Umer Mansoor Darr, MBBS, is a Yale Medicine thoracic surgeon specializing in complex aortic and heart valve surgery. He is chief of cardiac surgery at Bridgeport Hospital and an assistant professor of surgery (cardiac surgery) at Yale School of Medicine.
In 2016, Dr. Darr participated in the first transcather aortic valve replacement (TAVR) at Bridgeport Hospital. TAVR is an option for high-risk patients who are not eligible for traditional heart surgery. Surgeons run a catheter through an artery to place an artificial valve in the heart.
Acknowledging that genetics are often a key factor in whether an individual gets heart disease, Dr. Darr nonetheless urges people whose family histories that put them at risk to adopt healthy lifestyles, believing strongly that such efforts make a difference.
“We can’t change who our parents and grandparents are, so we have to focus on risk factors in heart disease that are modifiable, such as cholesterol profiles and smoking habits, and controlling diabetes and high blood pressure,” Dr. Darr says. “If you’re genetically disposed to heart disease, you can delay the onset by having good habits.”