Posts Tagged ‘HIPEC’

As a follow-up for all the overseasradio.com radio listeners (and all my loyal readers) I have posted some additional information on the topics covered during the radio program with Ilene Little from Traveling for Health.com including contact information for several of the physicians mentioned.

in the Operating Room at New Bocagrande Hospital

Thoracic Surgery

Esophageal cancer – during the segment we highlighted the importance of seeking surgical treatment for esophageal cancer at a high-volume center.  One of the centers we mentioned was the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center in Pittsburgh, PA – and the work of Dr. Benny Weksler, MD.

Dr. Benny Weksler*, MD

Hillman Cancer Center

5115 Centre Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA 15232

Phone: (412) 648-6271

He is an Associate Professor in Cardiothoracic Surgery and Chief of Thoracic Surgery at UPMC and the UPMC Cancer Center.  (For more information on Dr. Weksler, esophageal cancer, and issues in thoracic surgery – see my sister site, Cirugia de Torax.org)

(To schedule an appointment via UPMC on-line click here).

We also briefly mentioned Dr. Daniela Molena*, MD at John Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Johns Hopkins Hospital

600 N. Wolfe Street

Baltimore, MD 21287

Phone: 410-614-3891

Appointment Phone: 410-933-1233

(The link above will take readers to the John Hopkins site where they can also make an appointment.)

* I would like to note that I have not observed either of these physicians (Weksler or Molena) in the operating room.

We also talked about several of the thoracic surgeons that I have interviewed and observed numerous times, including both Dr. Rafael Beltran, MD & Dr. Ricardo Buitrago, MD at the National Cancer Institute in Bogotá, Colombia.  These guys are doing some pretty amazing work, on a daily basis – including surgery and research on the treatment of some very aggressive cancers.

in the operating room with Dr. Rafael Beltran

Dr. Rafael Beltran is the Director of the Thoracic Surgery division, and has published several papers on tracheal surgery.   He’s an amazing surgeon, but primarily speaks Spanish, but his colleague Dr. Buitrago (equally excellent) is fully fluent in English.

Now the National Institute website is in Spanish, but Dr. Buitrago is happy to help, and both he and Dr. Beltran welcome overseas patients.

Dr. Buitrago recently introduced RATS (robot assisted thoracic surgery) to the city of Bogotá.

Now, I’ve written about these two surgeons several times (including two books) after spending a lot of time with both of them during the months I lived and researched surgery in Bogotá, so I have included some links here to the on-line journal I kept while researching the Bogotá book.  It’s not as precise, detailed or as lengthy as the book content (more like a diary of my schedule while working on the book), but I thought readers might enjoy it.

In the Operating Room with Dr. Beltran

There are a lot of other great surgeons on the Bogotá website, and in the Bogotá book – even if they didn’t get mentioned on the show, so take a look around, if you are interested.

in the operating room with Dr. Ricardo Buitrago

Contact information:

Dr. Ricardo Buitrago, MD 

Email: buitago77us@yahoo.com

please put “medical tourist” or “overseas patient for thoracic surgery” in the subject line.

We talked about Dr. Carlos Ochoa, MD – the thoracic surgeon I am currently studying with here in Mexicali, MX.  I’ve posted all sorts of interviews and stories about working with him – here at Cartagena Surgery under the “Mexicali tab” and over at Cirugia de Torax.org as well.  (Full disclosure – I assisted Dr. Ochoa in writing some of the English content of his site.)

out from behind the camera with Dr. Ayala (left) and Dr. Carlos Ochoa

He is easily reached – either through the website, www.drcarlosochoa.com or by email at drcarlosochoa@yahoo.com.mx

HIPEC / Treatment for Advanced Abdominal Cancers

I don’t think I even got to mention Dr. Fernando Arias’ name on the program, but we did talk about HIPEC or intra-operative chemotherapy, so I have posted some links to give everyone a little more information about both.

HIPEC archives at Bogotá Surgery.org – listing of articles about HIPEC, and Dr. Arias.  (I recommend starting from oldest to most recent.)

Dr. Fernando Arias

Oncologic Surgeon at the Fundacion Santa Fe de Bogotá in Bogotá, Colombia.  You can either email him directly at farias00@hotmail.com or contact the International Patient Center at the hospital.  (The international patient center will help you arrange all of your appointments, travel, etc.)

Fundacion Santa Fe de Bogota


Ms. Ana Maria Gonzalez Rojas, RN

Chief of the International Services Department

Calle 119 No 7- 75

Bogota, Colombia

Tele: 603 0303 ext. 5895

ana.gonzalez@fsfb.org.co  or info@fsfb.org.co

Now – one thing I would like to caution people is that email communications are treated very differently in Mexico and Colombia, meaning that you may not get a response for a day or two.  (They treat it more like we treat regular postal mail.  If something is really important, people tend to use the phone/ text.)

