January, 29 2018
Puerto Rican heart surgeon, Dr. Raul Garcia Rinaldi has recently returned to his home country of Puerto Rico after a successful follow-up appointment from his own heart surgery procedure in Houston, TX, with McGovern Medical School associate professor Dr. Tom Nguyen.

From one hurricane stricken community to another, Dr. Garcia knew the importance of quickly treating his heart condition and returning to Puerto Rico to provide care to his patients after the devastation of Hurricane Maria in the fall of 2017. Weeks of rest and recovery from traditional heart surgery would not allow Dr. Garcia to return quickly to his community following the hurricane; that is when he discovered Dr. Tom Nguyen, director of minimally invasive valve surgery with the McGovern Medical School’s Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery.

Dr. Nguyen treated Dr. Garcia in November of 2017 through a new, yet non-invasive surgical technique that replaces the diseased aortic valve. After a speedy eight day recovery, Dr. Garcia was back in Puerto Rico performing surgeries; 19 surgeries to be exact, in the first week of being back at work.

“It was important to get back to doing work right away, to me that was important,” Dr. Garcia said.

You can watch the complete story of Dr. Nguyen and his patient Dr. Raul Garcia Rinaldi here.

-Caliann Ferguson, UT Physicians