Great day in thoracic surgery and oops!


Oops! probably shouldn’t be part of any blog about thoracic surgery – but I say – “Oops!” because as I look over some of my writing – I see that I have definitely fallen into old habits (of writing reviews).  But I won’t fight my natural tendencies – and just maybe, when we get done – there will be another ‘Hidden Gem’ for my loyal fans..

Long, wonderful day in thoracic surgery – which started at the Hospital de la Familia, a private facility on the outskirts of Mexicali by the ‘new’ border crossing.. It’s way out on Avenue Maduro (after it changes names a couple of times) in an industrial area.  But – like most of the private facilities I’ve seen so far in Mexicali – its sparkling, and gleaming with marble floors, and plenty of privacy for the patients..  Don’t worry – I’ll be writing more about this, and the other private hospitals in Mexicali soon..

Hospital de la Familia

While I was there – I got to see Dr. Octavio Campa again.  He’s an anesthesiologist – and a pretty darn good one (and if you’ve read the previous books, you know I won’t hesitate to mention when anesthesia isn’t up to par, either.)  This picture* should show you exactly why I am so fond of him – as you’ll note, he pays very close attention to his patients, and their hemodynamic status.

Dr. Campa – Anesthesiologist

This is my second time in the operating room with Dr. Campa – and both times he has consistently shown excellence in his care of the patient.  (He’s pretty skilled with a double lumen tube, which helps.)

Dr. Octavio Campa Mendoza  MD

Anesthesiologist

(if you want to contact him to schedule anesthesia for your surgery – email me.)

Dr. Campa was born and raised in San Luis, Mexico. In fact, along with Dr. Gabriel Ramos – he’s known Dr. Ochoa for most of his life.  After completing his medical education, he did a three-year residency in Anaesthesia, and has been practicing for seven years.

Prior to starting the case, he started a thoracic epidural for post-operative pain control – using a nice combination of Fentanyl and bipivicaine, so this should be fairly comfortable for the patient when (s)he wakes up.   A lot of anesthesiologists don’t like performing thoracic epidurals (it’s an extra hassle, and takes more skill than a standard lumbar epidural) but I am sure the patient will appreciate the extra effort.

He was attentive during the case – and the patient’s vital signs stayed within acceptable ranges during the entire case – good oxygenation, no tachycardia, and no hypotension at all during the case.  He didn’t delegate any of his responsibilities to anyone else – he administered all the drugs, and stayed by the patient’s side during the entire case.  (Like, I said before – if you’ve read the books, you know that this is not always the situation.)

Recommended.

Dr. Vasquez, the cardiac surgeon joined us in the operating room today.  It was nice to see him.  I posted a picture of him in his surgical regalia so everyone will be able to recognize him when I interview him next week.

Dr. Vasquez (left) and Dr. Ochoa at the end of another successful case.

I can’t (and won’t) tell you much about the individual cases but I did get some great photos to share today.. (It’s too bad – because I always meet the most interesting people – disguised as ‘patients.’  But it wouldn’t be fair to them.)

* I don’t believe in ‘staged’ operating room photos – what you see is what you get – sometimes the photos aren’t perfect, because I take them while people are working – but I don’t want to add any artificiality to the scene.  Of course – the casual, between cases photos are a little different.

a more casual photo now that the case is over.. Dr. Vasquez, Dr. Campa and Dr. Ochoa

I promised everyone more photos – so don’t worry – I still have a lot more to share.  This is one of my favorite ones of Dr. Ochoa – he’s notoriously hard to get ‘good’ photos of – because he’s always in action, so to speak – so a lot of the operating room photos don’t always capture him well.

Dr. Ochoa, writing orders

After the first case – we headed over to Mexicali General – where I was able to get some more pictures of my friends.. However, this photo below – is probably my favorite that I’ve taken in Mexicali so far.. (Which is surprising because: a. it’s not a surgery photo and b. I had to set aside some of my ego to even post it.)

But then again – no one is going to look good in a photo next to Carmen – she’s a stunningly beautiful woman – even after an evening in the operating room.  Carmen is one of the circulating room nurses at Mexicali General – and she’s pretty awesome – in addition to having these amazing expressive eyes that peep out from behind the surgical mask.  I really enjoy talking to Carmen – because at the end of the day – whether I am taking on the role of medical writer, photographer or student – I am a nurse, and I always enjoy talking to other nurses and hearing about their work, and lives. (I know there is a great book there – a compilation of nursing stories from around the world – but try getting a nurse to slow down for five minutes for an interview..)

with Carmen, a circulating nurse at Mexicali General

Of course, I couldn’t end my post without more pictures of my two favorite people; Lalo and Jose Luis..

I like standing next to Jose Luis – besides being a fabulous guy – doesn’t it make me look thin??

For the last photo today – I’ve got a great, dramatic action photo of Lalo.. You can’t really see – but he’s throwing sutures in this picture – and I just think it will be a great photo for him to have when he’s a practicing cardiac surgeon someday.

Dr. Gutierrez, throwing sutures during a VATS case

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