Centers of Excellence
1st Surgery Department
The 1st Surgical Clinic is a fully equipped clinic offering general surgery, laparoscopic and surgical oncology procedures. The Clinic is staffed with qualified and experienced surgeons.
The 1st Surgical Clinic is a fully equipped clinic offering general surgery, laparoscopic and surgical oncology procedures. The Clinic is staffed with qualified and experienced surgeons. All procedures are performed based on the latest surgical techniques, which meet all the international standards, and are aided by state-of-the-art surgical equipment.
It focuses on conditions of the upper digestive tract, and especially the pancreas, in line with the standards established in US university hospitals since 2000. In the USA, upper digestive tract surgery has been officially recognized as a subspecialty. Special postgraduate training programs, a dedicated scientific society as well as published internationally accepted standards for quality and competency are in place to acknowledge a surgical team as a center of excellence.
The criteria include the annual number of pancreatic surgical procedures (over 15), low complication rates and very good long-term results. Since 2013 we have performed more than 120 pancreatic surgical procedures and have treated more than 400 patients with conditions of the pancreas, from Greece and the neighboring countries. The results have been published in Greek and international journals.
Our two key fields of activity include diagnosis and treatment of precancerous conditions and early pancreatic cancer, and radical surgical treatment of tumors considered inoperable. These two fields are at the cutting edge of pancreatic research and surgery worldwide. Our Clinic has a competitive edge in the following areas:
- Conversion of initially inoperable tumors to operable with administration of specially designed neoadjuvant chemoradiation, in line with the protocols applied by Mayo Clinic and the MD Anderson Cancer Center. This way, the tumor shrinks or is rendered biologically inactive, and is then removed. We are able to significantly shrink and deactivate around 1/3 of initially inoperable tumors, so they can be rendered operable.
- Removal of tumors considered inoperable. When the tumor infiltrates the portal or the superior mesenteric vein, all but a few surgeons internationally consider it inoperable. After exhaustive investigation, in many cases it is possible to remove the infiltrated part of these veins and replace it with a graft. Since 2013 we have removed 29 inoperable tumors together with the infiltrated portal vein, i.e. 6 procedures a year. We managed to radically resect tumors considered inoperable in Greece and abroad. Interestingly enough, Mayo Clinic, the largest center of excellence in pancreatic surgery globally, performs 9 such surgeries annually, as published in the Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery in 2015.
- Extensive lymph node dissection. Removal of only part of the pancreas containing the tumor is not an adequate oncologic procedure. The radicalness of surgery is directly linked to the number of lymph nodes removed (at least 12 according to the American Cancer Society). All the tissue surrounding the pancreas is removed, and the veins and arteries are completely skeletonized. This ensures more than 20-25 removed lymph nodes, maximum radicalness and decreased risk of recurrence.
- Detailed investigation of pancreatitis cases. Some cases of pancreatitis are not due to common cholelithiasis, but to mucus hypersecretion from precancerous cells in the pancreas. When there is extensive knowledge and experience, such patients may be diagnosed using special tests, preventing cancer and saving their lives.
- Accurate analysis of pancreatic cysts. Depending on the radiological findings and the type of liquid they contain, certain cysts may clearly be precancerous. By paying meticulous attention and performing targeted tests, these can be accurately identified and removed, preventing cancer.
- Investigation of patients with unexplained diabetes. Around 70% of patients with pancreatic cancer had previously developed diabetes mellitus as an early symptom. This is prompted by the adrenomedullin protein in cancer cells, which reacts to the action of insulin. For this reason, we screen patients exhaustively, so as to diagnose early pancreatic cancer and offer a permanent cure.
The 1st Surgical Clinic is among the leading departments worldwide because of its staff, but also its close collaboration with top HHG Group health professionals: gastroenterologists with long experience in endoscopic ultrasounds; cytologists with a proven track record in accurate diagnosis of fine needle biopsies; radiologists with enhanced ability to distinguish between tumors and crucial neighboring vessels; clinical pathologists with the ability to distinguish the fine differences between cells with similar features; radiation oncologists with modern digital systems that achieve maximum tumor necrosis with minimal damage to surrounding organs; oncologic nutritionists; and internationally acclaimed oncologists, who choose and administer the most modern and effective chemotherapy regimens.
- Single-incision laparoscopic cholecystectomy (Single-Port)
- Obesity surgery
- Intragastric balloon
- Sleeve gastrectomy
- Gastric bypass
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Laparoscopic treatment
- Esophageal cancer
- Acute pancreatitis
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Idiopathic pancreatitis/IPMN
- Pancreatic pseudocysts
- Pancreatic cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Small intestine diverticulosis
- Colon cancer
- Rectal cancer
- Laparoscopic colectomy
- Metastatic tumors
- Radiofrequency ablation
- Laparoscopic treatment