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Antonio de Lacy: "I am a hospital animal, I operate five days a week in three cities"


The 66-year-old surgeon, an eminent figure in non-invasive robotic surgery, retired in 2022 as head of the Clinic's gastrointestinal area, but continues to operate privately and plans to create a patient-focused hospital

Appointment at the upscale Wellington Hotel, his “home” when he operates in Madrid.

"I operated on someone from the house and they make me a super price," he clarifies, preventively, planted in the


dressed to the nines waiting for the visit at one in the afternoon.

Antonio de Lacy Fortuny, lifelong son of the Mallorcan bourgeoisie, is an eminence, not just a doctor.

Between his social circle and the notables he has operated on throughout his life, a

Hello! magazine could be filled.

and a newspaper

Five days


But he has also operated on thousands of public health patients of all social and economic conditions at the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, ​​in whose operating rooms he began practicing as a student.

In contrast to his showy white hair, the doctor does not mince words while the recorder is on.

Off, none.

Can I see your hands?

[He shows them: neat manicure, strong, long fingers].

I have horrible feet, and my hands should be, but no, because I exercise them by operating.

My right arm is also an inch and a half longer than my left, because of tennis.

When did you last operate?


I operate four or five times a week in three different cities: Barcelona, ​​Madrid and Palma de Mallorca.

And that he is retired.

Clinic only.

In public health there is a tendency to remove management positions when you turn 65, although the law allows it up to 68. So, put in a bind, I preferred to go and try to set up my project, my dream.

I'm ambitious, in the best sense, not a climber who slashes and leaves behind corpses.

At 40, testosterone dominates you more than wanting to sign at all costs.

At 66, my ambition is slow and mature.

Are you a workaholic?

I have always been.

Now, in addition, I am a widower.

My wife [Catalina Oliver, a gynecologist, with whom he had been married for 30 years and has two children] died of lung cancer four years ago and I have not gotten over it.

My children are older.

I am alone.

My life is work and I want to continue working.

What does it mean for a doctor not to have been able to save his wife?

I could tell you sad, terrible things, but the surgeon is an optimistic guy by definition, he sees the glass as half full.

I have to see it to be able to operate.

But with my wife I realized what the patient and the family member suffer.

When she was diagnosed, the cancer was advanced.

They gave her months to live and she lasted four years, because lines of investigation were opening up.

She would wake me up at three in the morning and start me studying everything.

So much so that some believe that I am an oncologist.

Of course I used my medical privilege.

I'm not a white dove.

But it lasted what the statistics said it would last.

That is devastating.

One day, when I was already very ill, Catalina told me: "You who operate on so much cancer, you cannot save me."

I have it nailed to my forehead.

They say that his collaborators fear him, I mean respect, but that his patients love him.

Patients have always loved me, but now they love me more, because I am a better doctor and a better person.

And that is what my dream consists of.

In making a hospital where the patient is really the center.

I have called it

We deserve

, "we deserve", in English, because we deserve a hospital where there are no more waits than necessary, where, if possible, a diagnosis and a treatment and a probable scenario are obtained, and a study is carried out. the whole family if necessary.

That is very expensive.

That's dirt cheap.

The expensive thing is that in five years those relatives with advanced cancer come and need very expensive treatments, or they die.

Face has been the covid, which has delayed diagnoses and therapies and has cost many lives.

The covid has given lessons that we are not applying.

And who pays for that hospital?

And who could be served there?

Investment funds would pay for it, people with money, I am dedicating myself to attracting potential investors and everyone sees it very clearly.

I believe in public-private collaboration.

It is amazing that Amancio Ortega is criticized for donating equipment, for example.

It is about the model expanding and anyone being able to be patient.

It is difficult, but possible, I give myself two years to achieve it.

You and I know that the quality of care in Spain depends on the

postal code

of the patient.

Yes. And there are also places in Africa where they cut off your hands if you steal, or your clitoris if you are a woman.

The most important quality of healthcare in Spain is its universality.

I have operated on beggars and magnates, publicly and privately.

Inside, we are all the same.

We have the same gut full of shit and the same horrible precious juices, like blood, which is precious and wonderful.

We are beautiful on the inside.

Absolute justice is death.

