LIVER TRANSPLANTATION AT THE BRITISH HOSPITAL
The British Hospital has incorporated a group of Physicians and Surgeons with vast experience in the field of Liver Transplantation.
Associated to the Department of Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, led by Dr. L. Colombato (Past President of the Asociación Argentina para el Estudio de Enfermedades Hepáticas and of the Sociedad Argentina de Gastroenterología, and ex-researcher at Yale University), and of the General Surgical Service, led by Dr. E. Porto, (Full Member of the Argentine College of Surgeons and Associate Member of the American College of Surgeons), the new Unit is led by Dr. Luis Podestá and by Dr. Federico Villamil.
Dr. Podestá is considered one of the outstanding Argentine surgeons in hepatobiliary surgery, and over the past two decades has performed over one thousand liver transplants, both in children and in adults. These have included partial organ and total organ transplants of the liver, and has received organs from live and cadaveric donors.
Dr. Villamil was one of the earliest instigators of this activity in Argentina, as from 1987. He is President Elect of the International Association for the Study of Liver Diseases; he is also Past President of the International Liver Transplantation Society, of the Asociación Argentina para el Estudio de Enfermedades Hepáticas and of the Sociedad Argentina de Transplante. He has subsequently received the “Distinguished Service Award” by the International Liver Transplantation Society at their last meeting, for his contributions to liver transplantation world wide.
The Hepatology Centre and the Liver Transplant Unit will be part of the Hospital’s strong commitment to teaching and research. This commitment is reinforced by the recent alliance of the Hospital with the Faculty of Medicine of the Universidad Católica Argentina, whereby the Hospital now has full University status, and will receive their medical students for their teaching in the medical and surgical subjects.
The Transplant Unit will be striving to train young doctors in this new discipline at the Hospital, a situation matched only by very few Institutions in this country. A strategic alliance with the Fundación para la Docencia e Investigación de las Enfermedades del Hígado will make possible grants and specialized courses for interested physicians and surgeons from all over the country.
The Unit is ready to begin operating: it is very important to underline the fact that organ donation is crucial for these patients, afflicted either by Cirrhosis or by acute fulminant Hepatitis.
The presentation to the Community and to the Press of this new possibility at the British Hospital, was conducted by Dr. Angel Yebara, General Medical Director, accompanied by Dr. Colombato, Dr. Porto and Dr. Villamil. Highlights of the meeting were the testimonials of three well known public figures, successfully transplanted some years back. These were Mrs. Adriana Aizemberg, a well known actress, a famous football star, Rubén Galván, of international fame, and Mr. Cavenaghi, uncle to another well known soccer star, Fernando Cavenaghi.