Happy Anniversary…


As my long-time readers know – I am a huge fan of Adriaan Alsema, a Dutch-borne journalist in Medellin, Colombia.  He is the founder/ creator/ and genius behind Colombia Reports.com – the English language news source for all things Colombiano.

Mr. Alsema, Editor-in-chief, Colombia Reports

Mr. Alsema, Editor-in-chief, Colombia Reports

It’s the fifth anniversary of Colombia Reports – so I wanted to wish Adriaan a Happy Anniversary..

 

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Dr. Alberto Martinez, Sports Medicine/ Orthopedic surgeon


Dr. Martinez (right) in the operating room

(Out of respect for patient privacy – I’ve done my best to crop the patient ‘bits’ from the photo.)

Spent some time last week with Dr. Alberto Martinez of Med-Sports Orthopedic Clinic here in Bogotá.  Dr. Martinez specializes in arthroscopic surgery of the hips, knees and shoulders.   As we talked about before, shoulder surgery is its own subspecialty in orthopedics due to the increased complexity of this joint.

We talked a bit about hip arthroscopy,which is still a relatively new procedure in orthopedics and the fact that one two surgeons in Bogota are currently performing this procedure.

Arthroscopy is the orthopedic minimally invasive counterpart to general surgery’s laparoscopy or thoracic surgery’s thoracoscopy.  It involves insertion of a camera and several tools through small (1 cm) incisions in the skin.  Arthroscopy itself has been used in orthopedics for many years but it is just now making inroads in hip procedures.

I’ll be publishing an upcoming article based on my observations over at ColombiaReports.com

For more information

Rath E, Tsvieli O, Levy O. (2012).  Hip arthroscopy: an emerging technique and indications.  Isr Med Assoc J. 2012 Mar;14(3):170-4.

Haviv B, O’Donnell J. (2010). The incidence of total hip arthroplasty after hip arthroscopy in osteoarthritic patients.  Sports Med Arthrosc Rehabil Ther Technol. 2010 Jul 29;2:18

The authors found that 16% of patients in their study eventually required hip replacement after hip arthroscopy during seven years follow-up.

Nord RM, Meislin RJ. (2010).  Hip arthroscopy in adults.  Bull NYU Hosp Jt Dis. 2010;68(2):97-102. Review.

New venture with Colombia Reports


While I have written several books about surgery and surgeons in Colombia, much of this information I’ve obtained from my research has been consigned to sitting on the shelves of various bookstores.

But, now with the help of Colombia Reports, I am hoping to change that.  As I mentioned in a previous post, Colombia Reports.com and it’s founder, Adriaan Alsema have been amazingly supportive of my work, ever since they printed my first article on Cartagena in 2010.

Since returning to Colombia, I have kept in touch with Colombia Reports while we discussed ways to bring more of my research and work to the public.  Colombia Reports is a perfect platform – because it serves a community of English-speaking (reading) individuals who are interested in/ and living in Colombia.   With this in mind, Colombia Reports has created a new Health & Beauty section which will carry some of my interviews and evaluations.

It is an ideal partnership for me; it allows me to bring my information to the people who need it – and continue to do my work as an objective, and unbiased reviewer.  We haven’t figured out all of the details yet – but I want to encourage all of my faithful readers to show Colombia Reports the same dedication that you’ve shown my tiny little blog, so that our ‘experiment’ in medical tourism reporting becomes a viable and continued part of Colombia Reports.

This is more important to me that ever – just yesterday as I was revisiting a surgeon I interviewed in the past (for a new updated article), I heard a tragic story that just broke my heart about a patient that was recently harmed by Dr. Alfredo Hoyos.  While I was unable to obtain documents regarding this incident – this is not the first time that this has happened.

Previous accusations of medical malpractice against this surgeon have been published in Colombian news outlets including this story from back in 2002.

