The head of the Transplantation Center at Leiden University has held a theoretical and practical course for the surgeons of Debrecen’s Department of Transplantation.
Invited by Department Head Balázs Nemes, Andrzej Baranski, the official organizer of the European master course on donation surgery, transferred a kind of knowledge and information package to surgeons in Debrecen at the two-day training course accredited by Eurotransplant that is also taught, for example, at Oxford University. The theoretical material of the course was also complemented with practical sessions in the dissecting room, which provided a chance for acquiring the surgery techniques in practice as well.
As part of the cooperation between Leiden University and the University of Debrecen, young doctors from Debrecen can study at the transplantation center located in the Netherlands, focusing on the surgery techniques enhancing the success factor of transplantation surgery. One surgeon from the Department of Transplantation of the Institute of Surgery at the University of Debrecen has already taken advantage of this opportunity and has spent eight months at Leiden University.
In the Dutch medical institution, there are 45 liver transplantations, 35 pancreas transplantations, and 160 kidney transplantations performed on average every year, while half of the latter are living donor kidney transplantations. In the Netherlands, 80% of the patients taking dialysis treatments are on the waiting list for kidney transplantation, while this proportion in Eurotransplant member states is between 35% and 40% and, in Hungary, it is only 12 to 15 percent. According to Professor Baranski, this notable difference is due to reasons of attitude: people in Holland would wish to lead an active lifestyle, for which they have every chance following a kidney transplant, while dialysis would require them to spend several hours weekly hooked up to blood cleansing machinery. At Leiden University, the oldest kidney donor so far has been a 76-year-old person but, as the head of the transplantation center explained, it is not so much the age of the donor as the condition of the kidney that counts during the process of a transplantation. The professor also explained that a kidney transplant is less expensive than the treatment of dialysis in the long run, and added that, in the Netherlands, people carry a so-called donor card on them at all times that specifies which of their organs they would allow to be transplanted in case they die. In Hungary, a presumed consent scheme is used, the same way as in Spain, for example.
Balázs Nemes also added that the chances for coronary heart disease and death of patients receiving dialysis is 4 to 6 times higher than those of patients who have undergone a kidney transplant operation. He believes that kidney transplantation is an effective method also because the related costs following the second year after the transplantation are significantly lower than those of dialysis.
At the end of the course, the guest professor evaluated the Debrecen transplantation surgeons as talented, extraordinarily dedicated and motivated, and added that he would be very much interested in working with them in the future, too, for the cause of improving transplantation possibilities.