Saturday, December 22, 2007

Visitor from Iran

The 19th I met for the first time Dr. Dariush Marzbani, a prestigious urologist from Teheran, Iran. He came to madrid to visit us for some days decided to know the truth about the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia with the Greenlight HPS.

We shared two surgical sessions, the 20th I operated three patients, and the 21st, I also did three cases. The 21st we also received Dr. Gelabert, from Mallorca, to see the operations. Dr. Marzbani left very happy and convinced, because we saw very interesting a varied cases. Small prostates, big ones, and even a patient who already had had a TURP and an open prostatectomy...

The major problem for the introduction of this technique in Irán seems to be the blockade the USA maintains on Iran. Apparently american companies cannot sell in Iran, specially when high technology is involved.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

University Hospital Arnau de Villanova, Lleida

The night of the 16th I took the high speed train to Lleida. The following morning we woke up early to visit the University Hospital Arnau de Villanova to participate in a surgical session to demonstrate the new HPS laser in two patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Then I rushed back to Madrid in the High Speed Train (AVE). Christmas is near and I will have a chance to rest for a while.

Friday, December 14, 2007

BAU 2007 - National Urology Congress in Belgium

After my trip to the Canary Islands, I had to wake up very early to catch a flight to Brussels departing at 06:30. I had been invited to participate in the 7th Annual Congress of the Belgian Urological Association. I prepared a lecture on Greenlight Photoselective Vaporization for BPH.

The plane made us wait for three hours. This was compensated by the sight of an interesting fenomenon from the plane. A circular rainbow, that was resting on the clouds. A real beauty.

Then I drove to the congress center, where I did my lecture. Everything went fine. Some belgian urologists told me they would come soon to visit me in Madrid.

There I met my friend Jean de la Rosette, and we had lunch together. It is always a pleasure to learn from him. Then I returned to the airport, to go back to Madrid. I was really tired when I got home, but happy.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Surgeries in Gran Canaria

This thursday I took a plane to Gran Canaria, where we had programmed a joint surgical session with Dr. Juarez del Dago. I love coming to Gran Canaria, we always have a great time. The pity is that I flew in the morning flight and returned at night. We did two operations that were uneventful and satisfactory.

Then Dr. Juarez sent me this recently published news clip.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Conference in Doha, Quatar

This time I travelled to the middle east to participate in the PACS (Pan Arab Continence Society) conference in Doha, Quatar. Quatar is a relatively small country, but extremely wealthy, due to their abundance of the black gold. I arrived late at night after my trip and this is the first thing I saw from Doha as I woke up the next morning.

Then I went to the congress venue, where I dictated my conference. I lectured on greenlight laser prostatectomy for bening prostatic hyperplasia in a session covering all treatment options for this disease. Again, I met Dr. El-Hilali, from Canada there.

Then I had time enought to wonder around a beautiful market in the city, where I bought a shisha pipe, and different flavours of tobacco... there were also lots of spices... really beautiful.

Then I returned to Madrid, that same night. In principle, I prefer the trips where I do surgeries rather than lectures. It is much more interesting and fun. I received an invitation to visit Doha again in the near future to perform a mentoring session.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

New Delhi - Army Hospital (R&R)

I finally arrived at New Delhi at night. It was 02.00 am and as always, when I stepped out of the aeroplane I was hit by the special odour of India... a scent that brought back all my previous experiences in this wonderful country. There was a heavy fog, and the representatives of Hospimédica, the distributor of the GreenLight laser in India, came to pick me up and drove me to the hotel. I was half asleep when I reached there. The next morning I had to operate at the Army Hospital (Research and Referral), in the afternoon I had to lecture on BPH treatment with the Greenlight laser.

The hospital had an amazing intelligent operating room. The surgery went fine, it was transmitted to the conference room. The patient had a relatively small prostate and the operation only took 30 minutes. I greeted the patient and then I went down to the conference room where I found some old friends, as Dr. Wadhwa, Dr. Sood and Dr. Gupta.

Later on I dictated my conference and I attendend a banquet celebrating the congress, with an indian orchestra and all. I enjoyed Indian food and the company of the indian urologists and the Hospimedica personnel, and then I rushed to the airport, that was unbelievably filled up to its limit with people. It was an oddyssey to reach the plane.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Surgeries and conference in Nijmegen, The Netherlands

The department of Urology at Nijmegen (St. Radboud) is well known all over the urologic world, due to their excelent basic and clinical research. They invited me to participate in a scientific meeting on advances in urology. I woke up at 04.00 am to fly to Brussels, and from there I drove to Nijmegen. When I arrived at the hospital, there were two patients waiting for me...

