M.D. Focus: Pain Free

January 12, 2013
Get to know our doctors
Meet four Bumrungrad physicians as they share their thoughts on a range of health care topics.

Providing the highest standards of patient care requires a hospital-wide commitment and professional expertise. Bumrungrad’s medical staff includes over 900 world class doctors of the highest caliber, with outstanding professional credentials and advanced training across the full spectrum of medical sub-specialties.
Q: Which technologies do you rely on with critical care treatments?
A: Ultrasound is one of the most useful and practical technologies. It’s often the fastest method for diagnosing a patient’s medical problem.

While ultrasound may be less detailed than other methods, during a critical situation, saving a few extra minutes can make the difference in saving a patient’s life.
Q: What made you decide to join Bumrungrad?
A: Bumrungrad is a world-class hospital providing care that’s comparable to leading international health care institutions. The doctors, nurses and medical staff here are truly professional, and the hospital operates very efficiently.

This allows me and my colleagues to focus all of our attention on caring for patients. And, of course, I’m very happy to be back in Thailand with my family.
Q: What led you to specialize in pulmonology and critical care medicine?
A: It’s been my preference from very early on in my training. I came to notice the connection between pulmonary and critical care, as most critically-ill patients encounter respiratory problems, and the majority of pulmonology patients require ICU treatment. Patients are facing life-threatening situations that require my prompt action. Seeing these patients recover is an extremely satisfying experience.
Q:  What’s the most challenging aspect of your work?
A: Technology has led to great advances in medicine, but there are still breakthroughs yet to happen for neuro-degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It is our duty to maintain a patient’s life quality for as long as possible. But treatments to slow disease progression and reduce symptoms remain somewhat limited. The current reality can be quite frustrating.
Q: What are your impressions of working at Bumrungrad?
A: Bumrungrad is a leading hospital whose team of doctors includes specialists from a full range of fields. This gives me access to a diverse group of experts and helps me deliver the best possible patient care.
Given Bumrungrad’s reputation and status, some patients may have unrealistic expectations. It’s important for doctors to communicate clearly and effectively with their patients. And patients need to be involved in the decision-making process to ensure they clearly understand the situation and the nature of their treatment.
Q: What principles guide you in your work?
A: I believe that doctors shouldn’t focus solely on their specific area of expertise; it’s important to pursue knowledge that broadens one’s perspective. Having a variety of experiences gives me a better understanding of patients from all kinds of backgrounds, and it has helped me become better and more flexible in how to treat them.
 Q: What aspect of medical genetics are you most interested in?
A: Genetics is the basis of life, and most diseases can be traced to our DNA. Knowledge and under-standing about this field can help doctors in many ways; one especially promising area is personalized or Customized Treatment, which determines a cure based on each patient’s DNA. Another is pharmacogenomics, which uses a patient’s DNA to determine the most effective medication.
Q: What kinds of medical situations leave the most enduring impressions?
A: I had an emergency involving a three-day-old baby boy who went into a coma for no apparent reason. Genetic testing revealed that the baby was unable to digest protein from his mother’s milk.
We gave the baby an alternate protein source, he recovered fully and went on to enjoy a normal childhood. Seeing his parents go from deep despair to feeling hopeful when we gave them the good news, that their baby would recover, is something I will never forget.
Q: What role does technology play in treating such young patients?
A: Treatments involving medical genetics probably wouldn’t exist without leading advanced technologies and equipment for genetic analysis. For example, microarray technology analyzes the genetics of a fetus during pregnancy with greater accuracy than other methods. Bumrungrad is utilizing this tool in collaboration with a leading international laboratory. Genetic analysis and genetic treatments are helping to heal patients and restore their quality of life.


Q: What’s the most important decision a neurosurgeon has to make?
A: Neurosurgeons need to exercise great caution when determining if surgery is the optimal treatment for a patient. Treatment decisions involving the brain are always “safety first,” and sometimes non-surgical treatments or alternative surgeries will be better in terms of patient safety and effectiveness.
One of my patients had a tumor in her brain stem that was blocking the flow of fluid out of the brain ventricle. Before she met me, a tube was inserted from the head to the abdomen to bypass the flow, but the aging tube was blocked and losing its ability to prevent obstruction. I surmised that the tumor had grown very slowly and was therefore unlikely to be cancerous. Using an endoscope, I opened a new path to restore fluid flow without tube insertion and had a biopsy done. This procedure is considerably safer than a full surgery to remove the tumor.
Q: What types of technology are most important in neurosurgery?
A: Neurosurgery requires tremendous precision and a delicate touch. That’s why imaging technologies such as MRI and CT scanning – which can pinpoint the precise cause and location of a medical problem in the brain – are very important to treatment success. The processed data can also be used to map the brain in a way similar to GPS technology.
The latest generation of microscopes is proving to be crucial for allowing neurosurgeons to navigate their way during operations with greater visualization. Hi-tech endoscopes allow for smaller incisions and reduce the physical trauma of surgery. These technologies help increase surgical precision while also enhancing patient safety.
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