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Dr. Dr. Jose Castellanos is a member of the elite team of cardiologists of Hospital Herrera Llerandi, located at the heart of the prestigious hospital district in Guatemala City. Dr. Castellanos has been practicing in this location since 2005 and generally performs between 250-300 cardiac procedures per year, including catheterization, alcohol septal ablation, angioplasty and valvuloplasty.
Sometimes patients feel pain in the chest, like pressure, burning, heaviness or squeezing. Symptoms of coronary artery disease can also include dizziness, nausea, sweating or general weakness. In any of these circumstances, it is wise to have a consultation and complete check- up with Dr. Castellanos right away.
A conventional coronary angiogram can show the doctor if your coronary arteries are blocked or narrowed, where, and by how much. He can see if you need treatment such as angioplasty (a stent), coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG), or medical therapy. A coronary angiogram is the most common type of cardiac catheterization procedure. If necessary, Dr. Castellanos can open clogged heart arteries (angioplasty) during your coronary angiogram.
Computerized tomography (CT) coronary angiogram is a much more powerful exam that produces images of your heart and blood vessels. CT angiograms are noninvasive and don’t require any recovery time. Staying on the cutting edge of advanced cardiac procedures, Dr. Castellanos says, “The best cardiac centers in Guatemala City have begun to offer absorbable stents, which integrate better than the old-fashioned metal stents and are less likely to become blocked and cause thrombosis.”
In a peripheral angioplasty procedure, a catheter is inserted into a blood vessel in the groin. Then, using high-resolution fluoroscopic video and film equipment, the catheter is guided through the peripheral artery to place a balloon that will be inflated so that it opens the blocked artery. After the blocked area of the peripheral artery is widened, the balloon is deflated and removed. Finally, the blood can flow easily and naturally through the arteries to supply life-giving oxygen to the heart.
Dr. Castellanos has also conducted research studies related to Type II diabetes, hypertension, coronary syndrome, as the principal head of the trial. You can depend on Dr. Castellanos to offer the highest quality research, experience, medical skills, and genuine compassion to assure his patients of the best possible outcome, to live longer and happier with a heart full of gratitude.
Unidad de Cirugía Cardiovascular de Guatemala (UNICAR)
UNICAR Cardiac Surgery Hospital, Guatemala City
Clinica Medica Especializada en Cardiología. Cardiology Specialty Clinic, Guatemala City
Hospital Herrera Llerandi, Guatemala City
Sociedad Panameña de Cardiología. Panamanian Society of Cardiology
Isthmian Medical Research of Guatemala, Hospital Multimedica #608
Asociación Guatemalteca de Cardiología – Guatemalan Association of Cardiology
Sociedad Latinoamericana de Cardiología. Latin American Society of Cardiology
Liga Guatemalteca del Corazon. Heart League of Guatemala
Colegio de Medicos y Cirujanos de Guatemala – Guatemala College of Physicians and Surgeons
United States Medical Licensing Exam
El Instituto Nacional de Cardiología, Universidad Autonoma, México City, México
Roosevelt Hospital, Guatemala City
Universidad de San Carlos Facultad de Ciencias Medicas, Guatemala City
Universidad de Francisco Marroquin, Facultad de Medicina, Guatemala City
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Cardiology Procedures in Guatemala by Lori Shea
Published in Revue Magazine, December 2012
Cardiology Procedures in Guatemala
Regulating the rhythm and flow of your heart.
By Lori Shea
Published in REVUE Magazine December 2012
Just like the kitchen is the heart beat of your home, the blood pumped from your heart muscle delivers sustenance, stability and the elements of reconstruction to all parts of your body. Your cardiovascular system draws life-giving oxygen from the lungs and delivers it to the brain and organs in a perfectly balanced structural design. So, if the valves get stuck and the plumbing backs up or the electrical system goes haywire, all production slows or stops, and could result in disaster until professional repairs are made.
Dr. Jose Castellanos is the “plumber”, or interventional cardiologist, who might look for restrictions in the blood flow by initiating a cardiac catheterization. With these results, he can determine whether the vessels can be dilated by an angioplasty and supported by stents, or if a CABG (coronary artery bypass grafting) surgery is required. In other cases, the valves might need to be repaired or replaced to regulate pressure at optimum efficiency.
The “electrician”, or electro physiologist will look at the force and the rhythm of the heart to calculate an irregularity that might inhibit blood flow to the organs. He may determine that an ablation is required to destroy those malformations that are interfering with normal impulses, pressure, and rhythm.
On a Thursday morning in October, I was invited to observe a cardiac ablation procedure at Hospital Herrera Llerandi in Guatemala City. To treat the patient’s arrhythmia, the lead cardiologists insert various specialized wires called electrodes through the veins, and then carefully place them in predetermined areas of the heart. Together with the medical staff, they measure electrical activity to locate the origin of abnormalities and make precise corrections, by burning or altering the areas, to allow for normal electrical stimulation.
The mechanical precision with which the technical team cleared the room from a catheterization and prepared for the following procedure was astounding. No movement was incidental. Their preparations were calculated and reflexive. Every gown, glove, tube, wire and instrument remained sanitized and protected until its release was requested, to perform as required.