One of them had a 70 gram prostate and I used the 80 watt GreenLight PV system. The second patient had a 50 gra prostate that I did with the Greenlight HPS 120 watt system. Both surgeries were uneventful. I could feel a certain skepticism in the air initially, but when they saw how little aggressive this operation is, the bloodless surgical field and the final endoscopic view, I think they were impressed. Holland is the slowlier adopter of this technology in Europe, I believe they will embrace it faster after this...

The we went to the meeting room where I lectured on Photoselective vaporization of the prostate and then we celebrated a round table on minimally invasive treatments. It was a pleasure to share this session with Dr. Frank d'ancona, Dr. Steffens, Dr. Schout, Dr. Karthaus and Dr. Peter Mulders... all of them truly amazing urologists...

We had a great time and then I drove back to Brussels, where I would take a flight to New Delhi the next morning.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

University Hospital Bellvitge

Today I went to Barcelona, to perform a surgical demonstration at the University Hospital in Bellvitge, with Dr. Eladio Franco. I did two operations, a patient with a 120 gram prostate and a second case with a somewhat smaller prostate.

Everything went fine, and we had a good time. I was impressed by this urology department, with three theatres running morning and afternoon. A very high surgical volume... these hospitals benefit from the Greenlight laser, because they shorten hospital stay for prostate surgery.

Then I returned to Madrid, to get ready for my next trip. Tomorrow I travel to Holland, to the urology department at Nijmegen, one of the most prestigious places in Europe. From there I will travel to New Delhi, where I also have to operate again...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Surgeries in Mallorca

On Friday I had to operate in Madrid, I had scheduled another laser case and then I took a plane to Mallorca. A beautiful Spanish island in the mediterranean sea.

After his recent visit to Madrid to see some operations, Dr. Salvá coordinated a surgical session in the Clínica Juaneda, because a wide group of urologists who operate in this hospital will start using the HPS laser. I performed 4 operations, three patients with straightforward prostates and another very old and weak patient with a huge 120 gram prostate. All surgeries were succesful and we had a great time, the session was very dinamic and fun.

Then we went to a Vasc restaurant and we celebrated... I came back to Madrid, a little bit tired after so much action, but happy. I almost had no time to breath the air of Mallorca... one suspected there were beautiful beaches nearby, cristal clear sea waters, but I could not see them this time...

Friday, November 23, 2007

Visitors in Madrid

Today I had scheduled 4 operations with the Greenlight HPS laser in Madrid, and I had two spanish visitors. Two urologists, one from Madrid and another one from Zaragoza, who will start operating with the HPS laser soon. It is always so nice to have visitors, we always have worthwile discussions and I learn a great deal...

The truth is that more and more Spanish urologists opt for offering this treatment to their patients, I think it will not be long until this technique becomes the favourite treatment for BPH worldwide. It is certainly my first option for more than four years now...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Surgery in Clinica CIMA, Barcelona

Todau I went to Barcelona to perform a demonstration with the new HPS laser. They already use the 80 watt system and were interested in upgrading to the new HPS and wanted to see it in action. Going to Barcelona is starting to be like taking the bus to go to work...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Trip to India (III): Lecture and a Cosmic Joke

At last, the 17th, I did my lecture. It was very successful because I had devoted a lot of effort in its preparation. The presentation contained various multimedia animations and videos and I got many congratulations...

Then I could relax and my wife, who had been visiting the Guru, Ramesh Balsekar, for the previous two days, took me to see him. This enlightened man is 96 years old, and every day he opens his house to visitors from all over the world, who formulate questions. He responds clearly and without any doubt in his mind. It was a very interesting experience. He is a very intense man. Basically, he says that our destiny is predestined, we are only mere instruments of God, or the "Cosmic Law", and there is no way to change this. Therefore, we have to accept this and stop suffering. When the session was over, some of the visitors in Ramesh's house went out to a nearby bar to have a coffee. I met the young editor who publishes his books, and when I was telling him that I was a urological surgeon and that I had visited Mumbai before for laser procedures, I suddenly remembered that when I did my first surgical session in Hospital Ali Khan, in Mumbai, Dr. Chibber mentioned that I was operating a very holy man from Mumbai. Some minutes after this we were certain that I had operated Ramesh the last year. We went up to his house again to see him and to tell him. He recognized me and confessed that he was feeling very well after his operation, and gave us some books. My wife was amazed. The editor suggested that all this was a "Cosmic Joke"... the destiny had brought us all together to laugh with us...

