Haven’t had time to sit down and write about my trip to the operating room with Dr. Horacio Ham and Dr. Rafael Abril until now, but that’s okay because I am going back again on Saturday for a longer case at a different facility. Nice surprise to find out that Dr. Octavio Campa was scheduled for anesthesia. Both Dr. Ham and Dr. Abril told me that Dr. Campa is one their ‘short list’ of three or four preferred anesthesiologists. That confirms my own impressions and observations and what several other surgeons have told me.
That evening we were at Hispano – Americano which is a private hospital that happens to be located across the street from the private clinic offices of several of the doctors I have interviewed. It was just a quick short case (like most laparoscopy cases) – but everything went beautifully.
As I’ve said before, Dr. Campa is an excellent anesthesiologist so he doesn’t tolerate any hemodynamic instability, or any of the other conditions that make me concerned about patients during surgery.
Dr. Ham and Dr. Abril work well together – everything was according to protocols – patient sterilely prepped and draped, etc..
I really enjoy talking with the docs, who are both fluent in English – but I won’t get more of an interview with Dr. Abril until Saturday.
Then – on Wednesday night – I got to see another side of the Doctors Ham & Abril on the set of their radio show, Los Doctores. They were interviewing the ‘good doctor’ on sympathetectomies for hyperhidrosis – so he invited me to come along.
Los Doctores invited me to participate in the show – but with my Spanish (everyone remembers the ‘pajina’ mispronunciation episode in Bogotá, right?) I thought it was better if I stay on the sidelines instead of risking offending all of Mexicali..
It really wasn’t much like I expected; maybe because all of the doctors know each other pretty well, so it was a lot more relaxed, and fun than I expected. Dr. Abril is the main host of the show, and he’s definitely got the pattern down; charming, witty and relaxed, but interesting and involved too.. (my Spanish surprises me at times – I understood most of his jokes…) It’s an audience participation type show – so listeners email / text their questions during the show, which makes it interesting but prevents any break in the format, which is nice. (Though I suppose a few crazy callers now and then would be entertaining.)
Dr. Ochoa did a great talk about sympathectomy and how life changing it can be for patients after surgery, and took several questions. After meeting several patients pre and post-operatively for hyperhidrosis, I’d have to say that it’s true. It’s one of those conditions (excessive palmar and underarm sweating) that you don’t think about if you don’t have – but certainly negatively affects sufferers. I remember an English speaking patient in Colombia telling me about how embarrassing it was to shake hands -(she was a salesperson) and how offended people would get as she wiped off her hands before doing so. She also had to wear old-fashioned dress shields so she wouldn’t have big underarm stains all the time.. This was in Bogota (not steamy hot Cartagena), which is known for it’s year-round fall like temperatures and incredibly stylish women so you can imagine a degree of her embarrassment.
It (bilateral sympathectomy) is also one of those procedures that hasn’t really caught on in the USA – I knew a couple people in Flagstaff who told me they had to travel to Houston (or was it Dallas?) to find a surgeon who performed the procedure.. So expect a more detailed article in the future for readers who want to know more.
Tomorrow, (technically later today) I head back to San Luis with the good doctor in the morning to see a couple of patients – then back to the hospital.. and then an interview with a general surgeon.. So it should be an interesting and fun day.