, FL 33125-1624

Section Chief of Thoracic Surgery
Dr. Dao Nguyen

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About the Miami VA

VA Miami Medical Center

The VA Miami Healthcare System is dedicated to improving the lives of veterans facing mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure.

Many veterans living in Miami were exposed decades ago while working with or around asbestos products on military bases, vehicles, Navy ships, and shipyards. It takes 10-50 years for mesothelioma to develop after exposure, and roughly 1,000 U.S. veterans are diagnosed with this cancer each year.

Thanks to the Miami VA’s close partnership with the University of Miami Health System, which has top mesothelioma doctors on staff, veterans can get the highest quality care possible.

Veterans with mesothelioma who are getting care through the Miami VA typically get treated at the Bruce W. Carter VA Medical Center. Miami VA and University of Miami doctors can treat both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma — the two main types of this cancer — at this facility.

Quick Facts About Miami VA Medical Center

  • Eligibility: Military service members or U.S. veterans with VA health care, as well as their family members
  • Facilities: Main campus in Miami and outpatient clinics in Key Largo, Key West, Hollywood, and Deerfield
  • Mesothelioma treatments offered: Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and more depending on a patient’s diagnosis
  • Veterans served: 63,000 in three South Florida counties — Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe

The Mesothelioma Veterans Center is here to assist veterans and loved ones facing a mesothelioma diagnosis in any way we can.

We can help veterans file for mesothelioma VA benefits so they can qualify for free or low-cost treatments from the Miami VA. Our on-staff nurses and patient advocates can also connect veterans with top cancer centers and doctors that are close by.

See what doctors at this location specialize in your diagnosis using our Doctor Match.

Free Mesothelioma Doctor Match for Veterans
  • Find top mesothelioma doctors near you
  • File for VA health care to cover costs
  • Get advice on the best treatments

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Miami VA Health Care Partnerships

The VA Miami Healthcare System is partnered with the University of Miami to provide care to veterans. In fact, the Miami VA’s main hospital — the Bruce W. Carter VA Medical Center — is part of the University of Miami’s medical campus.

Did you know?

The University of Miami is home to the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. This is just one of four treatment centers in Florida that has been awarded a comprehensive cancer care designation from the National Cancer Institute, showing that Sylvester provides the best cancer care possible.

As a result, veterans facing mesothelioma, lung cancer, or other asbestos-related diseases can get the highest-quality medical care due to the Miami VA’s close connections with these civilian hospitals.

Miami VA Health Care Mesothelioma Treatments

The Miami VA Medical Center offers several mesothelioma treatment options.

    These include:

  • Surgery for mesothelioma: Doctors may prescribe thoracic surgery to remove cancerous tumors and tissue from the body. Surgeries available through the Miami VA include extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP), pleurectomy with decortication (P/D), cytoreduction with HIPEC, and video-assisted surgeries.

  • Chemotherapy: This uses cancer-killing drugs to destroy cancer cells. Notably, Miami VA and University of Miami doctors can use HIPEC (heated chemotherapy) after surgery to treat peritoneal mesothelioma.

  • Radiation therapy: Also known as radiotherapy, this uses beams of energy to break up cancer tumors. Doctors at the University of Miami and the Miami VA have access to cutting-edge radiation technology to better help patients.

  • Clinical trials: These are studies that test new cancer treatments as well as different combinations of existing ones. Miami VA affiliate Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center is currently testing the use of radiation after surgery on pleural mesothelioma patients in one such trial.

Mesothelioma specialists at the Miami VA will carefully assess your case to see which treatments may work best for you.

Miami VA Health Care Mesothelioma Doctors

One of the most notable oncologists (cancer doctors) at the Miami VA is Dr. Dao Nguyen. He serves as the section chief of thoracic surgery at the University of Miami and has over 20 years of experience treating patients.

Dr. Nguyen has consistently received 5-star ratings from patients and has published several research articles on the treatment of pleural mesothelioma.

For patients with peritoneal mesothelioma, Dr. Nipun Merchant is a gastrointestinal surgeon who can treat patients using surgery and HIPEC.

Other mesothelioma doctors on staff include:

  • Dr. Alan Dal Pra, radiation oncologist
  • Dr. Gregory Kubicek, radiation oncologist
  • Dr. Estelamari Rodriguez, medical oncologist
  • Dr. Nestor R. Villamizar, surgical oncologist
  • Dr. Raphael Yechieli, radiation oncologist

On-staff mesothelioma doctors will work together to ensure each patient has the best chance of living longer.

“Cancer care requires a team of experts that are working together towards the benefit of the patient.”

— Dr. Nestor R. Villamizar, Miami mesothelioma surgeon

We can help you connect with doctors at the Miami VA or another hospital near you if eligible. Call (877) 450-8973 now to learn more.

Benefits of Getting Mesothelioma Treatments Through the Miami VA

U.S. veterans with mesothelioma can get the best care possible through the Miami VA. Learn about some of the unique benefits that the Miami VA offers below.

