Let's Meet Hien Nguyen
Date: December 21, 2009
For most of his life, Hien Nguyen remained wedded to California and the West Coast. His family lived there, including his three younger brothers, whose upbringing he felt somewhat responsible for.
But, while he was finishing medical school at the University of California Davis—and later his residency at UC San Francisco East Bay—his brothers grew up. Deciding it was time to venture east, Nguyen accepted a fellowship in minimally invasive bariatric surgery at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. “I had a great experience when I interviewed at Hopkins,” Nguyen recalls. “It just felt right, and I knew this was where I wanted to be.”
Which is why, even after his fellowship was over, he decided to stay. In June he accepted a position on the faculty and is now at Bayview Medical Center, where he’s practicing as a general surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery. “I’m very excited about minimally invasive surgery,” Nguyen says. “It’s a fascinating marriage between technology and surgery that ultimately provides better outcomes for our patients.”
While surgeons ultimately operate to fix a problem, the act of surgery itself does cause trauma, Nguyen explains. Therein lies the beauty of laparoscopy. “If we’re able to inflict less trauma by creating a smaller incision,” he says, “then the benefit for the patient is even greater.”
In addition to his clinical practice, Nguyen is conducting outcomes research, particularly in bariatric surgery. “I’m interested in learning what we can do to improve the results in these patients, as well as understanding the different neural and hormonal changes that occur after their surgery,” he says. “I’m also interested in improving the instruments and techniques we use so that we can do this better and perhaps create a rounder wheel.”