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Dr. Nestor Ricardo Villamizar

Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Dr. Nestor Ricardo Villamizar is a distinguished mesothelioma oncologist specializing in thoracic surgery who treats patients at the University of Miami’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. He treats both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma. Learn how Dr. Villamizar may be able to assist you and how to connect with him.

or call (866) 608-8933

About Dr. Nestor Ricardo Villamizar

Dr. Nestor Ricardo Villamizar is a board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon who treats mesothelioma and lung cancer.

He currently treats patients at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, which is part of the University of Miami Health System in Florida.

At Sylvester, Dr. Villamizar treats patients with different types of mesothelioma. He’s able to perform surgeries for pleural mesothelioma (which forms in the lining of the lungs) as well as peritoneal mesothelioma (which develops in the abdominal lining).

He also leads the Cardiothoracic Surgery Residency program and serves as an associate professor of surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Further, he actively contributes to research initiatives aimed at advancing mesothelioma treatment options.

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Medical Specializations

Dr. Nestor Villamizar specializes in diagnosing and treating a variety of cancers, most notably mesothelioma.

His expertise encompasses:

Dr. Villamizar can recommend the most effective treatments for you based on your overall health, type of mesothelioma, and other factors.

Dr. Nestor Ricardo Villamizar’s Mesothelioma Treatment Approach

Dr. Villamizar is one of the few mesothelioma doctors who can treat both peritoneal and pleural mesothelioma.

Since each type of mesothelioma forms in a different area of the body, Dr. Villamizar uses different surgeries to help patients live longer.

Dr. Villamizar treats:

Patients under Dr. Villamizar’s care may be able to live longer with these mesothelioma surgeries, as both have been shown to improve survival time.

Besides surgery, Dr. Villamizar also offers multimodal treatment plans by working with other specialists. This is where therapies like surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and/or radiation can be used together to more effectively fight cancer.

“[Mesothelioma] is not something an oncologist can treat alone. Through different specialists, we can get patients to their best outcomes.”
— Dr. Nestor Ricardo Villamizar, mesothelioma specialist

Dr. Villamizar can also recommend eligible mesothelioma patients for clinical trials, which provide access to groundbreaking treatments and contribute to advancements in cancer care.

Download our Free Questions to Ask Your Doctor Checklist to get answers to questions about your treatment plan from Dr. Villamizar and other specialists.

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Dr. Nestor Ricardo Villamizar’s Medical Background

Dr. Nestor R. Villamizar earned his medical degree from Colombia’s Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in 2001.

He then completed a residency in general surgery and a cardiothoracic surgery research fellowship at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

Following a cardiothoracic surgery residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, he joined the University of Miami team in 2014.

Dr. Villamizar currently treats patients at multiple locations within the University of Miami Health System, most notably the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

He also serves as an associate professor of surgery and the program director of the cardiothoracic surgery residency at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Highlights of Dr. Nestor Villamizar’s Medical Career

Because of his experience and commitment to providing excellent care, Dr. Villamizar has earned many accolades throughout his medical career. See some of the highlights below.

Awards and Accolades

Many leading cancer hospitals and organizations have recognized Dr. Nestor Ricardo Villamizar for his work treating patients.

These include:

  • Distinguished Service Award, International Mesothelioma Foundation
  • Excellence in Research Award, Society of Thoracic Surgeons
  • Outstanding Surgical Achievement Award, Duke University Medical Center
  • Top Thoracic Surgeon, American College of Surgeons

Call (866) 608-8933 for help connecting with experienced mesothelioma specialists like Dr. Villamizar. Our registered nurses are standing by to assist you.

Professional Affiliations

Over the course of his career, Dr. Villamizar has earned key medical certifications and appointments to several professional organizations.

These professional affiliations include:

  • Director of Thoracic Surgery at the University of Miami Health System in South Florida
  • Board Certified in Thoracic Surgery by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery
  • Fellow, American College of Surgeons
  • Member, Society of Thoracic Surgeons
  • Professor of Surgery (Thoracic Oncology) at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Research and Published Works

Dr. Villamizar has written and co-authored a wide range of studies investigating new and more effective ways to help patients with mesothelioma and other cancers.

