New short on YouTube : The Thoracic Surgeons


New short film on YouTube featuring many of the thoracic surgeons you’ve seen profiled here on BogotaSurgery.org – Dr. Nelson Renteria, Dr. Stella Martinez, Dr. Andres Jimenez, Dr. Mario Lopez, Dr. Juan Carlos Garzon, and Dr. Ricardo Buitrago.

Hoping the next film is ‘live action’.

Back in the OR with Dr. Renteria


Went back to the operating room for several vascular cases today with Dr. Renteria at Compensar. Everything went well – I’ll upload photos later…

Update: Photo from 3 May 2011 – Vascular Surgery, Dr. Renteria

Dr. Renteria, Vascular Surgery

Dr. Beltran and Dr. Renteria, Thoracic Surgeons


Spent a fascinating morning over at the National Cancer Insitute with Dr. Rafael Beltran, the Chief of Thoracic Surgery.  Since the cancer institute is the biggest hospital specializing in cancer treatment – Dr. Beltran sees most of the rare and unusual cancers affecting the chest.  He also have a keen interest in tracheal surgery, and has published (in collaboration with Dr. Barrios) several articles on the topic recently.  (Guess we’ll have to tap into his expertise for a guest publication over at CirugiadeTorax.org)

Hoping to follow him to the OR next week.

Then I spent the afternoon over at Hospital de Kennedy with Dr. Nelson Renteria.

Dr. Nelson Renteria, Thoracic & Vascular Surgeon

Today he performed a VATs decortication for a stage III empyema (which is one of my favorite cases – but that’s another discussion entirely.)  Going back tomorrow to see some of his vascular cases.

Dr. Renteria in the operating room

Dr. Nelson Renteria, Thoracic and Vascular Surgeon


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).