After over 20 years devotion to the medical profession, facing life and death every day, Luong Ngoc Trung, MD, MSc, Head of the Thoracic, Vascular & Endovascular Surgery Department at FV Hospital, deeply understands the severity of the profession. Passion is his way of overcoming these challenges.

Optimistically stepping into the medical field

One morning in 1995, a 12th-grade student – Luong Ngoc Trung, by chance, read “My Way into Science” by Prof Ton That Tung. The book narrated the journey of one of the most distinguished doctors in modern Vietnamese medicine. At just over 200 pages, the way Prof Ton That Tung transformed into a surgeon during the war that sparked a dream in the student’s mind. Although initially he didn’t picture what a doctor’s job entailed, those pages ignited a passionate fire, leading the young student from Quang Nam to enroll at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Hue at the age of 17

Luong Ngoc Trung, MD, MSc, Head of the Thoracic, Vascular & Endovascular Surgery Department at FV Hospital
Luong Ngoc Trung, MD, MSc, Head of the Thoracic, Vascular & Endovascular Surgery Department at FV Hospital

After graduating from Hue University of Medicine in 2001, “The Path into sience of Dr Trung” truly began to open up. Still as before, he joyfully seized every opportunity to learn, improve, and enhance his skills. Starting with the Master’s programme in Medicine and as a resident doctor specialising in General Surgery with a focus on cardiac and thoracic surgery. “It wasn’t simple to be chosen for this specialty; although it was a great honor, it was equally rigorous,” Dr Trung shared about his early years in the field.

His carefree attitude brought him into the medical profession, transforming it later into a passion, accompanied by the weighty responsibilities of a surgeon. Dr Trung recalls the admiring gazes as he stepped out of the operating room, recalling the enthusiasm within the book that brought him here and feeling that something was still incomplete.

He continued to seek new knowledge, new “tools” to be able to address more issues on his path of practicing medicine. From working as a resident doctor at Paul-Sabatier University Hospital (Toulouse, France) studying cardiac surgery and endovascular interventions at Pierre & Marie Curie University – Paris 6), to delving into advanced techniques such as endovascular interventions for the aorta and peripheral blood vessels, subcutaneous aortic valve replacement, at The Prince of Songkla University (Thailand) and Pities-Salpetriere Hospital (France)… Those days of striving seemed to make him even more optimistic and confident in his abilities, that he had chosen a profession that has provided “a new path of life” for many patients.

A Surgeon as a Writer

Dr Luong Ngoc Trung considers himself fortunate in his career. He was trained in three surgical specialties: cardiovascular, thoracic, instead of specialising deeply in only one field like other medical students in various provinces and cities. He was gifted the chances to be  guided by great mentors such as Prof Bui Duc Phu, PhD, Associate Prof Le Quang Thu, MD, PhD and the famous French cardiovascular surgeon, Yves Glock.

During his studies in France, he admired the way Dr Yves Glock compared a cardiovascular surgeon and a writer: both are true artists, they share a common ground in analyzing human nature. “While a cardiovascular surgeon dissects blood vessels in the body with a scalpel, a writer dissects the human soul with a pen.”

Luong Ngoc Trung, MD, MSc and colleagues perform interventional procedures for patients at FV
Luong Ngoc Trung, MD, MSc and colleagues perform interventional procedures for patients at FV

The more Dr Luong Ngoc Trung conquers advanced techniques, the more he becomes engrossed in his profession. It’s challenging to fully express the emotions of a cardiac surgeon after meticulously operating for hours on tiny blood vessels, delicately adjusting heart valves to restore their normal function, enabling the heart to pump blood throughout the body. But even more remarkable is the feeling of happiness when granting patients a new life after surgery.

Cardiac surgeons undergo prolonged training before they can wield the surgeon’s scalpel. They frequently face challenges and pressures, including dealing with patients whose hearts have stopped on the operating table. Every surgery requires extreme precision and immense concentration for many hours; for which there is no room for error. Dr Trung’s calm and composed demeanor has probably been shaped by multiple rigorous professional stages and recalls the classic saying in the surgical field, “A good surgeon must have the eyes of an eagle, the heart of a lion, and the skillful hands of a woman.”

“Good things better in pursuit of perfection”

In 2017, Dr Trung joined FV Hospital and chose thoracic, vascular & endovascular Surgery instead of focusing solely on heart surgery as a personal challenge. Diving deep into the field of blood vessels and the thorax, Dr Trung found another passion for analyzing and dissecting the smallest blood vessels in the human body.

His colleagues at FV share that Dr Trung always seizes every opportunity, no matter how small, to ensure he is always up to date on the latest advanced treatment techniques worldwide, striving for the best possible outcomes in every surgery. His dedication not only helped to treat hundreds of patients but also contributes to transforming the lives of many children born with congenital deformities, through his active involvement with the The Children of Vietnam Charitable Fund.

In 2023, Dr Trung was appointed as the Head of the Department of Thoracic, Vascular & Endovascular Surgery Department. As someone deeply dedicated to his profession, he jovially admits to feeling a slight “pressure” in his role as the department head. Nonetheless, he enthusiastically shares his plans to develop a modern, high-quality thoracic and vascular surgery department, performing surgeries under local anesthesia without general anesthesia, employing minimally invasive techniques, minimising pain, and reducing hospital stays. He aims to treat 500 cases per year, comparable to leading centers worldwide. Furthermore, he aspires to transform the department into one of the “Centers of Excellence” at FV Hospital.

Dr Luong Ngoc Trung advises patients on vascular diseases.
Dr Luong Ngoc Trung advises patients on vascular diseases.

The young department head sets a goal to increase the number of vascular interventions. This goal is entirely feasible as FV Hospital’s equipment includes an extensive array of state of the art endoscopes, ultrasound, CT and MRI scanners, along with stent and implant facilities. We only need the department to recruit more skilled surgeons to meet the growing demand for vascular and thoracic procedures at FV.

Dr Luong Ngoc Trung finds deep resonance in a quote by Voltaire, “Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” suggesting that instead of pushing oneself to pursue an unattainable perfection, one should accept operating at a level of “good.” With a cautious and meticulous scientific pursuit and a desire to make “good things better in pursuit of perfection,” the new department head is sure to progressively strengthen the department and deliver practical value to patients.