The Hand Upper Limb Surgery Department, Orthopedic Repair Microsurgery, under the direction of the orthopedics Mr. Panayiotis Giannakopoulos and Diamantis Misintzis, completed 20 years of operation at the Medical Center of Athens. It was created on May 1993, by a team of doctors, trained for this object, in order to systematically treat traumas and pathologies of the Upper Limb, for the first time in a private hospital of Greece. Operating collectively, they treated thousands of patients with Upper Limb problems, as well as complex problems requiring Microsurgery knowledge, covering on the same time 24/7 the shift of the hospital for emergencies. For those 20 years more than 80.000 patients were examined and treated at the clinics of doctors’ departments, while the number of patients treated surgically surpassed 15.000.
Very important for the Department is considered the presence, from the first years of its operation, of the Orthopedic Surgeon Michalis Ierodiakonos, who with its skills and experience to Children Orthopedics, but also to General Orthopedics, greatly contributed to the successful and effective treatment of the patients.
Hand Surgery and in general Upper Limb Surgery is a specialization of the specialty of Orthopedics. Hand surgery has as its object the surgery or the conservative treatment of all pathologies of the Hand and Upper Limb. These pathologies make a person incapable of executing various functions, necessary for its daily life. They may be caused by injuries or chronic diseases. Upper Limb injuries are a 30% percentage and more of total injuries of the human body, reaching a 60% to 70% of work accidents. This is easy to explain since the hand is the most exposed part of the body and consequently the most vulnerable to injuries. Those could be simple injuries (e.g. isolated bone fracture) or more complex (simultaneous bone, nerves, tendons skin damages, etc.). The immediate treatment of those injuries guarantees the best possible result. Chronic diseases concern syndromes caused by overuse of the hands, systemic diseases, tumors and many other.
For the best surgical practice, the skill of Microsurgery Technique is necessary.
According to it, with the use of a surgical microscope and special thin tools are achieved high levels of magnification for the purpose of surgeries. This technique is necessary in a series of surgeries, such as the «re-attachment» of amputated limbs, brachial plexus and peripheral nerves surgery and the free transfer of tissue (skin part transfer or muscle from one part of the body to the other, leg finger transfer to the hand etc.).
In parallel, the skill of endoscopic surgical methods is deemed necessary, because an increased number of wrist, elbow or shoulder pathologies could be diagnosed and treated with the Arthroscopic approach.
Specifically, the object of surgical practice of the department' doctors includes:
- Treatment of injuries of the Upper limb (from simple injury, to reattachment of fully amputated limb).
- Treatment of chronic diseases of the Hand.
- Treatment of chronic diseases of Elbow and Shoulder.
- Repair surgery of peripheral nerves of Upper and Lower limbs.
- Repair surgery of traumatic damages of the Brachial Plexus and obstetric paralysis.
- Transfer of free flaps.
- Covering of small or large skin losses to Upper and Lower Limbs.
- Treatment of systematic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- Treatment of tumors of the Upper and Lower Limbs.
- Arthroscopic Surgery of the Upper Limb (diagnostic- treatment).
- Treatment of special diseases, where the Microsurgery technique is necessary (avascular necrosis- fibula free flap transfer).
- Surgical treatment of congenital anomaly of the Upper Limb.
- Replacement of Upper limb, shoulder, elbow, wrist, and finger joints (replacement surgery).
- Restoration of functional deficiencies and deformities of all the human body, where is required the microsurgery technique.
For those 20 years, more than 80.000 patients were examined, while the number of patients that were treated surgically surpasses 15.000.
The experience of the doctors is also considered important for the treatment of war injuries, since lately were successfully treated hundreds of injured persons heavily injured.
Training activities of the department are high level, with continuous presence of the department’s doctors to Greek and international conferences. Of special importance is the Seminar of Applied Upper Limb Surgery, organized successfully by the department since 2007. In this seminar mainly orthopedic doctors are trained in Upper Limb Surgery. It includes 3 parts: display of surgical cases with live image transfer from the Operation Room in Maroussi, to the amphitheater of the Medical Group of Athens in Kefalari, speeches of distinguished speakers for Greece and abroad and practical exercise to cadaver hands.
The 7 Seminars that have been organized up to now, have trained more than 350 doctors to Upper Limb surgery.
The department’s doctors have a continuous training activity and academic presence, to Greece and abroad, participating to important Conferences and Seminars.
Diamantis Misintzis was the President of the Greek Association of Hand Surgery in 1999 and of the Greek Association or Repair Microsurgery in 2005. On the other hand, Panayiotis Giannakopoulos was President of the Greek Association of Hand Surgery in 2003 and of the Greek Association or Repair Microsurgery in 2009. During their term they have successfully organized international conferences. Additionally, Panayiotis Giannakopoulos was Visiting Professor, to the University of Drexel, in Pittsburgh America on 2011. The Hand Upper Limb Surgery Department, Orthopedic Repair Microsurgery has been certified as Official European Hand Trauma Center, since 2011. This certifications is awarded by the Federation of European Societies For Surgery Of the Hand and aims for the recognition and recording of the treatment centers of Upper Limb trauma in Europe, that satisfy certain Scientific Specifications, in order for the treatment of injuries to be the ideal one.
This certification was awarded for the first time to an organized department of a Private Hospital in Greece.