Center of Excellence: Aix-Marseille Université
City: Marseille, France
Director: Prof. Eric Lechevaller
Visit dates: 29/09-13/10/2013
Trainees: Argyropoulos Athanasios (Athens)
Georgopoulos Ioannis (Athens)
What the Trainees said
Description & Evaluation of the Center
The Urology Clinic of Hopital de la Conception is hosted in one of the four hospitals of Marseille, a city with 1.500.000 inhabitants. The Urology Clinic expands in 3 floors of the same building. Ground floor: Lithotripsy Unit and operating theaters (for both laparoscopic and open surgeries). 1st floor: physicians’ offices and meeting rooms. 6th floor: patients’ rooms. The Outpatient Clinics and Emergency Department, as well as the Nephrology Clinic, are hosted in an adjacent building. The Hospital and Clinic are a Kidney Transplantation Center. The robotic system is installed in Hopital du Nord, where all types of modern robotic surgical procedures are performed once a week. The Clinic has a capacity of about 40 beds, is directed by Professor Eric Lechevallier and staffed by Professor Gilles Karsenty, Dr Veronique Delaporte, Dr Romain Boissier, three younger Registrars, four Residents and numerous scientific collaborators. The Clinic is organized with all modern equipment for the optimal treatment of urological patients (flexible ureteroscopes and cystoscopes, greenlight laser, holmium laser, radiofrequency device (RF) for the treatment of renal cancer, extracorporeal lithotripters etc). Main specialization fields are: Renal Transplantation (particularly of living donor kidneys), Urological Oncology, Lithiasis and Gynaecological Urology –Neurourology. Only state-of-the art materials and technology are used.
The day routine starts at 7:30 in the morning with 2 groups of physicians visiting patients, while from 8:00 to 18:00 there are various surgical procedures performed in the operating theaters on a daily basis and outpatient clinics working simultaneously. Flexible cystoscopies, intravesical infusions and urodynamic studies are conducted in the Urologists’ medical offices. Surgical procedures cover the entire spectrum of Urology. The clinical and surgical staff was very friendly, highly specialized and our communication was mainly in French and less in English. After surgeries, there were scheduled meetings of the clinic staff. All surgical cases of the previous week are presented at multidisciplinary team meetings on Mondays, urinary incontinence cases on Tuesdays, uro-oncological cases on Wednesdays –all cases registered in a national data base. During our stay, we had the opportunity to attend a Urology Seminar of the Sud-Est Urologist Society with high-level presentations, where we exchanged viewpoints upon various scientific issues. Professors Lechevallier and Karsenty were particularly warm and friendly, as well as Dr Boissier, who personally helped us understand the organisational structure of the Clinic and of the overall French health system.
As for surgical procedures, we had the opportunity to attend two living donor kidney transplantations and were really impressed with the high accuracy and speed, great caution and organized methodology of surgeons in live donor nephrectomy, renal graft manipulation and implantation in the recipient. In addition to the above, we attended many ureteroscopies in cases of renal and ureteral lithiasis - mainly with flexible and less with semi-rigid ureteroscopes (the Clinic was the first one in France performing such procedures and has long experience), transurethral prostatectomies with 180W fiber greenlight laser, bladder tumor procedures (with photodynamic diagnosis in all cases), placement of ACT & PRO-ACT sphincters to treat urinary incontinence, implantation of Interstim neurostimulator, open partial nephrectomies, resection of retroperitoneal residual masses in testicular cancer, resection of hepatic metastases, radiofrequency (RF) application in the treatment of renal cancer etc.
We were particularly impressed with the cooperation of all staff members, their warmth and willingness to answer all our questions. The conditions in the Clinic are outstanding! The perfectly organized computerized system, secretarial support, specialized medical and nursing staff and rapid resolution of any potentially occurring issue, undoubtedly contribute to the provision of high quality healthcare services to patients, and excellent surgical training to French Urologists.
Description & Evaluation of the Center
By participating in Urotour 2013, I had the opportunity to visit and attend the daily program of the Urology Clinic and Kidney Transplantation Unit of A.P-H.M HOPITAL de la CONCEPTION in Marseille from 29/09/2013 to 13/10/2013. The medical staff of the Urology Clinic comprises 2 University Physicians, 2 non-University Physicians, 3 Chefs de Clinique and 4 Residents. The Clinic is located on the 6th floor of the central building and has a capacity of 35 beds in double and single patient rooms with excellent accommodation conditions. On a daily basis, there are scheduled surgical procedures performed in 2 operating theaters, while cystoscopies and urodynamic studies take place among others in the Urologists’ medical offices throughout the day. The Clinic also has a very well organized and equipped Extracorporeal Lithotripsy Unit. The Department covers the entire spectrum of Urology (Oncology, Endoscopic Urology, Gynaecologic Urology, Neurourology and Transplantation). There is close collaboration of the Urologists of the Clinic with other specialties, such as Oncologists, Radiologists, Pathologists, Nephrologists and Anaesthesiologists, who hold multidisciplinary meetings every week to discuss cases and exchange viewpoints. Professor Eric Lechevallier, the Director of the Clinic, and Professor Gilles Karsenty, along with the other Physicians, Specialists, Residents and Nursing staff, were very hospitable and friendly. The modern equipment and excellent scientific training of Urologists compose a department providing top quality healthcare services.