Pleural Mesothelioma
Lung Cancer
Pleurectomy and Decortication Surgery
Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery
American Board of Thoracic Surgery
Harvard Medical School (Fellowship)
Cardiothoracic Surgery
Procedures Offered:
Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery
Conditions Treated:
Esophageal Cancer
Lung Cancer
Pleural Mesothelioma
English, Spanish, French

About Dr. Nestor Villamizar

Dr. Nestor Villamizar joined the University of Miami Health System in 2014, bringing the surgical expertise he honed at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, where he worked closely with renowned surgeon Dr. David Sugarbaker.

Villamizar has built a similar mesothelioma program in South Florida, providing the same kind of multidisciplinary care in Miami that patients in the past had found only by traveling to Boston.

“What we hoped to replicate here was the best of the best,” he said. “We’re doing a lot of things now that we brought from Boston. We want the patients in Florida to have the opportunity to stay close to home and get the same great care.”

Villamizar performs the aggressive pleurectomy and decortication surgery often needed for pleural mesothelioma treatment, but he also has expertise in robotic-assisted, minimally invasive procedures for esophageal and mediastinal resections.

“To build a program like we have here, it’s not about one person. You need a real team in place to give these patients the specialized care they need with a disease as complex as this,” he said. “It’s not about a great surgeon taking care of a patient. It’s about a great team.”

In conjunction with thoracic medical oncologists and radiation oncologists, Villamizar offers multimodality therapy in treating chest wall tumors, locally advanced lung cancer and esophageal conditions.

“A lot of what we do here goes back to what we did, what I learned in Boston,” he said. “With this disease [mesothelioma], you become so emotionally attached to these patients.”

He is director of the Lung Cancer Screening Clinic in Miami. The clinic is designed to provide a much-earlier diagnosis of disease, giving patients a better chance of surviving with less-invasive surgery.

In 2022, Villamizar collaborated with the Initiative for Early Lung Cancer Research on Treatment and International Early Lung Cancer Action Program. The research focused on the emergence of hiatal hernias after thoracic surgery for early lung cancer.

Dr. Villamizar’s Role as Medical Reviewer on

Villamizar’s expertise in thoracic surgery and mesothelioma treatment make him qualified to serve as an expert contributor and reviewer for The Mesothelioma Center at His contributions and medical reviews ensure the information on pages throughout is

medically correct and up-to-date.

His leadership in thoracic care makes Villamizar an ideal contributor for The Mesothelioma Center at, the nation’s most trusted mesothelioma resource.

Specialties of Dr. Nestor Villamizar

  • Pleural mesothelioma
  • Pleurectomy and decortication surgery
  • Lung cancer
  • Esophageal and mediastinal resection
  • Minimally invasive robotic surgery
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
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Experience and Medical Education

  • University of Miami Health System
  • Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Fellowships)
  • Duke University Medical Center (Residency)
  • Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Facultad de Medicina, Bogota, Colombia (M.D.)

Awards and Recognition

  • Patients’ Choice Award

Publications of Dr. Nestor Villamizar

  • Razi, S.S. et al. (2020, June 1). Lobectomy does not confer survival advantage over segmentectomy for non-small cell lung cancer with unsuspected nodal disease. Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.
  • Razi, S.S. et al. (2019, February 7). Minimally invasive segmentectomy for early stage lung cancer gains momentum. Annals of Translational Medicine.
  • Villamizar, N. et al. (2010, December 14). Reproducibility of Left Atrial Ablation with High Intensity Focused Ultrasound Energy in a Calf Model. Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery.