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Year: 2010  Vol. 14   Num. 4  - Oct/Dec Print:
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Editorial II
Editorial II
Pedro Luiz Mangabeira Albernaz
Editorial II

Tribute to the Editorial Board Member

Yotaka Fukuda

I was on a ship during the Congress of Otorhinolaryngology Foundation, held in late 2008, when he learned that Yotaka, I expected to find on board, and was in the Intensive Care Unit of Hospital because of pneumonia serious. The pneumonia was cured, but his old pulmonary fibrosis worsened and he became dependent on oxygen. During these years gone by was hospitalized several times with various infections. The last time we spoke was at the wedding of his son, in which he made an emotional speech and beautiful. Sometime later left the party because he did not feel well. The next morning was taken to Albert Einstein Hospital, where he was immediately driven to the ICU. Although I visited a few times, until his death on July 18.

Yotaka made his entire academic career in the School of Medicine. He joined the School in 1966, it was my resident from 1972 to 1974, and he completed his Masters in 1981 and Ph.D. in 1982. In 1993 he completed his contest Teaching Free.

I cannot say when he ceased to be one of my assistants to become my partner and my friend. I know we worked together in the first cochlear implant, performed in 1977, as in all others, until the onset of his illness. We practiced together countless surgeries; there was that perfect synergy between us that anyone could make any part of the procedure. But his fingers were magic in the dissection of tumors of the cerebellopontine angle.

Devoted much also to the auditory electrical potentials. We learned from Jean Marie Aran electrocochleography and few were expanding our field of action to other auditory potentials and electrical stimulation of the promontory. But was he who commanded for many years in our hospital, clinic and research of such potential. His Master's thesis was a study of auditory brainstem response in vestibular schwannomas.

However his talent was multiple. His doctoral thesis was an investigation of the inner ear disorders by changes in the metabolism of carbohydrates, research which gave rise to a whole line of scientific work. I took a copy of his thesis to Antonio De la Cruz, another great friend who left us too early. Wrote to me saying that it considered the claim of Yotaka the most comprehensive study on the metabolism of carbohydrates until realized. Over the years, and many other works, she gave birth to her book Sugar: Friend or Villain? Published in 2003.

In his free teaching audiology EEG returned to studying the P 300.

Made numerous experimental studies, the intensely stimulating master's and doctoral students who received their orientation in their theses. He was tireless in teaching residents and develops skills to Otorhinolaryngology.

He trained with Antonio De la Cruz and Derald Brackmann, Institute House, Los Angeles, to perfect their surgical techniques subtemporal and translabyrinthine, and Naoaki Yanagihara, Ehime University, where he participated in research on the facial nerve and came into contact with the first implantable hearing aids (and used also for improving your Japanese).

But above all, we had a great friendship that brought me a very special perception of Japanese culture, he taught me to appreciate. It was really a very special friend, who'll be sorely missed, and nostalgia. He was at the same time, my pupil and my teacher.

Pedro Luiz Mangabeira Albernaz
Full Professor of Otorhinolaryngology - UNIFESP / EPM



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