Santariškių g. 2, 08661 Vilnius
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History of centre


The introduction of microsurgery to the clinical practice across the world started in testing laboratories. Later on, having mastered the technique of microsurgery and learned how to repair blood vessels and nerves with the help of a microscope, the surgeons performed the first limb replantations. The very first digital replantation (of a thumb) using the method of microsurgery was performed by the Japanese surgeons Komatsu and Tamai in 1965. Meanwhile, microsurgery in Lithuania has a similar and yet rather intriguing history.

At the end of the 70s in the last century, the only microsurgery center in the entire Soviet Union was located in Moscow and there were no plans of opening another one in Lithuania. Such an idea was generated by Assoc. Prof. M. Vitkus who came back from the USA where he had just visited several world famous centers of reconstructive microsurgery and hand surgery. Having witnessed the successful results of the limb replantation procedures and composite tissue transplantations performed daily, Assoc. Prof. M. Vitkus decided to spread the word and lay the foundation for microsurgery in Lithuania.

In 1979, he started working at the microsurgery laboratory which he founded himself. A number of scientific researches and tests with animals were carried out at the laboratory trying to fine-tune the technique of small blood vessels reconnection (1 mm or less in diameter) by employing a surgical microscope and especially fine sutures.

In 1980, Prof. Kęstutis Vitkus and Assoc. prof. Mečislovas Vitkus replanted two completely amputated digits at the Vilnius Red Cross Hospital. This was the first replantation surgery in Lithuania, and it was a success. What seemed like a miracle at that time soon became daily work of a microsurgeon. The fact that only 15 years separated the very first digital replantation in the world from the first surgery of the kind in Lithuania marked a great scientific achievement. A team of true enthusiasts was gathered during a short period of time. Daily work demanding high precision and passion of young talented surgeons soon yielded significant results. As soon as the hospital allocated several wards in the Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology and permitted to use of one of the operating rooms, the word about the microsurgery specialists immediately spread across the entire Lithuania and people looking for help started flocking.

The Department of Reconstructive Microsurgery (as of 2001 known as the Department of Plastic Reconstructive Surgery) was founded on April 1, 1982 and prompted significant expansion of microsurgical services. At that time, it was the only surgical unit of the kind across the Baltic States performing emergency and scheduled microsurgeries on patients from Latvia, Estonia, Kaliningrad Region, Belarus and other countries. The doctors would also come from these countries to share and gain experience. This contributed to the incorporation of microsurgery departments in Riga and Minsk.

At the beginning, the focus was on hand reconstructive surgeries and restoration of the primary functions of a hand. Then, as the doctors mastered new and complex surgery techniques, possibilities arose to successfully treat patients with such chronic diseases of lower extremities as osteomyelitis, pseudarthrosis, trophic ulcers and defects of soft tissue, bone, tendons and nerves caused by traumas. Before the era of microsurgery the treatment of such patients was painstakingly long and wearisome, and the results were unsatisfying to both the physicians or the patients.The application of microsurgery extended the reach of reconstructive surgery and made a complete breakthrough.

Atnaujinta 2015-02-24
Straipsnis parodytas: 8104 kartų(kartus)
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