*Blog written by Vilas Saldanha, MD*
Embark on a transformative journey with an orthopedic surgeon who brings expertise forged in war zones and advanced robotic techniques to deliver exceptional care.
From the bustling cities of America to the war-torn regions of Afghanistan, my journey as an orthopedic surgeon has been nothing short of transformative. I’ve performed thousands of surgeries, witnessed a myriad of injuries, and learned valuable lessons that have shaped me both as a surgeon and a human being.
Fresh out of surgical residency, I volunteered for my first deployment as an orthopedic surgeon with the U.S. military. I was driven by a strong sense of duty, and a passion for service that transcended borders. Over a six-month period, I performed nearly 500 surgeries ranging from adult and pediatric orthopedics to trauma, plastic surgery, and high-energy blast injuries. This demanding environment honed my surgical skills at an extraordinary pace, and I gained confidence that would have taken years to develop otherwise.
While serving in Afghanistan, I was exposed to a vast spectrum of injuries and pathologies that were unlike anything seen in the United States. I bore witness to the harsh reality of war, and it fundamentally changed my perspective as a physician. It underscored the value of resilience, versatility, and adaptation, attributes that I believe are crucial for any surgeon.
Upon my return, my commitment to the field of orthopedics was stronger than ever. I sought further specialization, and I was fortunate enough to complete two fellowships in Orthopedic Trauma Surgery and Adult Reconstructive Surgery. These experiences allowed me to delve deeper into complex hip and knee revision surgeries, expanding my repertoire and skillset.
One of the most transformative periods in my surgical career was learning the art of robotic hip and knee surgery. Harnessing the precision and capabilities of robotics has revolutionized my approach to surgery and has yielded exceptional outcomes for my patients.
To date, I’ve performed nearly 7,500 operations. Each one has left an indelible imprint, and collectively, they stand testament to my relentless pursuit of surgical excellence. Every surgical case I undertake is informed not just by my extensive training and experience, but also by the lessons I’ve learned through my journey.
From the operating rooms of America to the makeshift surgical tents in Afghanistan, my mission has remained steadfast: to provide the best possible care for my patients. The battlefield taught me the value of grit, resilience, and unyielding dedication; lessons that I bring to each surgical case.
My journey has been both challenging and enriching. And if asked whether I’d do it all over again, my response is simple: “In a heartbeat.” It is the lessons learned, the resilience gained, and the lives touched that make this journey worthwhile. With every surgery, every patient, I strive to bring the best of my journey into the operating room.
Choosing a surgeon for an elective procedure is a crucial decision. I want my patients to know that with me, they’re not just getting a surgeon with extensive experience and advanced training. They’re choosing a surgeon whose skills have been forged in some of the toughest circumstances imaginable.