Gonzalo Mallarino Restrepo, M.D
Colombia Chapter Chair
I am a plastic surgeon born and raised in Bogotá, currently training as a Reconstructive Microsurgeon at the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taipei, with the aim of acquiring the knowledge needed to deliver comprehensive care to patients suffering from lymphatic diseases back home.
I work as an attending surgeon at Policlínico del Olaya in Bogotá, where I lead the Oncologic Reconstructive Microsurgery team. I’m passionate about delivering health care as an agent of social change.
Colombia has a vast population of lymphedema patients who lack health services specialized in treating their condition. Many factors have contributed to this difficult situation that patients are currently in, first and foremost, is the lack of awareness; not only by the patients, but also by most healthcare workers that ignore the existing treatments that can be offered to a patient suffering from lymphatic disease.
Additionally, there are only a handful of people that have received some type of training for providing care to patients that go through lymphedema and similar conditions.
I'm working side-by-side with a physical therapist who has dedicated her practice entirely to providing therapy to lymphedema patients, and we envision ourselves as the leaders and creators of the first comprehensive center for lymphedema treatment.
We strongly feel that the first step is to create awareness and gain enough visibility so that patients, healthcare providers, and other people interested in joining our struggle, are able to reach us, and know that there is someone out there willing to share the burden that lymphedema has laid on them.
I’m also a frustrated swimmer and I will watch everything that has David Lynch’s name on it. I live my life according to Bob Dylan’s lyric from "Gotta Serve Somebody"
Might like to wear cotton, might like to wear silk
Might like to drink whiskey, might like to drink milk...
But you're gonna have to serve somebody