For over 20 years, Luong Ngoc Trung, MD, MSc, has been dedicated to the medical profession, facing life and death every day. As Head of the Thoracic, Vascular & Endovascular Surgery Department at FV Hospital, he deeply understands how difficult some days in his profession can be.

“Maybe I could help?”

At 8 PM, Luong Ngoc Trung, MD, MSc, Head of Thoracic, Vascular & Endovascular Surgery Department, paced the corridors of the operating room with a sense of urgency. Inside, his colleagues were performing a vascular intervention to stop bleeding in a postpartum woman who had been rushed from Cambodia to FV Hospital for emergency care. The surgeon leading the operation was Dr Pierre Jaillot, Head of the Imaging Department, a master in vascular suturing. That evening, after returning home for dinner with his family, Dr Trung couldn’t shake off the feeling of restlessness. “With such a complex case, who knows if I could help?” That thought compelled him to return to the hospital.

As the doors of the operating room swung open, colleagues reported complications with the intervention. When approaching the brachial artery on the patient’s left arm to reach the subclavian artery below the diaphragm, Dr Pierre encountered difficulty in locating the intervention site, requiring a surgical interventionist. Ready and willing, Dr Trung immediately stepped in to assist.

Dr Trung quickly realised that the patient’s brachial artery had constricted to the size of a needle tip due to high-dose vasoconstrictor medication administered earlier to raise the patient’s blood pressure after previous surgeries. With the surgical team taken aback, he swiftly decided to access the artery through the axillary route to reach the subclavian artery below the diaphragm. With meticulous, skilful movements, he maneuvered the endoscopic instrument to the abdominal cavity, allowing Dr Pierre Jaillot to successfully suture the artery for the patient.

The Cambodian mother had to undergo several stages of treatment at FV Hospital over the next month. Although she wasn’t directly under his care, Dr Trung recounted feeling pleased upon hearing of her discharge, having played a small part alongside his colleagues in saving the young mother’s life from the brink of death.

Luong Ngoc Trung, MD, MSc, Head of FV’s Thoracic, Vascular & Endovascular Surgery Department.
Luong Ngoc Trung, MD, MSc, Head of FV’s Thoracic, Vascular & Endovascular Surgery Department.

Finding happiness in creating the possibility of a better life

In his 20-year career, his passion for saving lives and mastering challenging treatment techniques has helped Luong Ngoc Trung, MD, MSc, overcome many obstacles and achieve significant milestones.

Graduating from Hue University of Medicine in 2001, he pursued a master’s programme in Medicine and a Residency in Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery. From 2006 to 2007, he went to France for a Residency in Cardiovascular Surgery at Pierre and Marie Curie University Medical School (Paris 6), and Paul-Sabatier University Medical School, Toulouse. He also obtained several important professional certificates, including the Certificate in Endovascular Intervention for the Aorta and Peripheral Vascular of The Prince of Songkla University (Thailand) and the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) certificate from Pities-Salpetriere Hospital (France).

Dr Trung considers himself fortunate to have been guided by great mentors such as Bui Duc Phu, MD, PhD, Le Quang Thieu, MD, PhD, and renowned French cardiovascular surgeon Yves Glock during his academic journey.

The more Dr Trung delves into the fascinating world of blood vessels in the human body, the more passionate he becomes. It’s hard to describe the emotions of a surgeon after meticulously operating for hours on tiny blood vessels, or “shaving” heart valves to restore them to normal function. He deeply resonates with the analogy made by Dr Yves Glock: both a surgeon and a writer are true artists; if a writer analyses the human soul with a pen, a vascular surgeon dissects blood vessels in the body with a scalpel. And when a blood vessel is successfully repaired, blood flow is restored, and the patient escapes danger, the doctor feels happy to have given the patient a new lease on life.

Dr Luong Ngoc Trung (left) and the surgical team operate on a patient at FV Hospital.
Dr Luong Ngoc Trung (left) and the surgical team operate on a patient at FV Hospital.


