Salvando Corazones is a biannual cardiac surgery medical mission trip that takes part in March and October in Lima, Peru. The Dos de Mayo Hospital is the institution of main focus, but the surgical team has also traveled to Cuzco (Hospital Lorena) in 2019 and is looking forward to trips to Ayacucho in a near future.
The Salvando Corazones team has performed more than 120 cardiac surgical procedures most of them using minimally invasive surgical approaches with excellent results and zero mortality.
The Dos de Mayo Cardiac Surgery Program, established by Dr. Efrain Montesinos, was the first cardiac surgery program in Perú, and serves as a training ground for cardiovascular surgeons. The medical director of Salvando Corazones, Dr. Aldo Rafael, completed his surgical residency at Dos de Mayo National Hospital and was the first graduate of the hospital's cardiac surgery program under the guidance of Dr. Montesinos.
Dr. Rafael is a surgeon at Baylor University Medical Center – Dallas, and has access to new procedural techniques that third-world countries lack. Salvando Corazones is not just about providing cardiac surgeries free of charge to an underserved population, it’s about bringing different levels of expertise and sharing a common goal. Performing high-risk surgeries to individuals is only a small part of our mission. The medical team is also at the forefront of cardiac surgical innovation in Peru. In 2013, Dr. Rafael introduced the first minimally invasive valve surgery via mini sternotomy approach in Peru and utilized new techniques to protect the brain during cardiopulmonary bypass.
The Salvando Corazones team has the privilege to give back to the Peruvian community by helping the needy through biannual cardiac surgery medical missions. Salvando Corazones has allowed me to form a close friendship, a brotherhood I may say, with many healthcare professionals: including doctors, nurses, technicians, and administrative staff.