Vice President Angelino Garzon undergoes surgery

Bogotá’s neurosurgeons are certainly staying busy.   Several days ago, the mayor of Bogotá, Gustavo Petro underwent emergency neurosurgery at Fundacion Santa Fe de Bogotá.  Now comes news that the vice-president of Colombia, Angelino Garzon underwent a similar surgery this week for a hematoma at Clinica Reina Sofia.  Details on English language news sites are somewhat sketchy as to his actual medical condition (which sounds like a hemorrhagic stroke), the surgery itself and his prognosis.

VP Garzon, who has a history of cardiovascular disease, underwent emergency heart surgery with Dr. Hernando Santos at Clinica Shaio just two days after he (and President Santos) took office in 2010.

Most recently, he was being treated for a urological condition and it was during follow up medical examinations that his condition was detected.

Update: 23 June 2012

The mayor of Bogota – Gustavo Petro is back at work after successful neurosurgery.

Meanwhile, Vice-president Angelino Grazon remains in guarded, if stable condition after being placed in a medically induced coma while he recovers from a recent stroke and subsequent surgery.


Neurosurgery at Santa Fe de Bogota

Dr. Fernando Hakim Daccach (left), neurosurgery – Santa Fe de Bogota

As you can imagine, millions of pairs of eyes are turned towards Santa Fe de Bogota – and the department of Neurosurgery after the mayor of Bogotá, Gustavo Petro was admitted with a subdural hematoma, and subsequently underwent surgery.

Many people don’t know that Bogotá is actually the home to modern neurosurgery.  Dr. Salomon Hakim, one of the founders of modern neurosurgery and inventor of the Hakim shunt for hydrocephalus called Bogota home.  (Sadly, he died just last year.)

But neurosurgery in Colombia doesn’t begin or end with Dr. Salomon Hakim.  With five neurosurgery residency programs and over 150 practicing neurosurgeons in Bogotá – new innovations and treatments are being developed here everyday.

Many of these fine surgeons practice at Fundacion Santa Fe de Bogota such as Dr. Aristizabal – Chief of the Neurosurgery residency program, or Dr. Carlos Cure, Dr. Enrique Jimenez and Dr. Fernando Hakim .

Others such as Dr. Pedro Penagos or Dr. Juan Fernando Ramon are scattered throughout the city – treating brain cancers at the National Cancer Institute, or caring for the families of policemen at the Hospital de la Policia – and innovating in the field of neuronavigation.

While my heart goes out to the Mayor of Bogotá, and his family – hopefully the international media stories on his health will give some well-deserved attention to these fine (and humble) neurosurgeons.


References and additional information: Updated 17 June 2012

Gustavo Petro webpage

According to their website, they anticipate the mayor will be discharged home soon (in a statement dated today, June 17th.)  We are glad to hear he is making such a speedy recovery.