Thoracic surgery and sympathectomy

Clinica Palermo,

Dr. Luis Torres, thoracic surgeon

I went back to see Dr. Luis Torres, thoracic surgeon and spent the day in the operating room with him for a couple of cases.   He is a very pleasant, and friendly surgeon that I interviewed last week.  Dr. Torres just recently returned to Bogotá after training in Rio de Janeiro for the last several years at the Universidade de Estado de Rio de Janeiro.  He completed both his general surgery residency and thoracic surgery residency in Rio after graduating from the University de la Sabana in Chia, Colombia.  (He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese).

I spent some time out in Chia last year with the Dean of the medical school (and thoracic surgeon, Dr. Camilo Osorio).

The first case was a sympathectomy for hyperhidrosis.  I’ve written more about the surgical procedure over at, and I will be posting more information about the procedure – potential candidates and alternative treatments over at the sister site.


The second case was more traditional thoracic surgery – a wedge resection for lung biopsy in a patient with lung nodules.  **

In both instances, cases were reviewed prior to surgery, (films reviewed when applicable – ie. second case) and visibly posted in the operating room.  Patients were sterilely prepped, draped and positioned with surgeon present.  Anesthesia was in attendance for both procedures – and hemodynamic instability/ desaturations (if present) were rapidly attended/ addressed / corrected.

Dr. Torres utilized a dual-port technique for the sympathectomy, making 1 cm incisions, and using 5mm ports.  Each side (bilateral procedure) was treated rapidly – with the entire procedure from initial skin incision and application of final bandaids taking just 35 minutes.

Dr. Torres, performing VATS

The second case, proceeded equally smoothly, and without complications.  There was no significant bleeding, hypoxia or other problems in either case.  Surgical sterility was maintained.

** Both patients were exceedingly gracious and gave permission for me to present their cases, photographs etc.

Just as the second case ended – Dr. Ricardo Buitrago arrived – and performed a sympathectomy on one of his patients – using a single-port approach.  (I am currently working on a short YouTube film demonstrating both of these techniques.)

Typical Day in Bogota

Just another typical day in the busy city..

Spent the morning talking to a very gracious young thoracic surgeon named Dr. Luis Torres.  He’s Colombian but spent several years studying in Brazil.  He’s now back in Bogotá and working at Clinica Palermo.  He was delightful to talk to; I’ll tell you more after a visit to the operating room with him next week.

Then I stopped by to visit a friend during her photo shoot.. The vision was supposed to be “The Virgin Queen” aka Elizabeth the First of England but after a few modifications – she made a fantastic Veronica Lake..

The photographer/ make-up artist was fantastic – and let me peek over his shoulder and take my own photos.. Here’s my favorite one..

the fabulous Aj , Colombian model endures the flashbulbs of an enthusiastic press

I know, I know, I should have cropped out the light and blended the shadows – but I kind of like the feeling the light evokes.. (it reminds me of those old-time flashbulbs..)

Several more great photos 

I thought about editing some of the pics – but then I figured – that’s for the experts – and Aj is so pretty, my poor photography can’t take away from that..

Aj – Colombian model

Veronica Lake

After the shoot – we went to another one of the random sidewalk cafes before window shopping at one of my favorite boutiques –  a little vintage shop called Chiros Elegantes on Carrera 11 No. 67-32.   Vintage shops are few and far between it seems around here – but this space is fabulous..

On the way – took a picture of some random graffiti – just because the slogan amused me..  haha.. now substitute ‘cojones’ for ‘conejo’ and it almost makes sense..  (Conejo is rabbit – as in ‘bunny rabbit.’

Ay carumba! who will save the conejos??