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Healthcare successes in the Czech Republic

 
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In the past, Czech health care was able to pride itself on many successes on both European and global levels. The high standard of Czech medical and research centers also allows for the implementation of cutting-edge methods in practice and subsequent help to patients in this country and from the world over.

 
 

Oncology

Prague hospital Na Homolce examines oncological patients by means of a so-called hybrid PET camera. This device is able to identify tumors in their early stages, and since it was tested in practice, doctors from all over Europe have visited the hospital to gain experience.

Several countries, including the CzechRepublic, carried out clinical tests of a vaccination substance that is said to prevent the onset of cervical cancer.At present, there are three vaccination substances registred in the Czech Republic - Silgard, Gardasil and Cervarix.

Since 2002, an interesting method of treatment of uterine myoma, a benign tumor that forms on the walls of the uterus, has been carried out in the CzechRepublic.The uterine arteries, which at the same time supply the myoma, are completely blocked in the treatment by means of laparoscopy and an ultrasound scalpel.The advantage of this method is the retention of fertility and the high rate of effectiveness. 

Cardiology

The CzechRepublic prides itself on the best European network of centers for the treatment of patients with an acute heart attacks.Doctors in these centers can easily clear the blocked artery and thus prevent even minor damage to a patient’s heart.  

There have been new operations introduced in the CzechRepublic for some types of bicuspid and tricuspid valves and heart rhythm abnormalities. The treatment involves several punctures and needles – in fact, laparoscopically.This method is considerably more patient-friendly, as opening the chest cavity is not necessary.  

In 2003, the Czech Republic was the first country in Central and Eastern Europe to use a so-called mechanical heart.This is a temporary heart replacement that helps the patient through the period of waiting for a suitable transplant.  

Surgery

Since the end of last year, doctors in the CzechRepublic have performed refractive surgery of an artificial soft lens into the eye.During the operation, a special contact lens is placed before the patient’s iris and is left to grow in. This causes the number of dioptres to decrease by 13.

A robot called Da Vinci is a radical step in practical medicine. It is a device with several “tentacles” controlled by a surgeon that enable him to reach deeper into the patient’s body through a hole much smaller than if performed manually.It also allows the surgeon to navigate more accurately and to move more skillfully inside the body. Up to 500 patients a year are to undergo this surgery in the future.

In April 2005, doctors in Brno successfully carried out a triple-organ transplantation when they simultaneously replaced a patient’s heart, kidney and liver, all from one donor.   

In 2004, Czech surgeons gave a patient who had burned her eye with a concentrated acetic acid a special artificial eye (a biocompatible keratoprosthesis ), which allows the patient to see up to 2 meters


České Budějovicke’s department of orthopedics become the first in Central and Eastern Europe to use a new method of performing an artificial hip replacement operation.


Small intestine donor transplants could be possible in the near future; Czech doctors are already testing the procedure and its implementation is estimated to take place within two years.


Doctors in the department of ophthalmology at the Sokolovské hospital, directed by Pavel Studený, used an improved technique for a corneal transplant in November 2006. This method, which has yet to be documented, reduces the risk that the new cornea will be rejected.

New drugs

Clinical tests of a new anti-cancer drug are under way in the CzechRepublic.The drug works on the principle of exact targeting when the effective substance starts to act when in the tumor. Medications based on this principle are also being developed in the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom.  

Hepsera – introduced in 2004 by its author Antonín Holý, is a unique drug designed for the treatment of Hepatitis B. The drug, which is based on an effective substance originally designed for AIDS treatment, has been tested and produced in the United States.

The anti-AIDS drug Truvada has also been developed through the cooperation of a Czech scientist with an American team, and Holý played an important role in this discovery, too. This drug radically suppresses the HIV virus in its early stages and so significantly prolongs the patient’s life and improves its quality as well.

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Added: 29.12.2009
 
 
 

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