Monday, June 30, 2008

International visitors

This week we were honored to receive the visit of Dr. Teodoro Sucre, from Venezuela, who was interested in learning about the use of the Greenlight HPS laser for the treatment of BPH. He attended two surgical sessions in Madrid. We had time enough to comment all details related to the surgical technique as well as tips and tricks that allow to optimize the result of this operation. Dr. Sucre is a delightful man and no doubt one of the most promising young urologists in his beautiful country.

For the second surgical session we had programmed three cases and we also were honoured by the visit of a group of American and Spanish Engineers from American Medical Systems, the manufacturer of this laser. They were in Madrid and decided to pop in to see some procedures so we could comment new aspects related with the proper use of laser fibres during surgical operations. In essence, I learned from them that when tissue particles adhere to the fiber, it degrades very fast, so it is imperative to keep it clean throughout the operation. I already had observed it, but when I saw the experimental data they showed, I could understand how paramount this is for this operation. So from now on I will clean the fiber more often, hoping to improve its performance. A very productive session!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Surgeries in Gran Canaria

Again I travelled to Gran Canaria to operate with my friend, Dr. Juarez. He had scheduled four operations with the Greenlight HPS laser, and all of them were uneventful. As always I had great fun. Dr. Juarez will read his doctoral thesis soon and I will be there to support him!!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Conference in Zaragoza

This Saturday I went to Zaragoza, to the XI meeting of the Asociación Urológica Navarro-Aragonesa (AUNAR), organised by dr. Antonio Villanueva Benedicto. I participated in a Round Table on the "Current Treatment of BPH" moderated by Prof. Luis Angel Rioja Sanz, with Dr. Carlos Rioja Sanz, Dr. Manuel Montesino Semper and Prof. Gabriel Valdivia Uría. A very interesting session of the highest level...

Right now, Zaragoza is very excited with the EXPO - the universal exposition of Zaragoza, but I did not have time to visit it, as I am travelling to Gran Canaria to do some work on Monday.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Trip to Moscow: Part three

At last, the third day of my stay in Moscow. I had some time in the morning to visit the famous red square, with Saint Basil's Cathedral.

And the Kremlin. An impressive city Moscow. A vibrant city, full of business and money running. Just in front of the Kremlin there is a huge commercial center, full of the most exclusive international brands... Prada, Gucci, and so on...

Then I went to the congress where I had to give a talk on Greenlight laser treatment of BPH. As russian doctors do not speak much english, there was a translator behind me who repeated in russian everything I said. Despite this, the talk run smoothly and it was very well received.

Then I went to the airport looking forward to returning home. I had to wait for one and a half hours inside the plane, waiting to take off... but I decided to take it easy and enjoy. An interesting experience, Moscow.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Trip to Moscow (part 2)

Today the plan was a little bit different... we would go to visit Hospital number 50 in Moscow. The department of Urology of this hospital is chaired by the famous Prof. Dmitry Pushkar, it is impressive, with more than 50 urologists and 200 urological beds. They perform 50 urological surgical procedures per day.

First it was my turn to demonstrate the new Greenlight HPS laser in action in a patient in retention with a prostate of 60 grams, which was a little bit difficult but finalised without much trouble (it received 550.000 joules).

Then Prof. Pushkar invited me to see how he repaired a vesico-vaginal fistula through the vaginal approach in a patient submitted to external beam radiation therapy for a cervix cancer with the interposition of a Martius flap. It was really impressive, a very complex case operated with simplicity and mastery, truly spectacular.

Then, after a brief visit to the hospital we went to the hotel, where I could sleep for a little while and had time to review my presentation for the following day. Then I went to the congress dinner, where I met my friend Prof. Jens Uwe Stolzenburg, (in the center of the photo below) with whom I had a good chance to talk for a while. Jens is one of the most seasoned laparoscopists in the world, and has visited us in Madrid tohelp us operate complex cases.

Then I went back to the hotel, where I communicated via videoconference with my school mates. 25 years had passed since the last time I saw many of them and a 25th years aniversary dinner was being celebrated... and I was in Moscow!!!

It was really nice to be able to greet them thanks to skype... it was truly emotive to see them and to be able to chat with the teachers I had when I was a child... Aula Nueva, a little big school, I started there when I was 8 years old, and I left when I was 14... the best of me was forged during those years in that school... thank you all!!!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Trip to Moscow: part 1

Today I took a direct flight to Moscow departing at 12 pm. I arrived at Moscow at 6 o'clock (more or less 4 am Madrid time). From there I went to the hotel (Moscow's traffic is horrible) where I could sleep for an hour and then left to the Railway Hospital of Moscow, where I had to operate a patient. The operation would be transmitted to the meeting room at the first International Endourological Congress celebrated in Moscow as well as to 8 hospitals from the Russian Railway Hospitals network.

There I found some other international experts, as Dr. Jens Rasweiller, who elegantly performed an endoscopic enucleation of the prostate. I was very impressed to see the efficacy of a new morcellator developed by the german company Wolf.

As I arrived I learned that my operation had been postponed until the afternoon... so I walked about the surgical theatres watching the laparoscopic procedures in the programme... a little bit as a "zombie" due to lack of sleep. I found a quiet room and I slept for a while, I felt much better after that. At 7 pm I started my operation, which was very succesful. A translator asked me questions and my responses were translated and transmitted to the meeting room.

When we finished, we had something to eat and drink in the doctors room, that was well provided with Russian vodka and other spirits... Nasdrovia!!!

Then I was taken to an Azerbaiyani restaurant, where some tipical plates were served (as the famous goat testicles), but I preferred to have a salad and a steak... then I fell on my bed feeling really tired...