Thoracic Surgery and Lung Transplants
At the Thoracic Surgery and Lung Transplants Department at Vall d'Hebron Hospital, we are pioneers and a reference centre in lung transplants and the treatment of lung cancer with minimally invasive techniques.
Since the inauguration of the Department, in 1969, our goal has been to provide comprehensive care for patients suffering from thoracic surgical disease, to improve their quality of life using highly specialised techniques. To achieve this, our work with thoracic surgeons in multidisciplinary teams is key. This collaboration enriches us as professionals as well as people.
As for minimally invasive techniques, video-assisted thoracoscopy allows us to extract the pulmonary lobe with only two or three small incisions. With traditional techniques, this would require one incision of about 15 or 20 cm. This technique therefore causes less bleeding and has less impact on ventilation mechanics.
So the video-assisted thoracoscopy has less of an impact on the immune system and allows patients to get back to their normal life sooner. This technique requires high-precision accuracy, and can only be carried out by highly specialised professionals with a large amount of experience.
We are also the only hospital in Catalonia to carry out lung transplants for children and adults: the Thoracic Surgery Department was the first in Spain to carry out such a successful transplant in 1990.
Portfolio of services
- Surgery to reconstruct trachea and treat cancer
- Lung cancer
- Pulmonary and pleural video thoracoscopic surgery
- Thoracic sympathectomy, treatment of palmar hyperhidrosis
- Mediastinal surgery
- Thoracic wall and diaphragm surgery
- Pleural pathology
- Lung transplant in adults and children
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.
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.