Center of Excellence: Department of Urology, La Pitié Salpêtrière Academic Hospital, Pierre and Marie Curie University
City: Paris, France
Director: Prof. M-O. Bitker
Visit Days: 21-28/10/2012
Trainees: Dimitris Moshonas (Athens)
Manolis Chrisafis (Athens)
What said the Trainees
Description and Evaluation of the Center
The Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital is one of the oldest hospitals in Paris, founded 400 years ago, with worldwide renowned Neurologists in its history (Charcot, Laseque, Babinski). The Hospital Department of Urology is recognized as a Center of Excellence -with Professor Bitker as Director and Professor Chartier-Kastler as the Head of the Educational Program. The Department occupies 2 floors hosting the Outpatient Clinic and One-Day Clinic (for biopsies, endoscopies etc). Half patient wards are on the 4th floor and half of them on the 5th floor together with the Physicians' offices and premises for seminars, courses and meetings. The Operating Theaters are located on the basement of the building (4 for the Urology Clinic, 2 for General Urology, 1 for Endourology and 1 exclusively for the DaVinci Robot).
The medical team is further composed of 3 Professors: Professor Haertig, Professor Richard (former Chairman of the Clinic who, after his retirement, is still retaining his role in the Clinic) and Professor Barrou (specialized in transplantations). There are also 3 Assistant Professors: Mr Roupret, Mr Mozere and Mr Vaessen. Mr Roupret -responsible for the research work of the Department- was particularly friendly with us, willing to exchange interesting viewpoints and positions. Mr Mozer -specialized in Imaging Techniques- was very hospitable and willing to show us the most recent and advanced imaging methods, such as combination of MRI and Ultrasounds (for the better targetting of prostatic biopsies) and combination of Ultrasounds with classical radiological methods (for the better conduction and monitoring of percutaneous puncture). Mr Vaessen -specialized in Robotic Surgery- performed and explained to us every phase of Radical Prostatectomy, Partial Nephrectomy, insertion of Artificial Periprostatic Urinary Sphincter and living donor Nephrectomy for Transplantation in a patient with anatomical duplication of the inferior vena cava and 3 renal veins.
The Urology Department of the University Hospital Pitie-Salpetriere in Paris, which I had the luck to visit, is a Centre of Excellence. It covers cases involving all fields of Urology (Oncology, Robotic Surery, Endourology, Transplantations), with highest specialization in Neurourology for which it is a National Center of Reference. Professor Marc-Olivier Bitker, Chairman of the Clinic, and Professor Emmanuel Chartier Kastler, the person in charge of the educational program, created a friendly and hospitable environment, in perfect collaboration with the entire medical staff and the trainees. Professor Chartier–Kastler had organized a rich program for us to attend patients' visits at the Outpatient Unit, many different surgical procedures, research and academic activities and participate in meetings of variousdifferent specialty physicians dealing with the treatment of both oncological and neurourological patients. The Professor was always willing to help us and answer any questions of ours, and kindly apologized for not having time to have dinner with us due to his heavy schedule. All members of the Clinic treated us in the best way, included us in their daily activities and willingly exchanged viewpoints of scientific and vocational interest. With regard to the language of communication, most of them tried to use the English language, though it was not easy for all of them. Last but not least Paris - the City of Light- is always an unforgettable destination for anybody.
Description and Evaluation of the Center
This is the largest and oldest Hospital in Paris. It is fully equipped for covering the entire spectrum of Urology. The Department is specialized in Oncology, Robotic Surgery, Functional Urology, Endourology and Renal Transplantation. It is a Center of Reference for urinary incontinence. The young colleague will have there the potential to attend a great number of urological procedures in an environment where everybody is willing to help and answer any potentially occurring questions. In the specific Department, a great number of surgical procedures are performed, some of which we were fortunate to attend: insertion of technical sphincter in a woman, sacral nerve neuromodulation, cystoplasty, robotic nephrectomy and transplantation. As a conclusion, it is a Center that can no way leave any colleague indifferent and is surely worth visiting for at least one week.
We followed the daily clinical practice. More specifically:
Morning briefing and visit to patient wards
Discussion of cases scheduled to be operated
Meeting with Paedosurgeons and presentation of paedourological cases (in France there is not specialty of Paedourology)
Presentation of PhDs
Wide variety of surgical procedures of high interest. Indicatively mentioned:
- Robotic nephrectomy for renal transplantation, insertion of artificial sphincter in a woman, cystoplasty, laparoscopic placement of surgical mesh for reconstruction of pelvic floor.
It is worth mentioning that during our one-week stay, the Center was not in full operation for it coincided with the physicians' strike (Yes, physicians do strike in France, too!). During our whole stay, all colleagues were willing to resolve any querry of ours (both in French and English).