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„The patient’s best chance for complete success is when they come for early consultation, shortly after the injury. This allows for quick treatment and avoids permanent damage.”
Dr. Rodrigo Bolaños is one of the most prominent specialists in hand surgery in Guatemala, recognized for his excellence in the comprehensive management of complex hand, wrist, and elbow disorders, including fracture and arthritis. With many years of experience, Dr. Bolaños now performs about 250 hand and upper extremity surgeries a year. He has a specialty in Orthopedics and Traumatology, and a supra-specialty in Hand and Upper Limb Surgery.
Dr. Bolaños is widely recognized internationally. He was president of the Guatemala chapter of the „Association for Osteosynthesis – A.O“. Trauma„, originated in Davos, Switzerland. This unique international community of orthopedic surgeons, researchers of musculoskeletal conditions and specialized operating room personnel are dedicated to generating and disseminating knowledge, experience, and evidence to improve patient care and outcomes in the field of musculoskeletal trauma. As an honored presenter in Switzerland, Dr. Bolaños prepares educational seminars that will give young physicians the confidence of knowing they have the cutting-edge skills needed to function as well as any physician in the world.
Dr. Bolaños is also a member of the “American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons” (AAOS), the preeminent provider of musculoskeletal education for orthopedic surgeons worldwide. He was also president of the „Asociación Guatemalteca de Ortopedia y Traumatología“ (AGOT) and the „Asociación Guatemalteca de Cirugía de la Mano“ (AGCM). He is currently an international member of the „American Society for Surgery of the Hand“ (ASSH).
At the “Clínica de la Mano al Hombro”, patients who come to the office seeking relief from pain caused by an accident, a sports injury or a degenerative disease are evaluated and treated.
To speed the recovery process for its patients, it has a network of physical therapists especially dedicated to post-operative treatment. During surgeries, of comparable quality to the best hospitals in the world, Dr. Bolaños uses top quality surgical equipment and implants and has access to the most renowned hospitals in Guatemala City. Through incisions and a refined technique in the handling of soft tissues, he seeks to obtain healing and scarring with the least possible sequelae.
It is important to Dr. Bolaños that his patients understand all facets of their situation and the process required to solve the problem. He uses audiovisual tools, such as photos and videos, in his clinic to illustrate the problem, then relies on the patient’s diagnostic images to achieve a better understanding through visual confirmation with the patient. Because Dr. Bolaños works with everyone from small babies and young mothers to the elderly and their caregivers, he takes the time to explain how a teacher, educating in a friendly way with words and methods that make sense.
When Dr. Bolaños needs more than a physical exam to diagnose the cause of pain and/or trauma, he relies on the most modern imaging facilities in Guatemala. For example, X-rays can clearly show bones and fractures, but to see bones in more detail, such as density or tumor growth, a computerized axial tomography (CT) scan is required. The soft tissue in the joints and around the bones is visible in high detail with an MRI image. However, to see how the tissues interact in motion and under stress, a dynamic ultrasound gives the physician all the information he or she needs to determine the right procedure to restore range of motion to the maximum performance level.
Some types of upper extremity injuries commonly treated by Dr. Bolaños are:
Scaphoid fracture, one of the most common carpal injuries. It often occurs after a fall on the outstretched hand or in a car accident, after hyperextension of the wrist joint. Because there is no visible deformity or difficulty with movement, many people with this injury assume that it is a „sprain“ of the wrist. Unfortunately, delaying treatment can cause serious problems.
Dupuytren’s (du-pwe-TRANZ) contracture usually progresses over the years, starting with a thickening of the skin in the palm of the hand, which simulates a cord that limits the extension of the affected finger, thus keeping it in a bent position. Since the affected fingers cannot be completely straightened, everyday activities become considerably more complicated.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. When it is not treated early, it can deteriorate the joints and connective tissue, and the patient suffers pain and disfigurement. Dr. Bolaños corrects the resulting deformity to restore function and mobility, and thus resolve the consequences of rheumatoid arthritis.
De Quervain’s tenosynovitis is the result of painful inflammation of the wrist and thumb tendons. Dr. Bolaños can open the compartment that covers the tendons and allows them to move freely. The patient can then enjoy restored range of motion and rapid healing with small, minimally invasive incisions.
With fluent communication in Spanish, English and German, patients know that their hands are in the best hands with Dr. Rodrigo Bolaños.
„Our hands are full of small parts in small spaces that need to function precisely in unison, like a Swiss watch. They are small parts, which in real life, operate with such coordination that we can use our hands as instruments. Manual dexterity is not something we think about every day, but it allows us to create the products we are proud of in our work, to prepare a good meal for our family, or to write thoughts to share our opinions and to caress our loved ones at home.“
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons – AAOS
Asociación Guatemalteca de Ortopedia y Traumatología – AGOT, Guatemala
Federación Internacional de Sociedades y Asociaciones Latinoamericanos de Ortopedia y Traumatología. International Federation of Latin American Societies and Associations of Orthopedics
Asociación Guatemalteca de Cirugía de la Mano
Association for Osteosynthesis | A.O. Trauma, Davos, Switzerland
International Confederation of Health Confederation Internacional de la Salud
Instituto Guatemalteco de Seguridad Social – IGSS, Guatemala
American Society for Surgery of the Hand
Colegio de Medico y Cirujanos de Guatemala Guatemala College of Physicians and Surgeons
Congreso Internacional de Cirugía y Terapia de la Mano
Congreso Nacional de Medicina, Guatemala
AO Trauma, Davos, Switzerland
Universidad El Bosque, Facultad de Medicina, Bogota, Colombia
Ibero-Latin American Hand Surgery Congress
Fundación Santa Fé, Bogota,Colombia
Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala – USAC, School of Medical Sciences
Health Stream International, Miami Beach, Florida
Universidad de Francisco Marroquin – UFM, Facultad de Medicina, Guatemala
Synovial cyst, diagnosis and treatment in Guatemala, published by Dr. Bolaños, Central America Doctors, 2020.
The Recurrence of Wrist Ganglia After Open Surgical Resection
Value of Albumin Service at the Moment of Hospital Admission as a Mortality Prediction Factor in Patients Over 50 Years of Age with Hip Fracture.
Utilización del Clavo Bloqueado Intramedular Anterógrado a la Placa Dinámica de Compresión en la Fractura Diafisaria Humeral
Dr. Bolaños is respected guest speaker at the regional medical conferences throughout Guatemala, donating his time and talent to training young doctors. In small cities and towns, local doctors appreciated the opportunity to hear lectures and learn new techniques from Dr. Bolaños, which will increase their own knowledge and skills to better serve their patients, who are far away from city resources. He has participated in many medical missions and symposia in Esquipulas and Retalhuleu since 2014.