Dr. Jorge Vargas raised the prestige of the doctors of the Caja Costarricense de Seguro Social (CCSS or Caja) successfully carrying out a truly incredible operation at the Enrique Baltodano Hospital in Liberia, Guanacaste.
The doctor, trained in Italy, connected the stomach with the small intestine of a 59-year-old patient with pancreatic cancer without using the scalpel.
“The situation was urgent. Pancreatic tumor growth had blocked her digestive tract (from the esophagus to the small intestine) and the gallbladder. At the time of arrival at the hospital, the woman could not swallow, not even saliva, because she had three weeks with a blocked stomach and had a yellow tinge to the skin due to the blockage of the gallbladder,” said Vargas.
The doctor put a camera through the patient’s mouth (endoscope) to reach the organs and once this was done, connected the gallbladder through the same digestive tract so that it could drain.
“The benefit was immediate. Within hours the patient was able to start drinking liquids and then on solids. The next day the yellow color of the skin was gone. The pain and discomfort related to the blockages disappeared,” added the doctor.
This is the first time a procedure of this caliber is performed in Costa Rica on an oncological patient. The usual medical option would have been to perform a traditional operation, cutting (opening up the body) to reach the organs, but that would multiply the pain and worsen the patient’s condition.
The patient’s name was not released to the press.