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A Unique Operation via Video Link

​By means of modern telecommunication technologies, teams of experts located in three of the most prestigious hospitals in the country, separated by more than 500 km, performed a breast carcinoma operation together.

The project was launched by establishing a video link between leading experts in thoracic surgery and pathology at "St. Sofia" First Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital, "St. Marina" University Hospital in Varna and the Military Medical Academy, who together monitored the performance of an operation for the removal of breast carcinoma in a 41-year-old patient. The intervention was conducted by Dr. Evgeniy Vasilev from "St. Sofia" First Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital and consulted in real time by Prof. Radoslav Radev, thoracic surgeon at "St. Marina" University Hospital and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at MU - Varna and by Col. Prof. Deyan Yordanov, Head of "Thoracic Surgery" Clinic at MMA.

urgent intraoperative diagnosis (Gefrier), by means of a state-of-the-art microscope with an in-built digital camera that digitizes the image. By means of the video link, Dr. Ivan Krasnaliev, pathologist at "St. Marina" University Hospital and Dr. Albena Fakirova, pathologist at MMA, whose opinion was crucial in the course of the operation, were able to join the team of consultants, as well.

After some discussion based on the exchanged information and materials in relation to the dimension of the operation (whether a mastectomy or quadrantectomy should be carried out), as well as the depth of the lymph node dissection, the experts reached a unanimous decision – an organ-sparing surgery to be performed, whereupon only the affected by the tumor part of the breast and the lymph nodes were removed. On this occasion, Prof. Radev remarked in confirmation of the maxim that argument bore the truth, and pointed out, "We do not treat the disease but the individual - a particular person. Each case must be considered individually and assessed in relation to all perspectives and aspects as we have done today."

Given the lack of experts in pathology in Bulgaria, the new technologies, as demonstrated, will enable remote consultation and monitoring of operations, targeted at training and providing feedback between physically remote hospital establishments throughout the country. This will also optimize the time for planning operations, assessment of results and providing guidance on the most appropriate treatment. As Prof. Dr. Krasimir Ivanov, the Rector of MU - Varna emphasized in the future, both hospitals will continue to act in partnership in this direction and implement advanced and innovative technologies for the sake of patients and their health in the name of the modern medical science and practice.

 The Minister of Health - Dr. Tanya Andreeva congratulated the teams from all hospitals in the live connection at the final stage of the operation. Just a few minutes earlier, together with the Minister of Education and Science Dr. Aneliya Klisarova, she had opened the Children's Unit for Intensive Care Treatment, Neurology and Neonatology at the renovated multifunctional specialized Children's Clinic at "St. Marina" University Hospital - Varna.

 Prof. Radev invited his colleagues from Sofia to take part in August in the second workshop of the expert board at the annual national conference Multidisciplinary Oncological Discussions and Extracts, an initiative of MU-Varna, Bulgarian Society of Oncology and "St. Marina" University Hospital - Varna, the topic of which this year is "Behavior in Breast Carcinoma". The idea and objective of the specialists is the establishment of common rules and models for breast carcinoma treatment, a kind of national "manual", which should be ready by October - the international Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

То тhe​ gallery - an operation via video link

To the gallery - opening of the Children's Unit for Intensive Care Treatment, Neurology and Neonatology at "St. Marina" University Hospital - Varna

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