Satish & Malini
World renowned surgeons
Told their unborn daughter had a rare lung condition that could eventually trigger a deadly infection or cancer, Satish Gadi and Malini Dasari wished they would wake up from the nightmare. But the Baton Rouge couple soon found themselves struggling with reality - this time, from the other side of the exam table.
Both medical doctors, Satish and Malini eventually realized they weren’t getting the skilled care they wanted from their local physicians, whose advice kept changing and delaying the surgery their baby needed. So the parents set out on a search, scouring the internet and asking multiple colleagues from reputable pediatric hospitals across the country for the top experts in the field.
“I told them I want to do everything I can to give our daughter the best possible surgeon with the best possible care,” says Satish, a cardiologist, whose daughter, Samaina (Sunny) has congenital pulmonary adenomatoid malformation (CPAM), a condition that promotes cysts in one or more of the lungs’ five lobes. Both parents repeatedly heard the same answer: Dr. Steven Rothenberg.
The parents soon learned that Dr. Rothenberg, chief of pediatric surgery at the Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s (P/SL), had performed multiple lobectomies on infants with Sunny’s condition. Moreover, he designed and teaches the minimally-invasive techniques he uses for various chest and abdominal surgeries, even helping engineers fabricate his own advanced tools.
“Dr. Rothenberg performs this surgery all over the world,” says Malini, a rheumatologist. Set on minimally-invasive surgery, Sunny’s parents learned that Rothenberg’s technique and tools resulted in the tiniest scars, with the biggest of three incisions smaller than a dime. By opting for minimally-invasive rather than open-chest surgery, the chances of post-operative and long-term complications are diminished and her baby’s pain and recovery period reduced, Malini says.
Dr. Rothenberg’s record with the complex procedure, which requires cutting vessels and arteries around the heart and lungs to remove a diseased lobe, was another convincing piece in the parents’ decision. “He has not had to do a conversion in more than 10 years,” Satish says, referring to when something goes wrong during thoracoscopic surgery and a surgeon must convert to open surgery.
Certain they had the right person, Satish sent a CT scan and letter to Dr. Rothenberg, who called him the next day. “I was totally blown away that this guy who is world-renowned had taken the time to review the CD’s that a stranger had sent him and give me a call,” Satish says. The compassion and expertise of Dr. Rothenberg and the entire crew at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children at P/SL made the experience exceptional, Satish says. “Everyone, from the anesthesiologist to the nurses, was so incredibly well-trained and competent in what they were doing.”
Sunny, who was discharged the day after surgery, should have no limitations, as her young lung grows and compensates for the missing lobe. “She was up and playing in the playroom less than 24 hours later,” Malini says. “If anything, she’s more active.” Satish says he and his wife are beyond grateful for their baby’s care. “It was like an absolute fairy tale for us.”
Dr. Saundra Kay and Dr. Kristen Shipman partner with Dr. Rothenberg at the Rocky Mountain Pediatric Surgery clinic. This team of skilled surgeons work together to provide the highest quality care possible to young patients with a minimally invasive approach.