Let's Meet... Luca Vricella
“I love the anatomy, the attention to detail,” Luca Vricella says about his
job as a pediatric cardiac surgeon. “Technically, I think it's one of the most wonderful disciplines in surgery. All the instruments are small, the field is small, the patient is small.”
Vricella, who was born and raised in Rome, comes from a family of physicians, including his father, two uncles and his twin brother, who is a plastic surgeon. His own decision to become a pediatric cardiac surgeon occurred while he sat watching an open heart operation on a small black and white TV. “I thought, This is just absolutely fantastic.” He was 10 and never looked back.
During medical school, Vricella spent summers in the United States dabbling in American medicine. By the time he graduated, there was no doubt that he would leave Italy for the rest of his training. “I thought the hands-on experience was just fantastic, the way they gradually brought you up to very high-level, complex cases.”
Four years ago, as Vricella wound up his residency and fellowship, Hopkins' chief pediatric surgeon Duke Cameron recruited him for the faculty here. Describing why the thrill of his specialty remains as strong as ever, Vricella marveled recently, “Dr. Cameron and I just operated on a baby that was 2 days old, 2.8 kilos, and she's just about to go home doing well. I like the fact that it's the chance—how can you say?—to help a life that's developing. We establish a relationship with these families and patients, and it's a beautiful thing.”
Mary Ellen Miller***** This is the amazing surgeon who operated on Natalie. He's a very cool guy. And kind of like a celebrity. lol With what he does for a living, he has Ricky and I stunned. And in awe.