Thursday, August 29, 2019

Brazilian orthopedic surgeon hopes to learn new technique

Breno Frota Siqueira, an orthopedic surgeon from Brazil, has been participating in a fellowship course at Wooridul Spine Hospital.

Siqueira said he came to Korea because orthopedic doctors here use modern equipment, which facilitates learning, while those in Brazil can only find limited technology at a small number of private hospitals.

"Many people ask me here in Seoul why I did not go to take a fellowship program in the Unites States or a European country, which are much closer to Brazil. I chose Wooridul hospital because of its worldwide recognition for the clinical treatment of spine problems with minimally invasive techniques," he said in a recent interview with The Korea Times at the hospital in southern Seoul.

Operation costs and difficulties with Brazilian laws make it difficult to develop new surgical techniques in the country, resulting in a slow and expensive process, Siqueira said.

Siqueira, who began his career as an orthopedic surgeon in 2007, also participated in Wooridul's minimally invasive spinal surgery (MISS) course in 2017, which provides lectures, observation of operations and supervised hands-on practice of the surgical technique.

The MISS technique, developed by the hospital, preserves as much of the regular disc tissue as possible, leaving a minimal scar to help patients recover more quickly.

"I already knew that Korea was a pioneer in minimally invasive spine surgery and decided to come here to learn about that," he said.

The fellowship course provides easy access to operating suites, which allows the participants to ask any questions about the surgery directly to the surgeons. The large number of surgeries performed at the hospital is also one of benefits in the fellowship program, he said.

Although the hospital treats patients from many countries, he is especially pleased to see Brazilian patients here.

"I remember one patient from Brazil who already had surgeries three times in the last 10 years in Brazil without considerable improvement. She came to know about this hospital after her son's Google searching and visited here."

Siqueira said the patient had surgery with the MISS technique which takes 30 minutes with a shorter anesthesia time. He hopes someday he will treat patients in Brazil with the MISS technique and allow them to be free from worrying about the side effects of traditional open surgery such as backache and difficulty in mobility.

"I believe that one day the medical environment for spine surgery will change in Brazil, as my ultimate goal is to be able to help my patients there, offering less invasive surgeries," he said.