The eyes of the surgeon Antonio de Lacy, as important as the hands in the operating room.Bernardo Pérez Tovar

Does it confirm or deny the legendary ego of the surgeon?

How's yours going?


I always say that I have an ego with an H, only below the artists.

Realize that you operate on a disgusting person and the next day they are fantastic.

And then there is the thing about the operating room, which in English is called “



During a very boring stay in Cambridge, I asked to join a private club, to entertain myself.

They told me it was for artists only.

I said I was a surgeon and forgot.

At the time, they wrote me that they admitted me.

He made me happy and funny.

The ones I can't stand are the ones who believe they are God.

In the operating room, if anything, there are two bosses, and one is the anesthetist.

If he tells me to stop, I stop: I am at his command.

In long operations, do you have a catheter to endure without going to the toilet, as some colleagues say they do?

No. But I have been interested in analyzing my urine during the operation to do a study on the surgeon's stress.

And once I probed myself.

I had back surgery and who better than one for that.

Is the man or the woman more embarrassing or sicker?

Women are less embarrassing, perhaps because they are used to going to the gynecologist.

Sick, I don't know, but what a man is is a worse caregiver.

When I go to visit someone at dawn and there is an uncle with me, I always find him snoring.

If she's female, she's awake and fresh.

He claims to be an operating room junkie.

Is there methadone for that?

The love, the affections.

Look, a few days after my son was born, I went to the United States and left my wife alone with him.

When I came back, I said that never again.

My wife was unique, that's why I miss her so much.

I was never unfaithful to him.

And she sees that I had opportunities.

If anything, she would have been unfaithful with the Clinic, which was my home for 47 years.

I am a hospital animal.

Now I read that the best grades from the MIR prefer specialties without guards and with a better quality of life, I see that they want to work to live and I have lived to work.

Do you feel wasted by public health?

Probably the best time for a surgeon to operate is in his 50s.

I would like to continue training people, but I am fit to operate and teach.

In addition, I have a list of contacts around the world that I did not have at 30 and that could be available.

That's why I'm passionate about my project.

I enjoy work because I don't consider it work.

It takes out intestines through the anus and tumors through the vagina.

Anyone takes the opposite...

Once, joking with a president of the Government, I told him that, if he needed it, I could take out his gallbladder through his mouth.

He said that he preferred to invite me to eat.


Descended from General Lacy.

His grandfather made cars in Majorca.

Do you consider yourself privileged?

I dont complain.

I've had a blast at my job.

In my family there has been more





My grandfather went bankrupt with cars.

I still have one of them, a Loric with a historical license plate that still stands at 120. I was able to study Medicine in Barcelona, ​​being from Mallorca, thanks to the efforts of my parents.

But I have also lost my only brother in a car accident, and my wife and, last summer, my father.

I found out while at a meal with friends and I did not suspend it.

They comforted me.

I believe a lot in them.

They have saved my life.

And in God, do you believe?

I believed.

Until Catalina.

The other day, at the funeral of my dearest friend Cristina Macaya, a great lady from Mallorca, she commented to the priest: “Go with your boss”.

"My boss is a whore


", she answered me.

I agree.

If he existed, it would have been infinitely better if he had taken me instead of my wife.

Are you serious?

Absolutely, right now.

early vocation

As a child, Antonio de Lacy Fortuny, (Palma, 66 years old) played to slit and sew the chickens that were slaughtered in his family home in Palma de Mallorca, anticipating the vocation of a surgeon that has guided his life.

Medical student in Barcelona, ​​he began his internship before even finishing his degree at the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, ​​where he has practiced throughout his career and where he has been head of the Gastrointestinal Surgery Service until his retirement, not exactly entirely voluntary, on last year 2022. In that time, his work has been a world reference in non-invasive robotic surgery through the body's natural orifices.

Since his retirement, he has operated in private healthcare and chairs the AISChanel Platform, from where he trains surgeons from around the world.

Widower of his wife, Catalina Oliver, a gynecologist,

Died of lung cancer four years ago, De Lacy has two children.

One of them, Borja, has followed in the footsteps of his father and is a gastrointestinal surgeon at the Clínic.

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Source: elparis

All life articles on 2023-03-26

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