Finding Her Path
Dr. DiStefano is an anesthesiologist and interventional pain medicine physician who trained in minimally invasive pain interventions at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. At this world-class institution, she had the privilege of learning under the founders of interventional pain medicine, and the invaluable opportunity to treat patients who were dealing with some of the most complex and challenging chronic pain cases in the world.
After her studies, Dr. DiStefano began her career with an internship in general surgery, followed by residency training in anesthesiology. Though she was fascinated by and surpassingly proficient in critical care and anesthetic management, she yearned to engage in a deeper physician-patient healing relationship. She experienced that kind of interaction during her chronic pain rotations, which included profoundly gratifying encounters with inspiring patients who were fighting debilitating pain conditions. These early experiences, coupled with her innate appreciation of the overwhelming, crippling, and all-consuming nature of chronic pain, led her to advance her training and further her proficiency in the newest, state-of-the-art techniques to manage the most challenging chronic pain conditions.
Youmna DiStefano, MD
Living Her Purpose
Ultimately, Dr. DiStefano followed her heart, and now specializes in the treatment of various pain syndromes including spine pain, joint pain, failed spine surgery, cancer pain, abdominal and pelvic pain, and difficult-to-treat pain conditions such as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, facial pain, headaches, and various neuralgias. Much of her work to help clients relieve and manage pain focuses on minimally invasive, same-day procedures for the treatment of spine and joint pain. These include epidural injections, facet injections and ablation, endoscopic microdiscectomy, spinal cord stimulation, vertebroplasty, joint injections, and regenerative medicine modalities.
Over the course of her career, Dr. DiStefano has published eleven peer-reviewed studies in the fields of Pain Medicine, Anesthesiology, and General Surgery. In 2016, her excellence in research was recognized by the New York Medical College, which presented her with the honorary Chairman’s Recognition Award for her determination and commitment to advancing the Science of Anesthesiology.
Dr. DiStefano is passionate about educating her patients, and empowering them to achieve sustainable pain control, improve their quality of life, and minimize the need for narcotic medications. In addition to being highly proficient in the delivery of a wide range of procedures, she also advocates strongly for the coordinated treatment of the psychosocial and emotional aspects of pain. Taking a holistic, patient-centric approach, she is deeply intentional about incorporating modalities and healing elements that ensure the best mental-emotional experience for her patients.
Many aspects of her personal life have also informed Dr. DiStefano’s approach to medicine. In addition to growing up in a culturally diverse family, she has lived in many parts of the world—including Ecuador, Lebanon, and France—before settling in Florida. Her life experiences have helped her become the caring, compassionate physician she is today. Patients often comment on her exceptional bedside manner, and her ability to communicate fluently in Spanish, French, French-Creole, and Arabic help her deliver more accessible, culturally appropriate care.
When not at work, Dr. DiStefano can be found paddle-boarding along the Fort Lauderdale intercoastal, running on a pier, or at home baking a “healthified” dessert.
- DiStefano Y, Cvetkovic D, Malekan R, McGoldrick K. Anesthetic Management of Combined Heart-Liver Transplantation in a Patient With Ischemic Cardiomyopathy and Cardiac Cirrhosis: Lessons Learned. J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2016 May; S1053-0770(16): 30159-8. Cited in PubMed; PMID: 27567415.
- Cvetkovic D, Giamelli J, Lyew M, Erb M, Sett S, DiStefano Y. Hybrid Stage I Procedure as Initial Palliation for Neonate With Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and Right Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. Semin Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2017 Jan; 1:1089253216687856. Cited in PubMed; PMID 28100120.
- DiStefano Y, Lazar M. Successful Ultrasound-Guided Femoral Nerve Blockade and Catheterization in a Patient with Von Willebrand Disease. Case Rep Anesthesiol. 2015 May; 2015(2015): 106306. Cited in PubMed; PMID: 26113995
- DiStefano Y (Abi-Haidar Y), Bairamian M. Comment: Dexamethasone, Light Anaesthesia, and Tight Glucose Control (DeLit) Randomized Controlled Trial. Surv Anesthesiol. 2014 Feb; 58(1): 37-39.
- DiStefano Y (Abi-Haidar Y), Bairamian M. Comment: Economic Trends from 2003 to 2010 for Perioperative Myocardial Infarction: A Retrospective, Cohort Study. Surv Anesthesiol. 2015 Feb; 59(1): 45-47.
- Eberlin K, Vyas RM, DiStefano Y (Abi-Haidar Y), Sethna N, Hamdan UH. Adult Cleft Lip Repair Under Local Anesthesia: An Effective Technique in Resource-Poor Settings. Cleft Palate Craniofac. J. 2013 Jan; 50(1): 59-63. Cited in PubMed; PMID: 22303999.
- DiStefano Y (Abi-Haidar Y), Sanchez V, Williams SA, Itani KM. Revisiting Percutaneous Cholecystostomy for Acute Cholecystitis Based on a 10-Year Experience. Arch Surg. 2012 May; 147(5):416-422. Cited in Pubmed; PMID: 22785633.
- DiStefano Y (Abi-Haidar Y), Sanchez V, Itani KMF. Risk Factors and Outcomes of Acute versus Elective Groin Hernia Surgery. J AM Coll Surg. 2011 Jun; 213(3): 363-369. Cited in PubMed; PMID: 21680204.
- DiStefano Y (Abi-Haidar Y), Gupta K, Strymish J, Williams SA, Itani KM. Factors Associated With Post-operative MRSA Conversion or Infection in MRSA-Negative Patients. Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2011 Dec;12(6):435-442. Epub 2011 Dec 5. Cited in PubMed; PMID: 22142319.
- Sanchez V, DiStefano Y (Abi-Haidar Y), Itani KM. Mesh Infection in Ventral Incisional Hernia Repair: Incidence, Contributing Factors, and Treatment. Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2011 Jul; 12(3): 205-210. Cited in PubMed; PMID: 21767146.
- Gupta K, Strymish J, DiStefano Y (Abi-Haidar Y), Williams SA, Itani KM. Preoperative Nasal Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Status, Surgical Prophylaxis, and Risk-Adjusted Postoperative Outcomes in Veterans. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2011 Aug; 32(8): 791-796. Cited in PubMed; PMID: 21768763.