Treatment for Both Pleural and Peritoneal Mesothelioma

The Miami VA offers treatment for both pleural mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma.

Other VA hospitals — such as the VA Boston Healthcare System and the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center in California — also have highly qualified doctors on staff, but they only treat pleural mesothelioma (the most common type of this cancer).

Cutting-Edge Treatments

Each mesothelioma patient’s care plan will be unique to them, and Miami VA doctors have access to some of the newest and most effective treatments.

This includes the use of video-assisted surgery to remove cancer tumors while typically lowering a patient’s stay in the hospital and improving their recovery time.

Doctors at Sylvester also have access to multiple types of radiation, allowing them to deliver treatments more precisely. Radiation usually damages both healthy cells and cancer cells, but these radiotherapies do as little damage to healthy cells as possible.

Free or Low-Cost Cancer Care

Veterans with mesothelioma typically have little to no co-pays when they get treated through the Miami VA.

This is because the VA considers mesothelioma to be a 100% disability, and with VA health care, veterans with total disabilities pay the lowest premiums.

Did you know?

Veterans can also receive monthly VA disability compensation as part of their mesothelioma VA benefits package. Married veterans receive nearly $4,000 a month, and this money can be used to cover any remaining medical bills.

Additionally, veterans who must travel to get mesothelioma VA care may have their expenses reimbursed or covered by the VA.

We can help you file a VA claim or increase your existing disability rating to 100% for free if you have mesothelioma. Get started now.

Need help filing for VA benefits?

VA-Accredited Attorney Eric Hall (Major USAFR) can help you file for free.

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Help for Mesothelioma Through the Miami VA

The VA Miami Healthcare System can help U.S. veterans with mesothelioma living in south Florida get the care they need. Notably, it can treat veterans with either pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma — something that not many other VA facilities can do.

Consider working with the Mesothelioma Veterans Center to get the best care after a mesothelioma diagnosis.

Since our founding, we have helped thousands of veterans:

  • Access veterans benefits (or increase their VA rating to 100%)
  • Connect with top mesothelioma doctors and hospitals
  • Receive financial assistance

Don’t wait: Call (877) 450-8973 or get a Free Veterans Packet now. Our caring and dedicated patient advocates and VA-accredited attorneys are standing by to help you get care from hospitals like the Miami VA Healthcare System.

Veterans Support Team
Christopher Dryfoos PhotoWritten by:

Contributing Author

Christopher Dryfoos is a journalist and member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA). As the grandson of the U.S. Navy’s first forensic pathologist, he aims to help veterans with mesothelioma access needed care.

  1. National Cancer Institute (n.d.). Find a Cancer Center. Retrieved January 19, 2024, from https://www.cancer.gov/research/infrastructure/cancer-centers/find#Florida.
  2. University of Miami Health System. (n.d.). Where we learn. Retrieved January 19, 2024, from https://www.jmhpccm.com/home/where-we-learn.
  3. University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (n.d.). Dao M. Nguyen, M.D. Retrieved January 19, 2024, from https://med.miami.edu/faculty/dao-m-nguyen-md.
  4. University of Miami Health System (n.d.). Alan Dal Pra, MD. Retrieved January 19, 2024, from https://doctors.umiamihealth.org/provider/Alan+Dal+Pra/527356.
  5. University of Miami Health System (n.d.). Estelamari Rodriguez, MD. Retrieved January 19, 2024, from https://doctors.umiamihealth.org/provider/Estelamari+Rodriguez/1257821.
  6. University of Miami Health System (n.d.). Gregory Kubicek, MD. Retrieved January 19, 2024, from https://doctors.umiamihealth.org/provider/Gregory+Kubicek/2439602.
  7. University of Miami Health System (n.d.). Raphael Yechieli, MD. Retrieved January 19, 2024, from https://doctors.umiamihealth.org/provider/Raphael+Yechieli/524865.
  8. University of Miami Health System Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. (2023, March 21). Focusing on You: Hot Chemotherapy. Retrieved January 19, 2024, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_emcdQLaIcI.
  9. University of Miami Health System Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. (n.d.). Mesothelioma. Retrieved January 19, 2024, from https://umiamihealth.org/en/sylvester-comprehensive-cancer-center/treatments-and-services/lung-and-chest-cancer/mesothelioma.
  10. University of Miami Health System Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. (n.d.). Nestor Ricardo Villamizar, MD. Retrieved January 19, 2024, from https://doctors.umiamihealth.org/provider/Nestor+Ricardo+Villamizar/525395.
  11. University of Miami Health System Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. (n.d.). Nipun Merchant, MD. Retrieved January 19, 2024, from https://doctors.umiamihealth.org/provider/Nipun+Merchant/525206.
  12. U.S. News and World Report (n.d.). Dr. Dao Nguyen, M.D. Retrieved January 19, 2024, from https://health.usnews.com/doctors/dao-nguyen-26903.