The mission of the Dermatology Department at the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital is the diagnosis, treatment (medical and surgical) and prevention of diseases of the skin, subcutis, mucous membranes and annexes, as well as the symptoms of systemic diseases that affect the skin and systemic manifestations of skin diseases. The Department is a reference centre in complex dermatological problems that require specialised treatments.
Dermatology in Vall d'Hebron has three main areas of action:
- Paediatric dermatology: we are a reference centre for two large groups of paediatric diseases with dermatological symptoms, which are vascular lesions and genodermatosis. The most common vascular lesions are haemangiomas for children, followed by vascular malformations; to treat them, the Department offers techniques such as sclerotherapy, embolisation and surgery. For genodermatosis or hereditary skin diseases, dermatology professionals work side by side with neurologists and geneticists in order to offer patients the best treatment alternatives.
- Skin cancer: Vall d'Hebron is the leading centre in terms of number of clinical trials for advanced melanoma treatment. The Melanoma Biomedical Research Group at the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute studies animal models to improve early detection and targeted therapy. In the treatment of melanoma, specialists in dermatology, oncology, pathological anatomy and plastic surgery are all involved.
- Transplant patients: the Department carries out follow-up of patients who have undergone solid organ transplants. At Vall d'Hebron, more than 350 transplants of solid organs are carried out every year, and immunosuppressive treatments can cause several dermatological complications. The objective of the Dermatology Department is to adjust the immunosuppression so that the treatment is less aggressive, and to identify guidelines for primary and secondary prevention of cutaneous tumours.
The Department also has specialised clinics for psoriasis, cutaneous lymphomas, ampular epidermolysis, oral mucosal diseases and immuno-allergic dermatosis. We also offer diagnosis, treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.
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.
Rosalia Moure arrived at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in 1967. She spent her entire working life in the linen and laundry department of the Hospital. Rosalia Moure has witnessed the Hospital’s big transformations, from dictatorship to democracy and from analogue to digital systems.
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.