G. BAJARES, MD
G. Bajares, MD
Dr. Bajares attended Universidad Central de Venezuela and completed his medical degree in 1976. He specialized in Orthopedic Surgery at Instituto Venezolano de Seguros Sociales, and received his postgraduate diploma on 1980. This is where his long journey in the subspecialty of the Spine and Joint Replacements begins. Here we solely focus on his experience with the Spine, the core and passion of his professional life.
His first international training was in Brasil Hospital de la Santa Casa, alongside Dr. Carvalho Pinto, to study an anterior distraction device used primarily for treating tuberculosis in the spine. He traveled to Germany to learn from Dr. Klaus Zillke the use of anterior screws that he had designed to correct scoliosis. He became more interested in pedicle screws and went to France to learn from Dr. Lapresle his Diapason system. Dr. Lapresle was the principal Assistant Surgeon of Sr. Roi Camille, who created a system of pedicle screws. He also received instruction on pediatric scoliosis with Dr. Harry Shuffleberger. At this moment, Dr. Bajares began getting interested in laparoscopic fusions, so he received training in Boston in minimally invasive surgery laboratories. Then he performed close to 80 cases of laparoscopic fusions L4-L5 and L5-S1.
In the year 2000, his interest for motion preservation techniques grew and he traveled to Germany once more; he was trained by Dr. Rudolf Bertagnoly on Artificial Disc Replacement techniques. Previous to his first lumbar disc replacement, he was trained at the Texas Back Institute with Drs. Hochschuler, Guyer, and Blumenthal; he replaced his first lumbar disc in 2001. He is still very pleased with the technique and has placed over 400 lumbar discs since that date. He has achieved placing up to 4 lumbar discs, L2 to S1, in the same patient.
Dr. Bajares has also worked on preserving motion in the cervical spine and has placed more than 500 cervical discs, intervertebral nucleus replacements PDN, Satellite, and Dascor. He collaborated in the worldwide study for facet joint replacement TFAS; having operated 20 cases to date. Dr. Pimenta trained him in Brasil on tubular portals with fiber optic, the technique that he uses for minimally invasive procedures, always seeking to disrupt surrounding tissue as little as possible.
The worldwide elevated rate of disc extrusion caught his attention, and he collaborated on the study for annulus fibrosis repair INCLOSE and XCLOSE. He performed the first 10 cases worldwide of both techniques with tubular retractors and endoscopy. As Spine Surgery evolved, his interest began for lateral approaches, receiving instruction in Brazil and San Diego, California, on lateral techniques XLIF, which he uses to treat scoliosis, grade 1 listhesis, degenerative discopathy, tumors, and fractures.
Dr. Bajares founded Instituto de Columna Caracas (The Caracas Spine Institute) as well as a Fellowship program, annually training surgeons who have a Masters in Orthopedic Surgery or Neurosurgery. At first, the program had a duration of 2 years but was later changed to 1 year to follow the global trend. He also offered a Spine Internship program for Post-graduate Residents of the most prestigious university hospital in the country: University Hospital of Caracas, located in Universidad Central de Venezuela.
He traveled as guest surgeon to South Korea and implanted one of the firsts lumbar discs in said country. He also traveled as a guest surgeon to implant on of the first cervical discs in India.
Due to the current situation in his country -Venezuela, – and the lack of resources for high technology spine surgery, he migrated to the USA with his family. He is currently collaborating with the International Program at Cantor Spine Center and acquiring new techniques of ultrasonic tools and pain management.