Patient with Skin Cancer Received a Titanium Thorax: This Is the First Case in Central America

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    Specialists at the San Juan de Dios hospital in Central America performed the first surgery where a titanium chest was placed on a patient with skin cancer. Although thoracic procedures are frequently performed in the country, a special prosthesis brought from Germany was used in this case.

    The beneficiary was Eladio Herrera, a 60-year-old Costa Rican diagnosed with squamous cell skin cancer. “First the tumor was in the chest and towards the right armpit; when we do a first surgery we realize that the sternum is also compromised. It was analyzed and, in a second procedure, the sternum lesion was resected and we placed the high-tech titanium prosthesis”, explained Carla Castro, surgical oncologist.

    For his part, the specialist in thoracic surgery, Ricardo Alfaro, explained that part of the sternum and the ribs were resected by 60%. “It required 2 bars that were fixed to the ribs, this gives structural support to the chest wall and allows functionality with minimal risk”, he noted.

    According to the doctors, the procedure took about 5 hours. The institution emphasized that this managed to return the quality of life to the patient. “Two months have passed since the surgery and I feel very well, I appreciate the effort so that I can have a normal life again”, said Herrera.

    Clinical antecedent

    Don Eladio’s work has been construction, exposed to hours of intense sun and with minimal protection, which caused skin cancer. In addition, 20 years ago he received a kidney transplant, for which he must take immunosuppressive drugs and cause the tumors to behave more aggressively. “I am looking forward to starting to do little things like the garden, but I also understand the enormous effort and I have to take care of myself”, the patient emphasized. According to the authorities, a large inter-institutional team made up of oncology, radiotherapy, surgery and nursing professionals participated in the surgical intervention.

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