Archive for Thursday, January 18, 2007

Newspaper: Castro made medical decision

January 18, 2007


— Fidel Castro himself told surgeons not to perform a colostomy, opting instead for a course of surgery that produced a complication leaving the Cuban leader in far worse condition, according to a newspaper report Wednesday.

After removing an inflamed piece of Castro's large intestine in an operation last year, the doctors connected the remainder directly to his rectum, rather than attaching a colostomy bag, El Pais said, quoting two medical sources at Madrid's Gregorio Maranon hospital. The operation failed when a suture burst.

"The Cuban dictator and his advisers are the ones who decided on the surgical technique that has led to the complications," the paper said.

While the newspaper article did not name the sources, one of the journalists who wrote it told The Associated Press that both were doctors at the hospital. The journalist, Oriel Guell, said none of the information in articles published Tuesday and Wednesday came from surgeon Jose Luis Garcia Sabrido, who flew to Cuba in December to treat the 80-year-old Castro.

Garcia Sabrido, the hospital's chief surgeon, declined comment Wednesday but said in an interview posted on CNN's Web site that El Pais' account of Castro's condition being grave was wrong.

"According to my information, there is even some progressive improvement," he was quoted as saying. "The only truthful parts of the newspaper's reports are the name of the patient, that he has been operated on, and that he has had complications. The rest is rumors."


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