Intersectoral Cardiac Transplant Unit

Contact phone numbers
Scientific Director Stamatis Adamopoulos
Cardiac surgeons George Stavridis
Dimitrios Zarkalis
Nektarios Kogerakis
John Nenekidis
Constantinos Perreas
Socratis Fragoulis
Anesthesiologists Stavroula Lakoumenta
Theophani Antoniou
Apostolos Thanopoulos
Panayiota Rellia
Cardiologists Stamatis Adamopoulos
Aggeliki Gouziouta
George Karavolias
Evaggelos Leontiadis
Cardiac Intensive
Care Unit
Andreas Karabinis
Katerina Marathia
Michael Georgiadis
Eleftherios Kolomtsas
John Kriaras
Efterpi Limberopoulou
Despoina Markantonaki
John Bisiadis
Cyril Papadopoulos
Amalia Rombola
Androniki Tasouli
Kathrine Fountoulaki
Anatomical pathologists Loukas Kaklamanis
Immunologist Dimitrios Degiannis
Medical Imaging Irene Mastorakou
Hematologist Antonios Aggelidis
Nurses Transplant
Coordination
Despoina Chilidou
Irene Kitsou
Alexandra Platania
Division Administration: 210 94 93 389
(Contact hours: 08:00-15:00)
Call center: 210 94 93 000
Fax: 210 94 93 389
Administration email address: transplant_services@ocsc.gr

Since 1995, the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center has developed an exemplar, state-of-the-art Transplant Unit. Despite the chronic shortage of grafts in Greece, 141 heart transplants in 140 patients with long-term survival of 107 patients have been performed at the OCSC. At the same time, 12 lung transplants have been performed in 11 patients with long-term survival of 2 patients.

Furthermore, since 1994, the OCSC has undertaken the responsibility of monitoring a number of Greek patients who underwent heart transplantation abroad.

 

Mechanical circulatory support with implantable devices

Within the Transplant Unit there is a Mechanical Support Team dedicated to end-stage heart failure patients. In these cases, after a few months of mechanical support, which improves their circulatory and metabolic state, patients undergo heart transplantation. Hitherto, 128 heart support systems have been placed in 122 patients, of whom 65 have received a heart transplant.

 

Pre-Transplant Monitoring Procedure  

Access to the OCSC Transplant Unit is easy. The patient contacts Transplant Coordinators, who are the liaison between patients and medical staff, simply by calling OCSC (tel. 210 94 93 389 210 94 93 389). After taking a short medical history, the coordinator informs the Director and the Transplant unit Cardiologists. Then, the patient is examined in the Outpatient Transplant Clinic, and scheduled for a 4 to 7 days hospitalization in the OCSC to undergo a very detailed examination of all systems (lungs, liver, kidney, digestive tract, blood vessels, etc.). Furthermore, since 1994, the OCSC has undertaken the responsibility of monitoring a number of Greek patients who underwent heart transplantation abroad. These data are presented to the Selection Committee (by physicians of all specialties), to be thoroughly examined and evaluated. Besides medical information the patient’s psychosocial estate is also considered, so that the transplantation will not only provide longevity but also, life quality. The Selection Committee has adopted the international standards hence, the few existing implants will be given to the most biologically and psychologically suited candidates.

 

Pre-Transplant Stage

When the patient is admitted to the program he/she is included in the “transplant waiting list” and is informed by the National Transplant Organization when a matching graft becomes available. It should be noted that the OCSC does not accept patients who belong to another program’s “list”. The reason is simple: the OCSC does not simply provide an organ. It takes full responsibility of the patient’s health and treats every complication (from “toothache” to serious pneumonia) for lifetime.

During the pre-transplant period, the patient undergoes a medical “routine” examination to check the medication effectiveness, to prevent complications, and to enable the psychological support in this undeniably very difficult stage of the disease.

The pre-transplant patient has to be in constant communication with the coordinators by phone or beeper, if he or she is transferred. If patient’s accommodation is at a distance of more than three hours by car, then OCSC secures immediately appropriate transport means.

Once a suitable donor is found, members of the Transplantation Team (Cardiac Surgeon, Cardiologist, Anesthesiologist, Transplant Coordinator) move to the hospital where the donor is and assess the appropriateness of the graft. Other members of the Transplantation Team remain at OCSC to prepare the recipient, and if the implant is a match, then, the simultaneous surgical procedure on the donor-recipient begins.

 

Post-Operative Progress

After the surgery, the patient is transferred to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where specially trained personnel in a specially modified room monitor his or her progress. The average hospitalization time in the ICU is four to seven days, but may be extended if necessary. Afterwards, the patient is transferred to a private room on the first floor, where he or she remains for ten to fifteen days. During this period intensive physiotherapy begins, in order to achieve rapid functional rehabilitation. The Transplant Coordinators monitor the patient on a daily 24-h basis, undertake his/her immunosuppression training, and provide guidance on diet matters, exercise, and lifestyle issues in close cooperation with the doctors of the Cardiac Surgery Team and Transplant Cardiologists.

 

Constant nursing

It should be noted that the monitoring of the transplant patients never ceases. The first three post-transplant months are critical for the success of the operation, and after six months the patient’s condition stabilizes. It should also, be underlined that the Transplantation Team and the Coordinators are available 24h a day, 365 days a year, for any question or problem through OCC’s phones (tel. 210 94 93 389 and 94 93 000) for transplanted patients as well as for the patients of the waiting list.