Friday, November 16, 2007

Trip to India: (II) Training workshop

Today I had to go to a hospital in Mumbai, to mentor a local urologist. For some reason, they could not organise patients for the surgeries. So I just sat down for a couple of hours and showed videos and presentations to the urologist who will perform the Greenlight surgery in my laptop.

Later on that day, we went to the official inauguration of the congress, and all the international faculty received a present. Then there was a dinner and a party and everybody started dancing. All indian urologists use the Bolliwood style, and interestingly, Bolliwood is very nearby the congress venue.

The best part of these trips is the amount of friends one makes. In the photo with Dr. Shailesh Raina.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Trip to India: (I) Live surgery

This wednesday I took off with my wife towards Mumbai. My wife came with me because she wanted to visit a famous indian Guru, Ramesh Balsekar, who lives in Mumbai. We first flew to Amman, in Jordan, and then connected to Mumbai. Unfortunately I could not get any sleep during the flight. We arrived at 5.00 am and went to Juhu, in Mumbai, where the congress took place. It was a joint congress of the SIU (Société Internationale d'Urologie) and the ICS (International Continence Society). The congress newsletter published an interview they had done some time before...
I had to participate in a live surgery workshop at the Jaslok Hospital the first day, mentor a surgeon from Mumbay the second day, and to lecture the third day.
When we arrived to the hotel, they were waiting for us to go to the Jaslok Hospital. I had some minutes to have a shower and dring a strong coffee and there we went. I first gave a 30 minute talk while the patient was anaesthetised and then I performed the operation that was transmitted to the meeting room.

It was a straightforward case and the attendees were very impressed by the easiness and the speed of the procedure. Then I went back to sleep to the hotel...

Friday, November 09, 2007

Surgeries in Barcelona

Yesterday I went to Barcelona to operate again with Dr. Batlle at the Delphos Hospital. We did two cases that were uneventful and I went back home as fast as I could. This Friday is a holiday in Madrid, I will be able to get some rest...

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Mini-Symposium in Umea, Sweden

This Monday I went to the airport, I had to fly to Sweden to participate in a Mini-Symposium and when I was checking in they told me I would not be allowed to fly to Stockholm, there was overbooking and I should stay in Madrid... I explained my situation, and that I was traveling to Sweden to perform surgeries on patients and they rang the captain of the flight, who assured me that if there was no seat available I would fly in the cabin with them. Unfortunately there was a seat available at the end. From Stockholm I flew to Umea. I arrived late and I went to bed directly, we had quite a programme for the following day.

The next morning we went to the University Hospital in Umea (Norrlands Universitetssjukhus), where I met my old friend Bengt Friedrich, I had not seen him for some years, we worked together for the European Society of Residents in Urology.
First I gave a lecture on the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia with the new high powered Greenlight HPS laser and then I did three consecutive operations. All cases were succesful and we enjoyed an intense surgical day. At 4 pm, when we went to the ward to see the first patient we had operated in the morning, the patient was not in his room!!! They had removed the catheter and he felt so well that he went for a walk around the hospital... this was very impressive for the Swedish doctors, they had never seen such a fast postoperative recovery.
When we finished we went to have dinner with the urologists of the department and then I flew back to Stockholm so I could return in an early flight to Madrid...

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Trip to Mexico (IV): Cancun, Instructional Course and Poster Session

Later on in Cancún, I participated in other scientific activities at the World Congress of Endourology. First I gave a lecture on Greenlight laser prostatectomy at the Instructional Course on laser prostatectomy with Dr. El-hilali (Canada), Nakawaga (Japan) and Richard David (USA).

I was not wearing a tie because the congress code of conduct recommended NOT wearing ties... It seems it is normal in Cancun. Later on, in the afternoon, I moderated a poster session with Dr. Peter Gilling (New Zealand).
Centers from Greece, Switzerland, USA, UK and Germany presented their experience with the 80 watt Greenlight laser, with excellent results.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Trip to Mexico (III): Guadalajara - Live surgery for the World Congress of Endourology

This morning I woke up early to go to the Medical Center Puerta de Hierro, in Guadalajara (the Hospital where Dr. Jorge Gutierrez, the president of the World Congress of Endourology works), where all surgeries being transmitted live to Cancun would take place.

