Masala Magazine Thailand

Home » Illuminating The Backbone of Wellness With Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr. Anand Sachamuneewongse

Illuminating The Backbone of Wellness With Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr. Anand Sachamuneewongse

by Venesa Daswani

Back on track

By: Grace Clarke 

By taking proactive measures and being attentive to our bodies, we can mitigate potential health risks and promote overall well-being.

Movement is an intrinsic part of our daily lives; woven into every action and thought from the moment we wake up. From the mobility required to get out of bed, to sitting upright at our desks, to the circulation of blood and the transmission of signals to our minds, movement is fundamental. It encompasses our working hours, leisure activities, and even our sleep. At the core of this constant motion is our spine, the literal backbone of mobility. Despite its critical role, we often overlook the importance of spinal health until we experience pain or the inevitable effects of ageing.

Healthcare, particularly orthopaedic care, is deeply intertwined with our mobility health. Orthopaedic health is essential at all ages, as it enables us to move, perform daily activities, and maintain an active lifestyle. Orthopaedic specialists focus on diagnosing, treating, and preventing issues related to bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles. Their expertise is vital in ensuring that we can continue to live our lives to the fullest, free from pain and mobility restrictions.

Dr. Anand Sachamuneewongse, an esteemed Orthopaedic Surgeon from Paolo Hospital in Samut Prakan, is a specialist in orthopaedics, and he combines extensive knowledge with hands-on experience to help patients regain their strength and return to their daily routines. His expertise has positively impacted many individuals in the area, allowing them to overcome physical challenges and maintain their mobility.

I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Anand at 22 Steps Craft House in Hotel Indigo Bangkok Wireless Road, where we engaged in an in-depth conversation about his journey into orthopaedics, his background, and how he manages to balance a demanding career in healthcare with personal wellbeing. Through our discussion, it became clear how his passion and dedication have made a significant impact on the lives of his patients, reinforcing the importance of orthopaedic health at all stages of life.

Could you give us some insight into your upbringing?

Growing up in a family of five, I navigated a unique educational journey distinct from my two brothers, who studied in India. My parents believed that at least one of us should master the Thai language and culture, so I attended Thewphaingarm School from kindergarten through high school, where I graduated. Following my secondary education, I earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Mahidol University. My academic journey continued at Thammasat University, where I pursued medical school.

Can you describe your journey to becoming an orthopaedic surgeon? What inspired you to specialise in orthopaedics?

During my clinical years in medical school, I had the opportunity to explore various specialisations, immersing myself in major departments such as internal medicine, surgery, paediatrics, and gynaecology, where I dedicated most of my time. I also delved into minor departments like radiology and orthopaedics, which always fascinated me, despite receiving less emphasis in the curriculum. It wasn’t until I began working as a general practitioner in the emergency room that my interest in orthopaedics crystallised. Witnessing numerous orthopaedic cases and being inspired by the expertise of orthopaedic staff members solidified my decision to pursue this surgical specialty. They became my role models, guiding my career path towards orthopaedics.

What are some of the most common conditions and injuries you treat in your practice?

In Thailand, orthopaedic care often revolves around treating fractures, particularly due to the widespread use of motorcycles for commuting, especially prevalent in rural areas. Additionally, I frequently attend to elderly patients who have suffered trauma from falls, alongside managing degenerative conditions and strains caused by everyday activities and overuse, particularly focusing on back pain.

How do you approach patient education and ensure they understand their condition and treatment options?

In today’s digital age, patients have unprecedented access to information, often conducting research before their medical consultations or treatments. This proactive approach allows me to gauge their familiarity with their condition and adjust my communication style accordingly, for each individual. I find that using straightforward analogies that patients can relate to in their daily lives, coupled with visual aids like charts and models, enhances comprehension and facilitates productive discussions about treatment options.

Moreover, involving family members, when present, is crucial for ensuring consensus on the best course of treatment. By offering clear and understandable choices, I strive to empower patients and their families to make informed decisions that align with their healthcare goals.

What are the most significant advancements in orthopaedic surgery you’ve witnessed during your career?

Advancements in medical technology over the past 14 years, especially in orthopaedics, have led to significant improvements in treatment options. Minimally-invasive surgical techniques, including non-invasive surgery and robotic assistance, have revolutionised patient care by reducing post-operative complications, accelerating recovery times, and minimising blood loss. These innovations, characterised by smaller incisions and less trauma to surrounding tissues, offer patients faster recovery and improved outcomes.

How do you stay current with advancements and new techniques in orthopaedic care?

I devote time to reading medical journals, participating in annual gatherings focused on technological advancements in medicine, and engaging in workshops that delve into the latest surgical techniques. By actively immersing myself in the current healthcare landscape through these techniques, I ensure that I remain current and proficient in leveraging the latest advancements to deliver optimal patient care.

What would you say is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Addressing patients’ pain and disabilities, whether stemming from fractures or degenerative conditions, goes beyond physical healing; it’s about restoring their overall well-being. Witnessing the transformative journey as patients regain their functionality and vitality is immensely rewarding. Moreover, in a healthcare system structured in tiers, where access to care can be lengthy and constrained, the opportunity to positively impact patients who rely on these systems adds another layer of fulfilment to my work.

Given the high demands of your role, how do you manage to maintain a healthy work-life balance, particularly as a parent?

Balancing work and family becomes more nuanced as life evolves. Previously, I didn’t worry much about work-life balance, often working seven days a week with extra shifts and long hours, including consecutive nights. Now, as a parent and with more life experience, I prioritise adjustments. I aim to reserve weekends for family time and keep one weekday free to drop off my daughter at school. Setting boundaries after work hours helps me focus fully on family without bringing work home. It’s a collaborative effort with my wife, who also works full-time, as we strive to find a balance together.

What do you find yourself doing in your free time?

In my downtime, I find myself enjoying in simple pleasures that bring me peace and recharge my energy. I often find myself reading comic books, playing musical instruments, indulging in music, and watching television series. These activities offer me a chance to unwind and rejuvenate without the need for social interaction, allowing me to fully recharge my social battery for the demands of my job.

Could you share with us some of your personal interests outside of the healthcare industry?

Beyond work, I delve into topics like finances and money management, considering them crucial in today’s world. I also stay updated on news and technological advancements, keenly following developments in these areas. Additionally, I have a strong interest in watches, appreciating their craftsmanship and design.

Could you discuss any cultural factors within the Thai-Indian community that might influence attitudes towards orthopaedic health and treatment?

I’ve observed that older generations tend to have a more fixed mindset regarding medical treatment preferences. They typically rely heavily on recommendations from peers or family when selecting doctors, sometimes without thoroughly exploring all available options. When it comes to treatment choices, there’s often a preference for non-invasive approaches, with surgery being avoided even when necessary. Additionally, there’s a notable inclination towards treating existing pain rather than prioritising preventive measures. Shifting this mindset can be challenging.

What advice do you have for the community to prevent common orthopaedic injuries and maintain joint health?

Prevention truly is the key when it comes to maintaining optimal health. Every aspect of our daily routines, from posture to screen time habits, can impact our bodies over time. That’s why I advocate for incorporating regular exercise, maintaining a balanced diet, and scheduling routine check-ups into our lifestyles. It’s also important to stay mindful of any changes in our bodies and how they may affect our daily activities. If something seems amiss, it’s essential not to hesitate in reaching out to a medical expert for guidance and support. By taking proactive measures and being attentive to our bodies, we can mitigate potential health risks and promote overall wellbeing.


Related Articles