The patient looked at me with a contented smile as he was comfortably positioned on the operating table and sedated. Next to him, a panel of three computer monitors stands ready to follow the catheters through the vein and into the heart, in high definition and real time, with the latest software efficiency from St. Jude Medical Instruments.
The doctors humbly explained to me that there is no director in the operating room. Every cardiologist, anesthesiologist, nurse, assistant, and technician is a valuable contributor to the operation, with a clearly defined responsibility. Each job is integral to assuring the success of the procedure.
To my inexperienced eye, their gestures seemed larger than life, effortless and dignified. With a single nod of consent, the team performed precisely with only one goal in mind, to do the best job they could for the young man on the table. I knew I was watching a sophisticated team, exuding the calm and experience that we all strive for in our professional endeavors: They make it look easy.
The time flew by, and three hours after the patient was wheeled in, the series of procedures was wrapping up and reports were recorded and printed for his file. Between the sterile protection of the face mask secured with Micropore tape, and the blue skullcap pulled tight to thwart the escape of even a single strand, the doctor’s unmistakable squint, and twinkle conveyed the words we all want to hear, with all sincerity: “Everything’s going to be alright”.
Neither your home nor your heart can function properly without fluidity and balance. The enemies of your long and happy life, like high stress or deteriorating mechanical systems, can be reversed only with regular monitoring and a commitment to maintaining the highest possible standards.
Come back soon to read about the latest treatment methods that this doctor finds most interesting
Please write to us about your experience with the doctor in the “Comments” section below. Other patients will be interested to know more about the doctor’s skill, experience, ethics and personal attention, as they resulted in your successful outcome
Dear Dr Castellanos,
I want to THANK YOU IMMENSELY! Dave went to see you on Thursday, accompanied by my partner Dan. It turns out that my friend Dave has critical aortic stenosis due to having a bicuspid aortic valve and will need open heart surgery as soon as possible to avoid 50% chance of dying within two years.
You have definitely been a major contributor to improving his quality of life. Thank you!!!!
Eliza, Panajachel, Guatemala Sept 2017
I would like you to thank both doctors for me. The heart and lung doctors especially (Drs. Jose Castellanos and JP Moralejo). It seems I have a mass in the mediastinum, the area between the heart and lungs. It is a cancer … My internist says it “was a gift from God” that it was found by Dr. Castellanos. All my doctors in Chicago are interested in knowing how it was it found, because this is not too usual a place to have a mass. With the fast intervention of Dr. Castellanos, my progress is quickly moving forward.
Mrs. BK, Chicago, USA, 2012
I can’t believe the special VIP treatment I received throughout my care with Dr. Castellanos. From my first visit, scheduled one day in advance, until my release from the hospital, it was the best possible medical experience I could ever hope for.
Ms. J.D. Antigua, Guatemala, 2015
Greetings. A year ago this morning, you cut open my chest and took my heart out of my body and worked on it on a table for an hour and nineteen minutes, (I think I was told that). Well I guess it’s safe to say that it worked! At least for a year! God knows about the future and, without much choice in the matter, I’ll take it as it comes. But you good doctors pulled me back from the brink and gave me another chance to “stay alive and in the game!” Thank you!
I think you would be pleased if you examined me – I weigh 160 lb. Nine years ago I weighed 240 lb. I avidly and happily engage in an average of at least 90 minutes of strenuous aerobic exercise every day, every day! I kayak most mornings, and do at least an hour of aerobic movement in the pool. I basically give myself a “stress test” every day, often several times, and have had not a moment of angina in a year. And then I work out in a gym for another half hour or so most days.
Blood pressure a few minutes ago was 126/64/71. The first number is often below 120. Had an EKG a couple of months ago and it was fine. Stopped taking the blood pressure med due to low pressure; stopped taking cholesterol med because figures were better than normal.
I enjoyed getting to know each of you a bit. You were kind, very competent and assuring. And I’m sitting here enjoying the sunrise, about to go for an hour’s kayak ride with friends, and my dogs, due to your good work. All joy to each of you…
Mr. David S. Ford from Placencia, Belize
They asked me, “What were your symptoms?” I was driving down the road to El Salvador and started having a strong backache and sweating profusely. I went to a Medical Alert station where they indicated that it was nothing and I was perfectly fine to continue. I called my wife and she decided to take me to Hospital Herrera Llerandi where they called Dr. Jose Miguel Castellanos. The situation got complicated.
The doctor explained that I suffered from pneumonia and was diagnosed with a disease called SIRPA which is a syndrome of acute pulmonary respiratory failure. He told me that this disease kills eight out of ten sufferers and that the heart attack that I suffered was quite strong, with complications of pneumonia and sirpa.
Thanks to god and the intervention of Dr. Castellanos, I was one of those patients who was saved, and able to be alive today to give my testimony to everyone.
Edgar Rolando Castañeda, Guatemala, 2017
We are happy to have Dr. Jose Castellanos as our primary doctor in the city. He looks at the big picture of every issue to explain how all aspects of heart and circulation work together. I like that he has the skills and confidence and no-nonsense approach to evaluate and correct the problem without wasting time and money. He is everything you would expect in a really good cardiologist.
Judy & Gene, Antigua Guatemala, 2018
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Public service and caring for the less fortunate is a way of life in the Latin american culture