Bariatric Surgery by Minimum Access, Pillar of Cuban Health 


Minimally invasive techniques standardized internationally give credit to this increasingly demanded service to face obesity, one of the most frequent health problems in the world.

Not by chance, Bariatric Surgery is so demanded at the National Center for Minimal Access Surgery (CNCMA), says Dr. Miguel Ángel Martínez Alfonso, who leads this service among his functions at the head of international medical care in this prestigious Cuban institution, where professionalism and high technology go hand in hand.

With the application of the most standardized techniques today worldwide, obese patients are treated in this way, mainly with comorbidities that risk their lives and who are determined to reverse their weight, habits and customs.

The professor and researcher also assures that “in this hospital we perform bariatric surgery, but that is not the magic solution, only the spark that starts the engine. At the same time, mental surgery is required of the patient, once he returns home; that is, a change in the way of thinking and assuming their routine. Guiding the new life behaviors to follow is part of the process carried out by the multidisciplinary team created for these purposes.”

“It is a group of surgical techniques that aim to reduce gastric capacity or alter intestinal transit so that the absorption of food during digestion that date from the mid-50s of the last century decreases, which have evolved over time and from the 90s begin to be performed by laparoscopic techniques that at the same time allow a rapid recovery,  less pain and excellent aesthetic results, reduce or “minimize” complications as frequent in these patients as are, infections and hernias of surgical wounds, pneumonia and thrombosis among others. One does not cease to be surprised to see the operated incorporated and with minimal discomfort ́ the day after the surgery, “says Dr. Miguel Ángel with that communicative ease that characterizes him.

̈The most performed techniques in our center, for being the most effective and demanded internationally are the Sleeve and the Gastric Bypass, once the preoperative evaluation has been carried out by a multidisciplinary team integrated among other specialties by endocrinology, nutrition, psychology, surgery and anesthesiology the patient is operated on, usually staying 72 hours hospitalized. In foreign patients we recommend staying in the country between seven and ten days after the operation,” he said.

“As a third level of health, we serve patients referred from other institutions in the country, or from other nations, who arrive either directly or through the Cuban Medical Services Marketing Company.” The specialist pointed out that so far, the greatest demand comes from the Cuban community in the United States and Canada, countries with a high rate of obesity.

The international area, located on the fifth floor, has rooms of excellent condition and facilities for internet connection, as well as 24-hour nursing care.  The total price of Bariatric Surgery ranges between 6 thousand and 7 thousand dollars, well below the prices in other similar institutions. Professionalism and high human value are the pillar of this service, which together with cosmetic and gynecological surgeries, also by minimal access, considerably increases its acceptance inside and outside the country.

“It is worth clarifying that obesity is one of the most alarming health problems worldwide, highlighting that between 1975 and 2016 the numbers of obese people tripled internationally and is therefore one of the most discussed topics in international surgery events, “. “According to studies that have been carried out, the causes of origin are multiple, but eating and living habits are decisive factors. Before there was talk of malnutrition, now it is malnutrition that increasingly becomes a global problem and as a determining cause in the increase in obesity rates, “says who for years has followed the issue very closely.

His category as a Doctor of Science places him among the most renowned specialists in minimal access surgery, to which he has dedicated almost 30 years being a pioneer in the application of these techniques in Cuba and founder of CNCMA. That is why he defends it with such vehemence and assures that it requires a lot of study, attitude and aptitude, skills and precisions that are acquired in practice, since it is an activity that dispenses with the visual and tactile sensation to which the surgeon is accustomed, hence the need for prior training that reduces the learning curve.

As a national postgraduate institution of the University of Medical Sciences of Havana, this hospital has a first-class training center, where national and foreign specialists are trained (mainly from Latin America and the Caribbean). It has classrooms, theater, library and a training room with models and simulators, in addition to the direct transmission from the surgical unit of the center for the visualization of the surgeries live.

“It happened to me when I started and to every specialist who joins our team: to enter this world is to start over, to do a new specialty. But it is exciting and has more and more future,” says who categorically claims to be a Cuban doctor who feels fulfilled, because he opted for this surgical procedure when few believed in him and other specialists who one day risked following the long path constantly transforming surgical sciences.

Information about the National Center for Minimal Access Surgery

The National Center for Minimal Access Surgery is the national reference center dedicated to endoscopic therapeutics and minimally invasive surgery. In addition to constituting the Postgraduate Education Center of the Higher Institute of Medical Sciences dedicated to the training, training and certification of national and foreign medical specialists in the domain of basic and advanced techniques of surgery of minimum access, it is a Science and Technological Innovation Unit in charge of the preparation and execution of research projects and / or controlled studies for the evaluation of technologies and patents in the field of endoscopic surgery.

It serves eight surgical specialties integrated by highly qualified personnel trained in centers of international prestige in Europe, Japan and the United States (General Surgery, Gastroenterology, Gynecology, Urology, Neurosurgery, Otolaryngology, Aesthetic Surgery, Interventional Imaging, and Rheumatology)

. Telephones: 537 76495332

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Source: Periódico Digital Centroamericano y del Caribe


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