For Dr Trung, the most powerful emotions perhaps come from performing surgeries to treat deformities in children. Ms Tien, Social Event Officer of the Children of Vietnam Charitable Fund, noted that he regularly works with the charity foundation to perform free-of-charge surgeries for underprivileged children suffering from vascular or congenital chest deformities.

“What impresses me about Dr Trung is that after the surgery, he often visits the patient to check in on their recovery, and even after they have been discharged, he actively communicates with the families to see how the patient is doing,” Ms Tien shared. Dr Trung is always moved and joyful to hear good news about his patients — like H’ Miriam, a girl from the Ede ethnic group, who continues to develop well and happily after having a large tumour removed from her back; or Bdap, a nine-year-old boy with a congenital chest deformity whose health is now stable after chest reconstruction surgery.

Dr Trung candidly expressed that the happiness after each successful surgery helps him overcome the hardships of the profession — especially in heart surgery cases which pose increased pressure, including situations where the patient’s heart stops on the operating table.

It is precisely from this challenging environment that he has shaped the crucial personality traits of a surgeon: meticulousness, not allowing any margin for error. He recalls the 15th century description of the surgical field: “A good surgeon must have the eyes of an eagle, the heart of a lion, and the skilled hands of a woman.”

Dr Trung visits a paediatric patient with a vascular deformity supported by the Children of Vietnam Charitable Fund.
Dr Trung visits a paediatric patient with a vascular deformity supported by the Children of Vietnam Charitable Fund.

Working with wholehearted dedication in any role.  

In 2017, Dr Trung joined FV Hospital and chose thoracic vascular surgery as a way to challenge himself. He seized every opportunity, no matter how small, to stay up to date with the latest advanced treatment techniques worldwide.

“Working with Dr Trung for five years, I have always felt reassured, supported, and certain he would always fulfil his responsibilities. Patients trust him. He actively supports and collaborates with other departments on vascular issues. He is also quite demanding: he wants every patient’s file to be neat,” says Ms Nguyet, Medical Secretary, describing her colleague. However, she also noted that he is only strict in his professional work; outside of work, he is open-minded and friendly. Through stories about his family, late-night calls to his wife and children with affectionate tones during night shifts, or his habit of quickly looking at pictures of his beloved daughter during breaks between patient examinations, Dr Trung is seen by colleagues as a loving husband and father.

At the end of 2023, Dr Trung was appointed Head of the Thoracic, Vascular & Endovascular Surgery Department. Explaining the appointment of a young doctor to the position of department head, Dr Do Trong Khanh, Medical Director of FV Hospital, said: “Dr Trung has a firm grasp of technical expertise, as well as the skills of a team leader. At FV, the most important criterion for a leader, apart from professional competence, is integrity, professional ethics, and vision. And Dr Trung possesses all these qualities.”

“FV chooses a department head solely based on reputation and expertise. The medical council at FV highly values Dr Luong Ngoc Trung’s careful nature. He is not afraid to immerse himself, accept responsibility, take risks, and accompany patients on their journey.” — Dr Do Trong Khanh, Medical Director of FV Hospital.

Dr Trung, inherently devoted to his craft, smiles gently as he expresses the requirements of his role as head of a department. Nevertheless, he is enthusiastic when sharing plans to develop a modern, high-quality thoracic and vascular surgery department, focusing on minimally invasive interventions. The application of these advanced treatment methods in surgeries allows patients to undergo procedures under local anaesthesia without pain, significantly reducing hospitalisation time.

Doctor Luong Ngoc Trung advises a patient on vascular disease.
Doctor Luong Ngoc Trung advises a patient on vascular disease.

In his role as managing a department expected to become a leading specialty, Dr Trung still adheres to his principle: working with all his heart, always striving to do his best.

“There is a saying by Voltaire that I deeply resonate with: ‘Perfect is the enemy of good’. In other words, instead of forcing oneself to pursue ‘impossible perfection,’ accept working at the level of ‘good.’ For me, good is better than perfect,” summarised the new Head of Thoracic, Vascular & Endovascular Surgery Department at FV Hospital.