Corneal and Ocular Surface Section
Our Section deals with the diagnosis and treatment of all pathologies affecting the ocular surface, whether inflammatory, infectious, dystrophic, traumatic, tumour-related or degenerative.
Within the Department, we have the most up-to-date complementary tests for diagnosing ocular surface pathologies: specular microscopy, pachymetry, state-of-the-art topography (Pentacam, Cassini), high-resolution anterior segment OCT, etc.
We maintain a close relationship with the departments involved in the diagnosis (Microbiology and Pathological Anatomy) and treatment (Blood and Tissue Bank) of ocular pathologies. This allows us to speed up the diagnostic processes (especially in infectious and tumour processes) and to improve the performance of the treatments applied (amniotic membrane, amniotic membrane extract eye drops, autologous serum eyedrops, cord blood plasma, platelet-rich plasma...)
We have three weekly sub-specialty operating room sessions, which gives us a very short waiting list for ocular surface and keratoplasty techniques. We are a centre especially involved in performing corneal transplants, and in recent years we have remained among the public centres that have performed the most transplants, both in Catalonia and nationally. In the last few years, we have been incorporating lamellar techniques into our transplants (anterior lamellar, DALK type, and posterior endothelial lamellar, DSAEK and DMEK type), so that currently only 30% are penetrating. We thus achieve a lower rate of intraoperative complications, better and earlier sight recovery and a reduction in the incidence of rejection and/or endothelial failure in the medium and long term.
Like the other sections in our Department, we actively participate in training residents in the specialty, as well as in Ophthalmology classes and in placements for fourth-year students of Medicine at the UAB.
As far as research is concerned, the members of the Department conduct work as principal investigators or collaborators in different projects, both in the Ophthalmology Department and in other hospital departments (Oncology). One of these projects allows us to have access to topical treatment of our patients with umbilical cord blood plasma eye drops, which is far superior to other therapeutic options in ocular surface pathologies.
We are a benchmark national unit of expertise (CSUR) for surgical techniques involving complex reconstruction of the ocular surface, especially those using amniotic membrane and temporary or permanent keratoprosthetics.
Dou Saenz de Vizmanos
Dr. Josep Sánchez de Toledo Codina, head of the Paediatric Haematology and Oncology Department, tells us about a Department that has laid the foundations for the specialism in Spain. He also remembers the evolution of transplants from haematopoietic stem cells and progenitors, from the beginning, buying the material at a shop in Barcelona city centre, to the more than 1,200 transplants that have now been performed.
Dr. Francesc Bosch, Head of the Haematology Department, talks about the complexity of the Department, which has turned Vall d’Hebron into a reference centre in haematology thanks to its commitment to transplants and the use of new treatments. The Clinical Trials Unit helps a lot, giving access to treatments for complex patients.
The Master's Degree in Biomedical and Translational Research is an official programme created to train researchers with the requisite combination of scientific knowledge and skills to contribute to the future success of biomedical research.
Fermín Fernández Álvarez, Porter Coordinator, explains the importance of the role these professionals play in the hospital. After 36 years at Vall d’Hebron, Fermín is a real master of the ways things are done. He says that a porter has to combine humility, discretion and safety with a single goal: that patients receive human and friendly treatment.
The constant search for excellence is part of Hospital Vall d’Hebron’s nature. The biggest hospital in Catalonia and the leader in many fields, headed since February 2015 by Dr. Vicenç Martínez Ibáñez, who has a close personal and professional relationship with the Hospital. Dr. Martínez Ibáñez says that if Vall d’Hebron did not exist, it would need to be invented. The current director trained at the hospital, where he was one of the protagonists of an historic moment: the first paediatric liver transplant in Spain. Now, he is committed to continuing this legacy and, always putting the patient first, achieving excellence across all staff.
The Neonatology Department’s Sibling Project is a workshop for the siblings of new-born babies admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit in the Vall d’Hebron Maternity and Children's Hospital. Through simulated games and situations, the project prepares them to get used to seeing their younger siblings in a hospital medical setting.
Vall d’Hebron University Hospital’s kitchen serves more than 1,000 meals a day, twice a day, not counting breakfast. A reality that José Parrilla and Carmina Esteban know all too well.From three kitchens to one and from coal to gas. That is how the hospital’s catering service has evolved. A place where the needs of each patient must be taken into account and where there is room for small, juicy anecdotes.
The former head of the Thoracic Surgery Department, Dr. Mercè Canela, recently retired, recalls the important evolution of the Department to become a leader in Spain and a lung transplant pioneer. A task made possible thanks to collaboration with professionals from other departments, an added value in the personal and team environment.