Of course, I should probably include a link to the books over on Amazon.com – and remind readers that while the Mexicali ‘mini-book’ isn’t finished yet – when it is – I’ll have it available on-line for free pdf downloads.


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I am currently in the airport, on my way to Bogotá but I wanted to let readers know what’s going on with the blogs this week.

Right now, Dr. Klein is drafting an article for a new feature here at Cartagena Surgery – the Pharmacist’s corner, where he will talk about medications/ drugs/ drug interactions and other pharmaceutical information.  Hopefully, we’ll have something posted by early next week.

We’re talking about HIPEC again over at Bogotá Surgery – after the publication of a piece of sensationalized journalism over at the New York Times.

We’ve also been reviewing the literature and existing research on high altitude surgery over at Cirugia de Torax.  I hope to have something posted there in the next couple of days, so please be patient..



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The Chicago Tribune ran a new story of medical tourism and all of the options and ‘health savings’ it offers patients.  We’re talking about it over at BogotaSurgery.org today.

A study published in Gastroenterology Update reports that advanced age is not a contraindication to HIPEC. (sorry, no free text available).  As we’ve discussed before at Bogotá Surgery – HIPEC (cytoreductive surgery with intraoperative hyperthermic chemotherapy) is a procedure that brings hope to patients with advanced abdominal cancers.

(I’ve attached links for new readers – for more information about HIPEC.)


Heading back down to Colombia in a week with stops in both Bogotá and Cartagena..

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As we’ve discussed here, at Bogotá Surgery.org and elsewhere on the web – Cytoreductive surgery with intraperitoneal hyperthermic chemotherapy (HIPEC) has shown promising results over the last ten + years – but unfortunately – it just isn’t widely available for many people.

In addition to the programs I’ve told you about (Dr. Arias at Santa Fe de Bogotá and Dr. Dan “Trey” Blazer, who I am interviewing later this month) there are several clinical trials looking at using this therapy for different oncology applications including ovarian, pancreatic, colon and other abdominal cancers.

I’ve included links to a general site, Clinical Trials.gov  as well as links to enrollment information for specific trials.  I’ll update this information periodically.

French ovarian cancer multi-site trial – open enrollment

Swiss study for recurrent ovarian cancer

German study for recurrent ovarian cancer

Minnesota study for ovarian cancer

Netherlands – stage III ovarian cancer

MD Anderson – pediatric/ young adults with round cell tumors (sarcomas, Wilm’s tumor etc.)

Chinese study for peritoneal carcinomatosis – (colon or gastric primary)  information about this study hasn’t been updated for a while so I will attempt to contact the primary investigator.  It appears the study was to complete in December of 2009 – but I’ll check anyway.

Belgian study for patients with gastric, biliary and pancreatic cancer

The HIPEC treatment link has a ‘find a doctor’ section – however it does not appear to be working.

Dr. Paul Sugarbaker – inventor of the Sugarbaker procedure (aka HIPEC).  Dr. Sugarbaker is in private practice in Washington, D.C.  He also maintains a list of doctors and treatment centers performing HIPEC.

For information about Hyperthermic intrathoracic chemotherapy and cytoreductive surgery (HITHOC) – visit our sister site, Cirugiadetorax.org

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A look at week’s posting at Cartagena Surgery and our sister sites.

Here at Cartagena Surgery we’ve been talking about the role of the acute care nurse practitioner, more about TAVI (transcatheter therapies of aortic stenosis), and our new features on domestic tourism.

Over at Bogotá Surgery.org we have a new, upgraded (free) Android application that we are testing out.  We also have a new post talking about the latest research results for uniport or single port laparoscopy.  We were pleased to see more information about Dr. Fernando Arias’s HIPEC program on the web, but a little dismayed at the borrowed content.

Also, at Cirugia de Torax.org, we recently completed a series on the lung transplant program at Duke  and updated our HITHOC files with information about the thoracic surgery program at the University Medical Center in Regensburg, Germany.

It’s been a busy week but we’ll try to keep up the pace for all of our readers out there!

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As this site continues to evolve to meet the needs of our readers, we will continue to change formats, add features and other topics.  After receiving excellent feedback over at Bogotá Surgery.org and inquiries about the HIPEC procedure (as described in an interview with Dr. Fernando Arias), I am excited to announce that I will be interviewing Dr. Dan “Trey” Blazer III, a general surgeon at Duke University in Durham, NC.  The interview is tentatively scheduled for later this month.

I am happy to bring more information about this life-saving procedure and the surgeon who performs it to my readers who are unable to travel to Bogotá.

Additional information on domestic medical tourism – in the area of Lung Transplant was recently published in a series of articles on Cirugiadetorax.org

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