Had a great day in the operating room with Dr. Cuauhtemoc Vasquez, MD the promising young heart surgeon I told you about several months ago. I have some absolutely breathtaking photos of the case – but I want to double-check with the patient before posting anything potentially revealing in such a public forum.
Todays’ surgery was at one of the public hospitals in Mexicali – and while technology was sometimes in short supply – talent sure wasn’t. I was frankly surprised at the level of skill and finesse Dr. Vasquez displayed given the fact that he is so early in his career.
Dr. Cuauhtemoc Vasquez, Cardiac surgeon
He’s also just an all-around pleasant and charming person. I know from previous encounters that he’s well-spoken, interesting, engaging and an excellent conversationalist – We didn’t talk at length on this occasion – because honestly, I really don’t like to be distracting during cases – especially since much of the discussion was in an English-heavy Spanglish.. (He is fluent in English but we both tend to slip in and out of Spanish. I mainly slip out when I start thinking in English and come across a concept that I am not sure about explaining or asking about in Spanish.**
But don’t worry – I am planning on seeing him next week – where I can hopefully lure him to lunch/ coffee or something so we have a more lengthy discussion – so I can give you all the details in a more formal fashion in a future post.
As a crazy side note – finally got that ‘great’ picture of the good doctor.. Oh, the irony – not during a thoracic case but while he was assisting Dr. Vasquez – (the good doctor is board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon, after all..) I didn’t post it here because there are some ‘patient bits’ in the photo..
**I know this can be frustrating from my experiences with my professor – but it’s also frustrating when: a. a question gets misinterpreted as a statement (because of my poor grammar) or b. misconstrued completely – which still happens pretty frequently. Luckily, people around here are awfully nice, and tend to give me the benefit of a doubt.
Also – I need to post this photo of one of my favorite operating room nurses – Lupita. (Lupita along with Carmen and Marisol) have been an absolute delight to be around even of those very first anxious days..
Lupita, operating room nurse.. Doesn’t hurt that she’s as cute as a button, eh?
Sat down today with Dr. Kevin Brady to talk about TAVI, or as he corrects me with a smile, TAVR (R is for Replacement). Dr. Brady is a cardiothoracic surgeon, and one of the few currently performing TAVI/ TAVR here in Arizona. As we’ve discussed before, I have mixed feelings on this procedure but have elected to provide the information here for my interested readers.
Dr. Brady shares many of my apprehensions, that the public will come to view this currently quasi-experimental treatment for very high risk, and inoperable patients with Aortic Stenosis as a ‘easy fix’. We discuss this at length, and he reviews the current recommendations guiding the implementation of TAVR programs, and the TAVR registry with me.
As part of this discussion, I have invited Dr. Brady to write a short post here, explaining the procedure, patient selection criteria and other facts about TAVI/ TAVR. With over 41 Core-valve implantations (since March 2011, as part of the Core Valve Pivotal trial) and seven Sapien valve implantations this month, he certainly qualifies as an expert on the topic.
Dr. Brady will be able to give readers a more in-depth perspective on this procedure. As all of you know, I have taken a fairly cautious stance on this issue. (I haven’t talked him into letting me observe yet, but I am working on it.)
Dr. Kevin M. Brady, MD
Southwest Heart & Lung
10930 North Tatum Boulevard, Suite 103
Phoenix, Arizona 85020
Fundacion Clinica Shaio – the first cardiac hospital in Colombia has recently unveiled the updated english-language version of their website, as part of an effort to aid international travelers, and attract medical tourists. As long time readers know, I spent quite a bit of time at Clinica Shaio, with the Doctors Santos, (and several others). Now as part of our new podcasting project – we will be sharing one of my favorite surgery videos from the operating room of Dr. Hernando Santos. (If you’ve spent time here at www.BogotaSurgery.org than this video will be familiar to you.) To my new readers from iTunes – welcome & enjoy!
Brief introduction to Dr. Hernando Santos, MD.
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.