Mother, daughter grateful for doctor’s life-saving helpWritten by Duane Ramsey | | email@example.com
Amy Radecki, 23, and her mother Lynne Carroll, of Toledo, are extremely grateful to Dr. Bernardo Martinez and others at St. Luke’s Hospital for their help during Amy’s recent medical emergency.
After school ended in May, Radecki and a group of her friends embarked on a cross-country road trip that took them to the Northwest, down to California, through Texas to Florida and home.
Upon arriving home in late June, Radecki was experiencing pain in her neck and shoulder. Her mother noticed her left arm was swollen.
Thinking her daughter may have been bitten by a spider, Carroll took her to see their family doctor, Dr. Rex Figy at St. Luke’s.
“Dr. Figy took one look at Amy’s arm and ran out of the room, ordered a Doppler and found blood clots in her left arm,” Carroll said. “Amy was admitted to ICU on blood-thinning medication.”
There, staff determined the cause of the problem was an extra rib pinching her main artery underneath the clavicle. She needed a top-notch surgeon who specialized in endovascular surgery.
Dr. M. Farooq Afridi, a vascular surgeon at St. Luke’s, referred them to Martinez, who designed the operation using robotics for thoracic outlet patients. Martinez performed the endovascular surgery on Radecki’s left arm at The Toledo Hospital in early July.
“If I had waited another day, my daughter would not be here today. He saved my daughter’s life,” Carroll said.
Martinez told Radecki and Carroll that there was a 70 to 80 percent chance she would need the same surgery on her right side.
Radecki had a veinogram performed on her right arm Aug. 11 at Bay Park Hospital. Martinez then determined that she needed the endovascular surgery on that side and scheduled it for Aug. 22 at The Toledo Hospital.
At first, Radecki was upset about needing the additional surgery as she was scheduled to start school at Owens Community College this week. She said she needs to complete one more class to earn an associate degree in fine arts.
“My daughter is an artist and very active, so when we were told that activity had to halt, I cried because she is always on the go,” Carroll said.
Radecki said it is easier going into the second surgery after having had the first. It will require a hospital stay of three to four days and recovery time of two to three weeks without lifting before she gets feeling back in her arm, Martinez said.
“I trusted him right away the first time,” Radecki said about Martinez. “He explained it to me and made me feel comfortable with him and the surgery. I trust his surgical skills since he developed the robotics and surgery.”
“We didn’t discover the wheel but made the surgery safer for patients,” said Martinez about the use of the daVinci robotics equipment that allows more freedom of movement for the surgeon.
“The robot becomes an extension of the surgeon’s hands,” he said.
Martinez reported that he has performed 200 surgeries with the daVinci equipment since 2003 with no fatalities, nerve damage or recalls.
Martinez came to the U.S. in 1970 with his medical degree from the National University of Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina.
Martinez said he became a student of noninvasive surgery while practicing at The Cleveland Clinic. He wanted to know more about the noninvasive surgery so he continued to study it after coming to Toledo in 1978.
“The technology for robotics blossomed from 1985 to 1995,” Martinez said.
At age 52, he went to Stanford University in 1997 to study the use of robotics for noninvasive surgeries. He began using robotics in surgery during his one year of study there.
He came back to Toledo to serve as director of minimal invasive surgery at Mercy St. Vincent Hospital from 1998 to 2008. He said they created a unique center for robotic surgery after bring robotics there in November 2002.
“My idea or design was to use a Circon micro video camera with the endoscope for the endovascular surgery which I’ve used on 60 patients during the first two years,” he said.
Martinez made a presentation about the endovascular surgery with robotics to the residents and staff at the Arbors at Sylvania Subacute & Rehabilitation Center, where Carroll works, Aug. 17. He will perform the surgery on Radecki’s right arm Aug. 22 at The Toledo Hospital.