Thursday, January 18, 2007

Castro Declines Colostomy After He Received Incompetent Care From Cuba's Free Public Health Care System

Cuban leader Fidel Castro chose to avoid a colostomy and opted for riskier intestinal surgery that led to serious complications, the Spanish newspaper El Pais said. The shortcut involved sewing the colon to the rectum but did not heal properly and broke apart, releasing gastric fluid with faeces that caused serious infection. The newspaper reported a day earlier that Castro's prognosis was "very serious" and that he is being fed intravenously after three failed operations for diverticulitis, or pouch-like bulges in the large intestine that get infected. El Pais cited medical sources at the same Madrid hospital where a surgeon who examined Castro in late December works.A colostomy, the usual procedure for diverticulitis after removing part of the intestine, is an opening in the abdomen to release waste into an external bag. A second operation is required to rejoin the intestine. "Castro and his entourage, according to medical sources close to the case, rejected this approach because they considered it uncomfortable and did not want him to undergo a second operation," El Pais said. The advantage of the shorter procedure was that Castro could have been back on his feet within days if it had worked. Instead, he suffered a second peritonitis, or infection, requiring two further operations, it added. United States doctors said the report suggested Castro had received questionable or even botched care from Cuba's doctors and the free public health care system that Castro has long prided himself on!