Endocrine, Metabolic, and Bariatric Surgery
The Endocrine, Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Unit is part of the General Surgery Department and has two main purposes: on the one hand, we handle tasks related to endocrine surgery, and, on the other, we also handle metabolic and bariatric issues.
We offer excellence in care for thyroid surgery, and our clinical research and the use of the latest techniques, such as recurrent nerve monitoring and visual amplification of the surgical field, mean the care provided for this pathology guarantees the highest standards, both in benign and malignant pathology.
As for parathyroid pathology, we always try to use minimally invasive techniques.
Adrenal pathology is addressed primarily through laparoscopic surgery, and the Unit has acquired extensive experience over the years.
In the fields of bariatrics and metabolism, we perform all types of technique, both restrictive and malabsorptive and mixed techniques: gold standard, laparoscopic gastric bypass and vertical laparoscopy.
Portfolio of services
The introduction of robotic surgery at the Unit means we have become pioneers in robotic bariatric surgery, with the creation of a model of robotic surgical technique for gastric bypass and tubular gastroplasty.
Surgery is a fundamental pillar for patients diagnosed with morbid obesity living with health problems such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cardiocirculatory problems and respiratory disorders. The objective of bariatric surgery is twofold: on the one hand, to re-educate eating habits so that the maximum loss of excess weight can be achieved in the shortest amount of time possible in a sustainable way and, on the other hand, to prevent, reduce and treat obesity-related comorbidity.
Our arsenal of surgical techniques, such as gastric bypass and vertical gastrectomy, includes more complex techniques to alleviate the devastating effects of obesity on such patients. Likewise, in the last 15 years, developments in robotic surgery (where the surgeon operates on the patient through the use of a robot that responds to their orders, improving precision, vision and possibilities of movement) mean these techniques can be carried out more safely and have become more commonplace.
Vall d'Hebron University Hospital is a European reference centre in robotic surgery for obesity. In 2012, we were the first hospital in Spain to operate on the first adolescent patients with morbid obesity, and we are currently recognised as a centre of European excellence.
The joint work of bariatric surgeons and endocrinologists means the Unit is in a privileged position when it comes to metabolic surgery to treat diabetes, when appropriate.
The Section carries out its own research projects, collaborating with other hospitals and other Departments within our Hospital, further information about which can be found in the publications and research sections.
For teaching, our Section has two resident doctors who rotate periodically. We also train medical students from the Autonomous University of Barcelona in the surgical disciplines related to our Unit.
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.