“My vision of the future of medicine is optimistic with universal care”

Anthony de Lacy He brings immense experience and reputation as a surgeon and is the world leader in gastrointestinal surgery and so-called robotic minimally invasive surgery, After decades in the hospital clinic of Barcelona, ​​he has maintained consultation and activity for some time. Rotgar Quironslud ClinicFrom Palma, where he cannot hide he feels very comfortable.

He maintains his affiliation with the Rotgar Clinic through the Lacey Surgical Institute, IQL. How is this relationship solidified?
About 14 or 15 years ago when the new Quirón Clinic opened in Barcelona, ​​they called me to create a surgery service. After some time, it was established that the contract that Chiron had with me would be expressed through IQL. We are a group of surgeons and other specialists and health professionals that has been growing over the years. We started with four surgeons and now have more than 20. We also work with a new hospital in Badalona. A few years ago, I started working with the Röttger Clinic as Antonio de Lacy, but now that the professional relationship has been established through an institute called IQL, I don’t know if I lead because of gray hair or age. . As our activity at Röttger Clinic has grown, we have trained staff and promoted the integration of technology.

How many hospital centers is IQL working in?
We currently work at Ruber International in Madrid, at Quironsalud Hospital in Barcelona, ​​at Quironsalud Hospital in Badalona and at the Rotgar Quironsalud Clinic here.

Is there any other way to go? Could IQL expand further or is there a time when it would be better to pause and consolidate?
There are some more ideas, but I think it’s time to consolidate. Personally, as a Majorcan – I left the island at a very young age – I have a particular interest in strengthening my activity here. I have to say, although everything can be improved, the facilities at Rotger Clinic currently in emergency, intensive care, nursing, anesthesiology, rooms, diagnostic imaging and other specialties are very good. If you centralize all this in an important room like an operating room, I can say that we have everything here and the most advanced and cutting-edge technology. Many procedures that sometimes required patient transfer are no longer necessary. Our demands as IQL are exactly in line with those of Röttger Clinic. Personally, I am pathologically demanding and the truth is that I am very comfortable working here, as is my entire team, who feel very happy. A good environment is visible in the results.

When acquiring the da Vinci Xi robot for Rotgar Clinic, what was the process?
The inclusion of da Vinci is a very surprising fact, but it is actually the final touch that closes and completes the activity of the operating room. At a certain point, I talked to Rosa Reggi and Fernando Röttger as the people responsible for the clinic, and to Victor Ribot as the manager, and I told them about the convenience of incorporating da Vinci, and how to make it easier. was achieved because they were clear about it from the beginning. When the Rotgar family believes in an idea, they execute it, and that is a model that others follow. This has happened in private healthcare in the Balearic Islands with the acquisition of da Vinci. In this sense, the Röttger family imprints character and that is why I am very satisfied with the alliance between IQL and Clinique, with the idea of ​​further strengthening the relationship between the two. But it’s not about focusing on da Vinci, because this is another element of quality service and high performance. Importantly, Röttger Clinic supports IQL’s vision of innovation and acts accordingly. The equipment and staff of the Röttger Clinic operating room have nothing to envy to the Karolinska Hospital of Sweden, which is considered one of the three best in Europe, nor to any operating room of which I know. , and I know some in the United States. , Singapore or South Korea.

It is always said that all or almost all doctors have been in this profession since they were children. Is this your case?
Many kids say they want to be doctors, but very few say they want to be surgeons, and I already said this when I was 7 or 8 years old. My son is a surgeon at IQL, but, of course, when he was young he saw his mother who was a gynecologist and his father who was also a surgeon. In my case, only one of my father’s brothers was involved in the healthcare world, but the truth is that I saw him very little. This was clear to me since I was a child and I have been practicing for over 40 years.

Interview with surgeon Antonio De Lacey

And with such a long career, does there come a time when one thinks about retirement?When I’m asked this question I always say Alfred Hitchcock filmed birds At a certain age, but, in any case, I am fortunate that I have two children who, if at any time I start doing something stupid, will tell me. Anyway, for some time now, I have been devoting a lot of time to health care education through the AIS platform. Everything I have learned has been at the cost of countless hours and, sometimes, sacrifice of my family for work. I think we need to find ways so that learning doesn’t require so many hours or so many trips. That’s why I created AIS, which is currently the most powerful education platform in the world of surgery, with a presence in 183 countries and China, because there we had to position ourselves in a different way. We have over one and a half million registered. At AIS, every time a topic is addressed, at least 30,000 people know about it for free, so that a young surgeon can virtually sit down with a Nobel laureate. Answering your question more specifically, I will keep working if it does something useful while avoiding making mistakes. I feel that physically and mentally I am in perfect condition to teach and support young people, and one of the advantages of age is that you have a very well-rounded agenda, with exposure to people who are similar to you. can help.

Is less invasive surgery always better?
The body always reacts in some way to a punch, an incision made by a surgeon, an infection or a tumor. The reaction is always swelling. In digestive surgery, the mechanisms that are activated in response to the aggression generated by the surgeon in the intervention account for 60–70% of the healing of abdominal wounds. Minimally invasive surgery avoids inflammation in the abdominal wall and at the same time, you get an enhanced vision with laparoscopy, an image multiplied by four, or with robotics, multiplied by five or six. I was part of the group that demonstrated that laparoscopy achieved better results than open surgery in colon cancer. This was an important milestone, as patient survival was high. Additionally, with minimally invasive surgery, we have gone from patients being admitted for seven days to being discharged in six hours.

I was going to say that robotic surgery is the future, but it’s here. What will the future of robotics in surgery really look like?
The trend is for robots to reach fully autonomous levels, but I believe that, in the next 50 years, this will not be achieved. What I’m looking at is the application of Artificial Intelligence to create a virtual patient with a virtual disease that you can operate on and see and check for potential problems. At the same time, while operating the robot, it will detect whether you are a great expert, an average expert or a novice and based on this it will be more or less involved in the intervention. I would like to experience all that, because it would be really exciting.

But to what extent will the robot be autonomous?
The robot neither eats food nor has physical needs or needs to rest. The robot, like Da Vinci Xi, is a manipulator. That means we make some movement and he repeats it, but he does not take any decision.

And will we have a virtual twin as a patient?
Yes. For some treatments, virtual twins are already being created to test and understand possible complications that may occur, but I think we will also have avatars to keep us company. The world is full of very lonely people. Another issue is that of personalized medicine, in terms of treatment that is far from standard and takes into account the different responses in each patient.

It has always been said that science and research progress very fast. These advancements in medicine are a great benefit to humanity, isn’t it?
Research and innovation continued to vary until the human genome was discovered, ahead of schedule. Was it because someone was smarter? No, it was because the computer was faster. Innovation and research came together for the first time. In short, the collaboration between Clinica Röttger and IQL serves to generate innovation within the framework of medical research. In such a situation, my vision is optimistic, universal medicine and care for all.

What do you do outside of work?
My hobby is surgery. It’s terrible, but staying physically healthy is important for my job, so I try to play sports. I started playing tennis as a child, but I have evolved towards paddle tennis and I go to the gym at least three times a week. The only thing that makes me forget that I am a surgeon is the sea, where I can feel like the happiest person in the world.

(Tags to translate)Antonio De Lacy(T)Da Vinci(T)Surgery(T)Rottgar Clinic(T)Local(T)Palma(T)Palma de Mallorca

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