15 January 2007

The Cuban Patient

Thanks to Camilo over at Estancia Cubana we were able to find that El Pais in Spain is reporting that two sources at the same Hospital where the now infamous Spanish Doctor, Sabrido, works claim that what the Cuban Patient, Fidel Castro, had was diverticulitis. Diverticultis is an inflammation of abnormal pouches in the intestines.

What happened in his case is that they removed the intestinal piece with the inflamed, abnormal, pouches, not cancer. Then ,they reattached the colon to the rectum. Castro probably had an inflamed peritoneum which is a membrane that surrounds all abdominal organs.

When a patient with inflamed peritoneum has their colon reattached, there are likely to be complications, especially in the elderly.

In such cases, it is more prudent to make a temporary rectum to give the patient a chance to heal while they use a colostomy bag and then go back later and reattach the two disconnected parts of the colon.

Whether it was colon cancer or diverticulitis, the operative procedure would have been similar because in both cases a piece of the colon would be removed. So whether it was cancer or not THIS time, is inconsequential.

So far, a lot of the rumors about Fidel have been right on. One of those rumors was that Dr. Sabrido had been called in because the Cuban doctors were treating Castro for the wrong ailment. If it was his position that the colon should not have ben reattached in the intitial operation, then one could see how this rumor could start.

Given his know-it-all persona, one can also see Castro making the medical decision to have the colon reattached rather than opt for the colostomy bag to save his revolutionary ego from the humiliation of colostomy bag.

It is also important to point out that Sabrido pioneered a procedure in which a patient with an intestinal procedure is fitted with a “zipper” which doctors can open and close to clean any infections.

This would be helpful for a patient who is not responding with the more common way to attach tissues –stitches.

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