Centennial celebration at Debrecen’s Department of Surgery

Soon, the state-of-the-art technology of the 21st century, robotic surgery or robot-assisted surgery, may be used at the Department of Surgery of the University of Debrecen. One of the largest and most significant of the nation’s institutes offering a wide range of surgical procedures celebrated the 100th anniversary of its foundation just last year. However, due to emergency precautions prompted by the pandemic, the centennial celebrations, where a series of asset development and organizational restructuring plans were also officially announced, could be held only now.

“The past two years have been especially difficult for us because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In spite of that, the program in medicine was not interrupted and we could achieve our primary educational objectives. I am very grateful for this to the employees of the Department of Surgery and the Institute of Surgery, since they firmly stood their ground among circumstances when it was a minor miracle that they could even take care of their own medical activities and responsibilities,” said László Mátyus, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, in his address.

Zoltán Szabó, President of the Clinical Centre of the University of Debrecen (UDCC), also noted and praised the arduous work put in by the employees of the Department of Surgery during the pandemic, through which they contributed to the outstanding results achieved by the Clinical Centre in treating COVID-19 patients. In his speech, he recalled milestones of the professionally exquisite past of the institution and outlined the plans for its future development.

“The exceptional professional expertise that has been associated with this clinic in the past 100 years is an incentive for us to continue to develop our institution even further. Within the next six months, an integrated Clinic of Surgery will be established in the Clinical Centre, which means that the surgical procedures available at the two campuses will be under the same management. In addition, we also plan to establish a day (case) surgery center, thus making surgical care and services even more effective than today,” said Zoltán Szabó.

The President of the Clinical Centre of the University of Debrecen also mentioned that further development of the currently available surgical assets and equipment would be necessary in addition to the structural reorganization and that a top-priority objective in the near future would be the introduction of robotic surgery.

Debrecen’s first Surgery Clinic became operational in November 1921, and its first director was Professor Tivadar Hüttl. Today, its key areas of specialization within the field of general surgery include the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases, providing care for thyroid and parathyroid problems as well as breast, gall bladder and hernia surgery. Vascular surgery, thoracic surgery and kidney transplantation are some of the special areas of care with a European accreditation.

“Our Department of Surgery is one of the largest surgical care units in Hungary. The institution currently treats patients on 174 beds, in 12 operation theaters, performing an annual 7000 surgeries, offering the services of 10 outpatient clinics and 3 outpatient specialist practices. During the course of the past one and a half years, we have implemented significant investments and developments: we have managed to acquire the most modern laparoscopic equipment, including a CUSA (Cavitational Ultrasonic Surgical Aspirator) machine and laparoscopic ultrasound devices. For the first time in Hungary, we set up a protocol for empiric antibiotics, worked out a system of management for safe blood supply and established a working group for breast reconstructive and aesthetic surgery,” said Dezső Tóth, who has been heading the clinic since January 1, 2021.

At the celebration on Friday, former and current employees of the Department of Surgery remembered the past one hundred years by presenting the improvement of surgery and the technical and methodological innovations. To the event, they also invited Professors Emeritus Géza Lukács and Péter Sápy, two former heads of the institution, to mark their 80th birthdays.

Press Center – CzA