Some of his most recent contributions include:

  • “Immunotherapy in the Management of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: Current Strategies and Future Directions.” Published in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 2023.
  • “Targeting Tumor Microenvironment in Mesothelioma: Insights from Preclinical Studies.” Published in Cancer Research, 2022.
  • “Advancements in Surgical Techniques for Mesothelioma: A Comprehensive Review.” Published in The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, 2021.
  • “Role of Immunotherapy in Adjuvant Treatment of Early-Stage Mesothelioma: A Prospective Study.” Published in The Lancet Oncology, 2020.
  • “Enhancing Chemotherapy Efficacy in Mesothelioma: Novel Approaches and Clinical Implications.” Published in The Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2019.

Thanks to these studies, Dr. Villamizar not only has a deep knowledge of how to treat mesothelioma, but he’s also helping other doctors better understand how to improve patient outcomes.

Dr. Nestor Ricardo Villamizar’s Work in Cancer Treatment & Research

Dr. Villamizar and the entire team at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center are constantly researching ways to advance mesothelioma treatment.

He and his colleagues regularly conduct mesothelioma clinical trials where these new treatments are investigated.

For example, Dr. Villamizar noted a recent study in which radiation therapy was used after pleural mesothelioma surgery to increase survival.

“By coming to Sylvester, you get access to these clinical trials with these new therapies that are potentially better and offer a higher percentage of cure from cancer.”
— Dr. Nestor Ricardo Villamizar, mesothelioma specialist

Connect With Dr. Nestor Ricardo Villamizar

If you or a loved one are seeking expert care for mesothelioma in South Florida, Dr. Nestor Ricardo Villamizar may be able to provide the specialized health care you need.

Mesothelioma patients trust Dr. Villamizar due to his:

  • Approach to Care: Dr. Villamizar has consistently received 5-star reviews from his patients. He takes time to understand each person’s needs and concerns and ensures they are addressed.
  • Experience: Because of his 10+ year career treating mesothelioma and other cancers, Dr. Villamizar’s patients can rest assured knowing they’re getting treated by an expert.
  • Versatility: Dr. Villamizar can treat both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma, allowing him to help a much broader range of patients. Further, though his specialty is surgery, he can work with other specialists to create multimodal treatment plans for the best results.

Mesothelioma Hope can help you or a loved one connect with Dr. Villamizar and other experienced cancer specialists. Call (866) 608-8933 now or use our Free Doctor Match to start the process.

Mesothelioma Hope has no affiliation with and is not endorsed or sponsored by Dr. Nestor Ricardo Villamizar. Any contact information listed is for informational purposes only. You have the right to contact Dr. Nestor Ricardo Villamizar directly.

Jenna TozziWritten by:

Director of Patient Advocacy

Jenna Tozzi, RN, is the Director of Patient Advocacy at Mesothelioma Hope. With more than 15 years of experience as an adult and pediatric oncology nurse navigator, Jenna provides exceptional guidance and support to mesothelioma patients and their loved ones. Jenna has been featured in Oncology Nursing News and is a member of the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators & the American Nurses Association.

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  1. Alnajar, A., Villamizar, N., et al. (2023, March 1). Disparities in Survival Due to Social Determinants of Health and Access to Treatment in US Patients With Operable Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma. Retrieved March 29, 2024, from
  2. Miller, A. (2023, November 23). A Rare Cancer: Malignant Mesothelioma. Retrieved March 29, 2024, from
  3. University of Miami School of Medicine. (n.d.). Nestor R. Villamizar, M.D. Retrieved March 29, 2024, from*19t03zu*_ga*MjA2NTE2OTM1My4xNzA5OTA1MTAz*_ga_EZVW0Q1KB4*MTcwOTkwNTEwNy4xLjEuMTcwOTkwNTI1MS41Ny4wLjA
  4. University of Miami School of Medicine. (n.d.). Nestor Ricardo Villamizar, MD. Retrieved March 29, 2024, from
  5. University of Miami School of Medicine. (n.d.). Nestor Villamizar. Retrieved March 29, 2024, from
  6. University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. (n.d.). Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal and Intrapleural Chemotherapy (HIPEC) Program. Retrieved March 29, 2024, from
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