Medical Award for Sir Mihai Ionac Prof (Timisoara - Romania) - Federation of the Autonomous Priories - Knights of Malta

Sir Prof. Dr. Mihai Ionac, head of the Clinic for Vascular Surgery, Clinical Emergency Hospital Timisoara, won the prize for Medical Innovation at the Gala Medica 2010, organized by the Romanian College of Physicians, May 17, 2010, in Bucharest.

The prize has been awarded for the exceptional results of the medical team led by dr. Ionac, focused on lowering the number of the amputations of the lower limbs.

The issue of the lower limb amputations is important!

The European statistics of the last 10 years reveal that the number of the lower limb amputations has doubled, mainly because the high incidence of diabetes mellitus. The amputees represent a significant burden for both the families (70% out of the amputees will never ambulate again) and the society: pensions, prosthesis, social support. It is obvious, that something has to be done to stop this epidemics.

The causes of the amputations are complex, asking for a new, multidisciplinary approach. The team of vascular surgeons from Timisoara are implementing this multidisciplinary approach for lowering the number of the amputations and for educating the physicians and patients in this respect. Therefore, the Timisoara vascular surgeons use combined techniques of vascular surgery, plastic surgery and peripheral nerve surgery. The clinic has established a permanent cooperation with the physicians from the departments of diabetes, cardiology, orthopedics. Together with the Department of Biochemistry from the Victor Babes University of Medicine and Pharmacy we introduced for the first time in Romania angiogenic therapy for advanced stages of peripheral vascular disease were the traditional methods failed. An important mention deserves the cooperation with a team of orthopedic surgeons of the Clinic for Microsurgery of the KAT Emergency Hospital Athens, that made possible operations of bone distraction performed for the first time in Romania.

The results are remarkable: over 250 microsurgical bypasses with 80% survival of the limbs at 3 years, that means avoiding the amputation in all this patients; over 100 patients operated of nerve decompression for diabetic peripheral neuropathy, in whom the pain and anesthesia disappeared, allowing prevention of the gangrene and consecutive amputations in about 70% of the patients; a total of 2500 vascular and reconstructive operations devoted to this group of patients during the period of 3 years from the establishing of the vascular surgery team.