Eminent Italian cardiac surgeon from the San Donato Clinic in Milan, prof. Dr. Alessandro Giamberti, stayed at the Institute for Cardiovascular Diseases “Dedinje” and successfully performed complex cardiac surgeries with doctors in four patients who, due to congenital heart defects, had surgery as children. Prof. Đamberti is a long-term associate of the Dedinje Institute, where, together with domestic experts, he operates on severe congenital heart pathologies and educates the institute staff for these very demanding interventions.

– No health institution in this region and beyond has become so internationalized through its professional and scientific cooperation with Europe and the world, such as the “Dedinje” Institute. On the occasion of this working visit of our colleague and respected professor Alessandro Đamberti from Milan, we performed very complex operations on complex congenital heart defects in adults. Depending on our needs in the coming period, we will continue to do so, so we have scheduled his next visit in early April – said Prof. Dr. Aleksandra Nikolic, Assistant Director for Medical Affairs of the Institute “Dedinje”.

She added that the “Dedinje” Institute will try to expand the cooperation with the Italian clinic “San Donato”, in order to train the domestic staff as efficiently as possible for further work in such complex procedures.

– Our plans are aimed at educating doctors. Unlike other countries, there is no special field in Serbian medicine that deals with the problem of congenital heart defects, so our doctors study and cooperate with international organizations that deal with this specialty. Medicine is constantly advancing, treatment approaches are changing – there are many challenges that, to our satisfaction, we must face in the future – says Prof. Nikolic.

Prof. Giamberti pointed out that he does not feel like a foreigner at the Institute and that he is pleased to cooperate with professional and hard-working doctors, and that the health services for patients with heart disease in “Dedinje”, as he says, are at a high level. He is of the opinion that this house has become an exceptional regional educational center, where important names in the world of cardiovascular surgery and cardiology gladly come.

– The Dedinje Institute was among the first in this region, and beyond, to show great interest in the problems of patients with congenital heart defects, opened its doors and gave them a chance to be cured. It is my pleasure to cooperate with you – says Prof. Dr. Alessandro Giamberti.

The Center for the Treatment of Congenital Heart Defects in “Dedinje” grew three years ago as a relatively new multidisciplinary organizational unit, which includes experts in various specialties, so in addition to cardiologists and cardiac surgeons, electrophysiologists, anesthesiologists, doctors who advise pregnant women, psychologists are needed.

Statistics show that one in 100 newborn babies has a problem with the heart or large blood vessels, and that thanks to diagnostic methods that quickly identify the problem, more than 85 percent of children survive to adulthood. This is a growing problem in the population as the number of patients who have this problem increases. Those who have been cured must not be left unattended, because, given the nature of the disease, they need occasional consultations.

– Children are quite successfully taken care of in pediatric institutions, and our care is for adults with congenital heart defects, for whom our Institute is the right place to give them hope and support them together with their families. This is an area that, given the complexity of the pathology in many areas, including countries, is very neglected, because heart defects are difficult to assess and treat. However, in recent years, medicine has turned more to these patients, so in 2000, the average life expectancy with a congenital defect was 37 years, and today it is 57 years. Progress in the treatment of congenital heart defects is evident, but it is also evident that this population of patients is growing in the world, so the health systems in every country must be ready to face this growing problem. The “Dedinje” Institute recognized one of its important tasks right there – says prof. Dr. Aleksandra Nikolic.