The accusations are from Marbelle, a Colombian artist regarding the intra-operative death of her mother, Maria Isabeth Cardona Restrepo (aka Yolanda) during liposuction.  These accusations were published in Bocas – which is part of El Tiempo, a popular Colombian newspaper, in which the singer alleges that Dr. Hoyos was unprepared, and did not have the proper equipment on hand to treat her mother when she went into cardiac arrest during the surgery.

story about the death of one of Dr. Alfredo Hoyos' patients.

story about the death of one of Dr. Alfredo Hoyos’ patients.

Kristin 002 Kristin 003 Kristin 004

Now – as many of you remember, I interviewed Dr. Alfredo Hoyos back in 2011, and followed him to the operating room, giving me first hand knowledge of his surgical practices.

Readers of the book know he received harsh criticism for both failure to adhere to standard practices of sterility and patient intra-operative safety (among other things.)  I also called him out for claiming false credentials from several plastic surgery associations – and notified those agencies of those claims..   In the book, readers were strongly advised not to see Dr. Hoyos or his associates for care.

But – as I mentioned, my book is sitting lonely on a shelf, here in Bogotá – and in the warehouses of Amazon.com and other retailers.. So, people like that patient – didn’t have the critical information that they needed..

This is where Colombia Reports – and I hope to change all that.   So in the coming weeks, I am re-visiting some of surgeons we talked to in 2011, and interviewing  more (new) surgeons, more operating room visits..

Colombia Reports needs our help!


Colombia Reports, the largest English language news site for Latin America needs our help.  Adriaan Alsema, the founder and editor-in-chief informed me that they are having some cash flow problems after a bank fraud was committed against their accounts.

This breaks my heart – as I rely on Colombia Reports for the majority of my news.. It’s essential as a writer; living, studying and writing in another country to have at least a basic understanding of sociopolitical and economic situation.  None of the other sites – even the biggies like CNN, and BBC even come close to giving a wide-ranging overview like Colombia Reports.

So, now Colombia Reports is asking for our help – us, the readers..  and I am repeating that request.  If you enjoy Colombia Reports, do what you can to support them.

On a more personal note – Adriaan Alsema was one of the first people to run one of my articles, which gave me the confidence to keep writing..  So,  I wish him the best of luck –

Article about Colombia Reports on Examiner.com

In Medellin


In Medellin this weekend, meeting with Adriaan Alsema, the editor-in-chief of Colombia Reports, the largest English-language news website for Colombia. He’s published a couple of my articles in the past, so when I had a chance to meet him in person, I jumped at it.

He’s an interesting guy, a Dutch ex-pat who has been here in Medellin for the last three years – keeping the english speaking world up to date on all the news and happenings in Colombia. He’s a blunt, forthright, sophisticated journalist who doesn’t sugar-coat anything for anyone. (So, naturally, we got on famously.)

As much as I’m enjoying Medellin (hope to be back for book three), I will be glad to return to Bogota tomorrow and get back to work!

Writing, writing, writing


Spending the day (and much of the weekend) writing, transcribing notes from recent interviews, and working on an upcoming article. The article is a bit of a departure from my previous work, being a bit more light-hearted, and less academic than my previous writing. Hopefully, this will give it a broader appeal.   It’s also a nice way to call attention to some of the newer technologies, and techniques I’ve seen, and share a bit of the spotlight with the people doing all the hard work. (These guys don’t blow their own horns much – even when it’s well-deserved.) 

I have a few more interviews to conduct next week before I can finish it.. I am enjoying the change of style, but I will be happy to revert back to my usual writing.

Hoping to catch up with some more orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, vascular surgeons, and just a few more thoracic surgeons in the next few weeks..(see my ‘Chasing Thoracics’ blog for more information).

Looks like the book cover is pretty much done – you can see it under the ‘book’ tab.  I find that completing the artwork helps keep me focused on the book, especially once I’ve past the mid-point..

New Article at Colombia Reports


Read my latest article at Colombia Reports.com:
http://colombiareports.com/colombia-news/news/14923-bogota-hospital-offers-hope-to-abdominal-cancer-patients.html