Monthly Archives: April 2011
What a delightful afternoon with Dr. Renteria and Dr. Cecilia Villasante (Radiology)! Dr. Renteria works at the Centro Vascular del Country, which led me to suspect that he may no longer practice thoracic surgery.. But, happily, I was wrong.
While I enjoy meeting all the wonderful and interesting people from all surgical specialties (like the orthopedic surgeons I met with today), I can never deny how much I enjoy talking to people from my home specialties. Maybe it makes me a little less homesick for my patients because it’s all so familiar.. And it’s always thrilling to meet people who find empyemas, VATS and all these other things thoracic as interesting and engrossing as I do, especially when you meet people like Dr. Renteria, who still loves what he does as much as I do. He still enjoys discussing cases, and has a real enthusiasm for his patients.
And – He does esophagectomies! (Not many thoracic surgeons in Colombia perform esophageal surgery which is kind of like the ‘open heart’ surgery of thoracics*.) He completed his fellowship training in esophageal surgery at Toronto General Hospital with Dr. Pearson (Dr. F. Griffith Pearson of Pearson’s Thoracic and Esophageal Surgery) and currently does esophagectomies here in Bogota. (This is much bigger news than it sounds – finding qualified thoracic surgeons that perform an adequate number of esophagectomies can be difficult even in large centers. Currently, in my home state of Virginia – University of Virginia is home to the largest esophageal surgery center with three dedicated thoracic surgeons. Even my beloved Duke only does about 75-76 cases a year.)
So, I admit I lost a bit of my professional cool (if I ever had any). I was like a kid in a candy store – talking about pre-operative optimization, Ivor -Lewis versus Transhiatal approaches, node dissection and other minutiae that I enjoy.
I must say – I am looking forward to following him to the operating room soon!
** Studies show a significant decrease in morbidity and mortality when esophagectomies are performed by thoracic surgeons (versus general surgeons).
Spent the day with several surgeons from the Department of Orthopedics at Clinica San Rafael – which has a city-wide reputation for excellence.
Dr. Victor Lizcano, MD is the charming Chief of Orthopedics who opened his busy, 11 surgeon department to me. I watched surgeries, talked to patients, reviewed films, and interviewed the surgeons in his department, with free rein.
Dr. Maria Angela Gomez, MD, a busy surgeon who nevertheless took the time to talk to me; manages dual practices; both as a plastic surgeon (at Clinica de Marly) and an orthopedic (hand) surgeon. She’s currently involved in a very interesting research project – tell you more about it later… A very fascinating lady.
Dr. Martha Pincon, MD an orthopedic surgeon specializing in foot and ankle surgery, also a very interesting and enjoyable surgeon.
There’s a lot more to tell – but I have another interview in a few minutes..
Enjoy – a short ad for the Bogota Guide to Medical Tourism featuring Bogota’s Hottest Young Surgeons – including Dr. Juan Pablo Umana, Dr. Ivan Adolfo Santos, Dr. Juan Carlos Garzon, Dr. Freddy Sanabria and Dr. Felix Castro. If you haven’t heard about Bogota’s best and brightest – you haven’t heard anything yet.
Spent an enjoyable morning with Dr. Diego Pineros in the operating room at Clinica San Rafael, watching him operate on a four-month old girl. Surgery went well, with no intra-operative or post-operative problems.
Spent the remainder of the morning talking about cases, the history of cardiac surgery and seeing patients.
Like many of his counterparts here in Bogota, Dr. Pineros spends his “leisure time” in ways we might not expect. Right now, he is coordinating and arranging for his surgical team to fly to Tolima (300 miles away) to perform several pediatric cases over the weekend. The team will spend several days to make sure their little patients are well on the road to recovery before returning to Bogota, and to another full week of surgery. When asked about this, Dr. Pineros quickly shrugs off any praise – stating, “they need surgery, and there is no one [at that hospital] to do it. It’s hard on the families that travel to Tolima [from outlying rural communities] for care.”
Created a new advertisement for the book. Now, obviously for reasons of patient privacy, HIPAA and all of that – we’ve changed the names, and pictures of the people involved. (I did obtain permission from the patient to use surgery photos in print, video and other media).
This is the first in a series of ads for the book, so let me know what you think.
Going to heart surgery tomorrow – with one of the nicest people I’ve met since I’ve been here.. (Don’t worry, I’ll tell you all about it.)
Then, later this week, I have an appointment for an interview with a thoracic and vascular surgeon – I always said those two specialties combined are like dynamite..
Does it get any better than this? I’ll let you know.
(Cartagena Surgery News) But it certainly gets worse: over at our sister site we are talking about the financial and emotional burdens placed on Americans due to our failing healthcare system..
(Thoracic Surgery News) We’re discussing robotic surgery at our new Thoracic Surgery Portal:
Saw this on a neighboring blog, talking about robotic lung surgery – but my readers here know that Dr. Buitrago has been training with an American surgeon to offer that treatment here – at Clinica de Marly.
Over at our sister site - we’ve published the first few discussions on lung surgery, and lung diseases as part of our new lung surgery portal.
It is the first tentative steps towards a fully integrated lung surgery site – CirugiadeTorax.org
which I hope to one build into a one stop site for patients looking for information, the latest treatment and facilities for lung surgery, and lung cancer. I envision a site eventually filled with articles, links to treatment options/ and facilities along with physician profiles from different surgeons around the world, so patients have access to the newest, and most effective treatments possible.
It’s a big task to take on – but it all starts somewhere, and who better than I, a practicing acute care nurse practitioner, in cardiothoracic surgery?
I am already travelling, meeting thoracic surgeons, learning about new and different treatments at every opportunity..
Clinica San Rafael – Bogota, Colombia
Most of you haven’t heard of Dr. Diego Pineros but I originally interviewed him about three months ago, (long before I set up this website.) He is one the many genuinely nice people I have had the fortune to meet during this trip (and a great tour guide since he knows quite a bit about the history of Bogota). Today, I went back to visit him, at Clinica San Rafael, which is one of several facilities where he operates.
The case for this morning was cancelled, but it was nice to catch up with Dr. Pineros, meet his residents (young future surgeons) and see the clinic itself.
While we were there – we ran into Dr. Mario Lopez (thoracic surgeon) who has now added Clinica San Rafael to his roster. If you remember, we last saw him in the operating room at Mederi.
I tried to get a picture of him (without his mask) but it’s a bit blurry..
Hope to be back at Clinica San Rafael soon, so I will be able to tell you more.
Leaving Bogota in three weeks – then completing the rest of my writing stateside.. Trying to cram in as many interviews and surgeries as possible before I leave, but playing email/ phone tag with far too many people..
The rest of Bogota may be quiet for the Easter holidays (la semana santa) but the operating rooms were busy at Unidad Medica Cecimin.
I spent an interesting and enjoyable morning in the operating room with Dr. Mauricio Largacha, MD for an arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair. Dr. Largacha is a natural teacher, and did an excellent job at explaining different aspects of the procedure, expected post operative outcomes, and specialized equipment – since I am less familiar with shoulder and elbow surgery than other surgical procedures. (Unsurprising since as I mentioned previously, he is an expert in this area, and the author of several chapters in multiple orthopedic surgery textbooks on elbow, shoulder and ankle surgery).
Surgery went beautifully, and surprisingly quick.. No intraoperative complications.