The set-up was impressive. Six simultaneous theatres, with many minimally invasive operations scheduled for the morning. In Cancun, three big screens and three moderators, to allow the more than 1200 urologists registered in the congress to choose what comments to listen to. It was very impressive to walk around the surgical theatres, world class surgeons in every one of them...

Dr. Octavio Castillo (Chile) performing a laparoscopic radical prostatectomy.

Dr. Ralph Clayman (EE.UU), performing a PCNL (Percutaneous Nephrolythotomy).

Dr. Peter Gilling (New Zealand), perfoming a Holmium laser enucleation of the prostate.

Dr. Mantu Gupta (EE.UU.), performing a flexible nephroureteroscopy.

My patient was an old man that had carried a urinary catheter since January. His prostate was relatively small and the operation took 35 minutes, but I had time enough to explain the new technique of photoselective vaporization of the prostate with the new high powered Greenlight HPS laser.

This technique was agreed at the IGLU (International Greenlight Users) Group meeting celebrated in Madrid in July. I thought it would be a good idea to name it "PVP 2.0" (Photoselective Vaporization of the Prostate 2.0) to differenciate it from the technique we used with the former 80 watt Greenlight PV laser, and to express that this technique should not aim to produce a tunnel in the prostate, but to perform a proper prostatectomy. The surgery went really well, it could not have gone better.

When I finished, my urology partner, Dr. Nacho Castillón, who was in Cancun at the convention center, sent me an SMS text message: "Fer: ha salido pfrto! ers un fenomeno, nacho". Ahh, I was so satisfied!!!. Everybody happy, the patient was grateful and I was so happy to be able to demonstrate in the most important forum in the world of endourology the fruit of so much effort and so much passion... When I was younger I was a professional swimmer, I trained very hard and I dreamt with going to the Olympic games. I felt as if I had achieved that, but in the world of Urology. It was quite an experience.
In the photo with Pilar Laguna, Octavio Castillo, Lee Roningen and Emily Smith.

Later on we went to the airport. The congress had prepare a private flight for all the surgeons that operated in Guadalajara, so we could return to Cancun as soon as possible. Then, at the hotel in Cancun, I had dinner by the beach, and I went to bed very tired, but so happy.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Trip to Mexico (II): Mexico D.F. - Hospital Angeles Pedregal

Today we did another workshop in another hospital in Mexico D.F. This time we did two operations and then another talk. Everything went fine. One of the patients was the father of a local doctor. I asked him to come to theatre to be with his father. When I went out of the operating room his family had bought me a huge bottle of the finest tequila. I will drink it (little by little) to his health!!

After finishing the training session, we went to the airport to fly to Guadalajara. That night I went to Dr. Jorge Gutierrez's house, the prestigious Mexican urologist and president of the World Congress of Endourology, who had invited for dinner to all surgeons operating live at the World Congress. There I shared the table with Jean de la Rosette, Pilar Laguna, Octavio Castillo, Gunter Janetschek, Ralph Clayman, Peter Gilling... we had a great time.

The next day I will operate a patient with BPH and the operation will be transmitted to the World Congress venue in Cancún.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Trip to Mexico (I): Mexico D.F. - Hospital Angeles Lomas

This Sunday I flew to Mexico DF. I planned to participate in a coupe of workshops in this city and then travel to Guadalajara to perform a live surgery that will be transmitted to the World Congress of Endourology that takes place in Cancún. It is a week long trip and I am very happy to be invited to such an important congress.

The first workshop took place in the Hospital Angeles Lomas. I did a talk on Greenlight laser treatment of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and then I performed a surgical procedure.

It was a delightful session and I had the pleasure of meeting there my old friends Dr. López Cueto, from Puerto Vallarta, the pioneer user of the Greenlight laser in Mexico, and with Dr. Francisco Barrios, also an early adopter of this technology.

I first gave a talk on Greenlight laser for the treatment of BPH.

Then we went to the surgical room to perform a procedure that was retransmitted to the meeting room. Dr. Barrios was with me in theatre and Dr. López Cueto was the moderator from the meeting room.

After the operation, we gave certifications to those attending the session and we went together for dinner.

I was impressed by the quality of this Hospital and by the human warmth of these mexican doctors.