Mexicali updates: October 2013


Here is some updated information from my recent visit to Mexicali for the Mexicali Summit (Cumbre de turismo Medico):

New Cath facility

Hospital Almater opened their new cardiac catheterization laboratory as part of their long-standing plans to build a ‘chest pain’ center.  The first cardiac cath in the new facility was scheduled to be performed October 18th, 2013.

During a discussion with the owner of Hospital Almater, at the Cumbre, I asked for permission for an ‘official’ tour of the new cath facility so I will have additional details for readers.  My request was denied.

Hopefully, I will be able to provide more information about the cath lab as well as the continued development of the ‘chest pain’ on a future visit to Mexicali.

Loss of full-time heart surgeon/ heart surgery program 

Mexicali has lost its only full-time cardiac surgeon.

Mexicali has lost its only full-time cardiac surgeon.

Several local physicians have reported that Dr. Cuauhtemoc Vasquez is no longer functioning as Mexicali’s only full-time cardiovascular surgeon.  His cardiac surgery program at Issstecali has closed (due to financial reasons), and he is no longer operating at the various facilities in town.  It is a huge loss of the city of a million residents.  Baja California residents will have to travel to Tijuana for surgery – while Imperial Valley residents will continue to travel to San Diego or Los Angeles for cardiac surgery services.

Salud Longevidad

During my visit, I was also invited to visit Salud Longevidad, a new clinic that is the brainchild of Dr.  Jorge Gallegos.  He created the clinic as a place for many of the local therapists and alternative/ complementary medicine practitioners to provide their services.  He likes to joke that he created the centro de medicina alternativa as a way to personally fight of the aging process, so “I will be young forever,” he explains with a smile.

The unassuming, nondescript exterior hides a spacious and elegant interior.  The clinic offers multiple treatments including various types of massage (and couples massage), water therapy, high colonics, magnetic therapies – and other varieties of “alternative” therapies.

The fifteen suite clinic also features a hyperbaric chamber.  Now, this is a treatment I can appreciate since there is a large volume of research on the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for wound healing and other medical applications outside of the ‘bends’ or complications from scuba diving for which the therapy is best known for*.  It also happens to be one of the nicest, most modern chambers that I have ever seen.  The majority of other chambers I have visited are either former military equipment or vintage models.

Dr. Juan Fernando Medrano, a medical doctor who also serves as the head of medical tourism at the Hospital de la Familia was gracious enough to invite me for a tour, and to watch one of his sessions at the new clinic.  He recently finished training as a medical aesthetic physician, and now performs platelet rich plasma (PRP) treatments (among other procedures).

Salud Longevidad is located on Av. Francisco Javier Mina #200 in Zona Centro (across the street from the parque de Mariachis).

For more information about Dr. Medrano and the PRP – please read my recent article at Examiner.com.

* Hyperbaric oxygen is best known for its use in treating ‘the bends” or complications from rapid decompression (rising to the surface too quickly) in scuba divers.

I have included a limited selection of medical literature on hyperbaric therapy.   However, I also want to caution readers when researching medical information, particularly when reading Chinese journals which have been recently discredited for widescale/ widespread fraud.

References

Egito JG, Abboud CS, Oliveira AP, Máximo CA, Montenegro CM, Amato VL, Bammann R, Farsky PS. (2013).  Clinical evolution of mediastinitis in patients undergoing adjuvant hyperbaric oxygen therapy after coronary artery bypass surgery.  Einstein (Sao Paulo). 2013 Sep;11(3):345-349. English, Portuguese.

While many readers know that I have a background in cardiac surgery – where mediastinitis is a serious/ dreaded complication – I hesitate to embrace these findings too enthusiastically due to the very small sample size (of 18 patients over 2 years).

Cao H, Ju K, Zhong L, Meng T. (2013).  Efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen treatment for depression in the convalescent stage following cerebral hemorrhage.  Exp Ther Med. 2013 Jun;5(6):1609-1612. Epub 2013 Apr 2. A small (60 patient) study looking at the effects of hyperbaric oxygen on depression in patients following cerebral hemmorhage (hemorrhagic stroke).

de Nadai TR, Daniel RF, de Nadai MN, da Rocha JJ, Féres O. (2013).  Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for primary sternal osteomyelitis: a case report. J Med Case Rep. 2013 Jun 27;7(1):167. doi: 10.1186/1752-1947-7-167. Did hyperbaric oxygen help?

Delasotta LA, Hanflik A, Bicking G, Mannella WJ.  (2013).  Hyperbaric oxygen for osteomyelitis in a compromised host.  Open Orthop J. 2013 May 3;7:114-7.  Research suggesting hyperbaric oxygen may be helpful in treating serious orthopedic infections in patients with impaired wound healing.

Recommended reading:

Chantelau EA.  (2013)  Benefits of hyperbaric oxygen still doubtful.    Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2013 May;110(21):372. doi: 10.3238/arz9tebl.2013.0372a. No abstract available.  A letter in which the author presents evidence suggesting that any attempt to conclusively state the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy is premature/ misguided (at best.)

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