Since its official launch on June 30, the department is now equipped with two unique hybrid operating theaters. As a result, twice as many catheter and hybrid vascular surgeries, as well as radiological interventions can be performed than before. In the framework of the V68 project, in addition to the afore mentioned facilities, one more cardiac and two vascular and microsurgery operating rooms have been renovated. The new Sports Cardiology Center, which has also just been handed over, is also unique in the country as it enables complex sports cardiology examinations of around 1000-1500 athletes every year. It will also play a prominent role in education. 

“The Városmajor Center is the flagship of Semmelweis University, the development of its infrastructure contributes to the institution’s prestigious place in international rankings. In the US News “Best Global Universities” 2023 ranking, we are listed in the 43rd place in the field of cardiology and cardiovascular systems. Today, the Városmajor clinic is the leading cardiovascular center in Central and Eastern Europe”, emphasized Dr. Béla Merkely, Rector of Semmelweis University. “The two new hybrid operating theaters enable cardiologists, radiologists, vascular and cardiac surgeons to cooperate in the most precise and most efficient interventions – thus, by complementing each other’s work, you can prepare for the greatest success and the lowest complication rate”, Rector Dr. Béla Merkely added. 

Speaking about the new Sports Cardiology Center, the rector also pointed out that the new institution is specifically designed to help elite athletes stay healthy while maintaining maximum performance.

In her welcome speech, Judit Bidló, the Deputy Secretary of State Responsible for the Professional Management of Healthcare, said the establishment of the new Sports Cardiology Center is an important milestone in the field of health policy and sports medicine. She called attention to the importance of health protection and prevention.

Zoltán Nyul, Deputy Secretary of State Responsible for High-rise Construction Investments stated it is important that the realized investments, such as this one, represent the highest standards in terms of operation, economy, functionality and aesthetics. 

The specialty of the hybrid vascular surgery operating room is the built-in X-ray machine operating under sterile conditions. Catheter valve surgeries, catheter interventions for life-threatening heart rhythm disorders, main thoracic and abdominal artery operations, as well as open vascular surgeries involving incisions are to be performed here without having to move or transport the patient, at the same time and with the same equipment.

 In Hungary, most hybrid vascular surgeries have been performed at this center so far.  What is more, from now on, it will be possible to double this amount, including the number of catheter aortic arch surgeries that are performed only at the Városmajor Health and Vascular Center. Furthermore, the special camera system, built-in monitors and projectors result in a huge improvement in education, as the students can watch what is happening in the operating room live from an external room.

“A total of four, two cardiac and two vascular surgery operating theaters, have been completely renovated with the installation of the most modern cardiac motors, ventilators, and wall-mounted projectors, so that even more operations can be performed along with increasing patient safety,” said Dr. István Hartyánszky, Associate Professor, Head of the Clinic’s Cardiac Surgery Profile. He added that all types of cardiac surgical procedures can be performed at the Városmajor Center, such as valve, coronary or special large vessel surgeries, rare surgeries related to pulmonary embolism and chronic pericarditis, 3D planned heart surgeries, heart transplants or all types of mechanical circulatory support can also be provided.

“In the new Sports Cardiology and Sports Medicine Laboratory, which consists of several rooms and is equipped with modern technology, approximately 120 sports cardiology examinations can be carried out per month,” pointed out Dr. Vágó Hajnalka, Clinical Chief Physician, Sports Medicine Profile Manager. According to her, the aim of this investment is to crate ideal circumstances for safe sports activities and to reduce the risk and incidence of sudden cardiac death. That is why, among other things, exercise tests are carried out in addition to ECG and blood pressure control, supplemented with respiratory function monitoring, from which professionals can learn useful information about the condition of the heart, vascular system and lungs, as well as fitness and metabolism. 

Athletes with specific symptoms may use the center free of charge. The new laboratory will also be one of the locations for the sports medicine training of the university’s Faculty of Medicine. Students can follow the tests up close and participate in the interactive motion analyses.

The investment was realized as part of the V68 project, on which over HUF 6 billion of state funding and one-third of the university’s resources were spent. 

Eszter Csatári-Földváry, Eszter Kovács, Éva Obreczány

Translation: Mária Sánta

Photos: Attila Kovács – Semmelweis University