Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
The Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery specialty is defined as "the medical and surgical specialty dealing with the prevention, study, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of the oral cavity and face, as well as the cervical structures that are directly or indirectly related to them".
The care provided at the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department at the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital covers the following areas: outpatient visits, surgery, hospitalisation and accident and emergency services. Our Department is the only one in Catalonia with a 24-hour on-call system. This means we are a leading player in the Catalan public network.
We are also pioneers in innovation: in 2014, the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department became the first in Catalonia to use computer-assisted surgery in its operations. This paradigm shift in surgical practice is based on collaboration between medical professionals from the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Radiology and Anatomy Departments.
Computer-assisted surgery, which incorporates an intra-operative browser similar to a GPS device, offers a three-dimensional, real-time vision of the position of the instruments. This guarantees greater reliability and accuracy.
Furthermore, improvements in scanning and 3D imaging mean we can perform virtual simulations of any surgery thanks to what is known as "pre-operative virtual planning", as well as the aesthetic result of the operation, with Morphing 3D.
Since 2016, we have been pioneers in incorporating a technology platform to allow collaboration between medical professionals and engineers and technicians designing prostheses. This new tool improves patient recovery and allows surgeons to prepare for operations. It also creates a point of contact from the very outset with the engineers and technicians who work on personalised prostheses for each patient. A model of networking between several Hospital departments.
Portfolio of services
We offer highly specialised care through multidisciplinary units for the treatment of complex pathologies, such as maxillofacial oncology and microsurgical reconstruction of the base of the skull and salivary glands.
We are a group of highly qualified professionals in a cohesive, motivated team that handles the complex pathologies handled only by tertiary centres. These professionals are further renowned for their activity and participation in scientific societies.
All this guarantees more precise surgery that takes fewer hours and entails less risk for the patient. The next step is to design new biocompatible tissue, a line of research that the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) is already working hard to advance. The New Technologies and Craniofacial Microsurgery group of the Centre for Research in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for Nanomedicine (CIBBIM) will study the application of new biomaterials in facial reconstructive surgery, cellular therapies with stem cells in the field of biomaterials, oncology and the use of new devices and biomarkers for early diagnosis in oral cancer.
Our Department is also involved in teaching at all levels: undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing education, as well as research activity. These areas are a fundamental part of our activity.
Vall d’Hebron University Hospital has one of the biggest Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Departments in Catalonia. It is also a pioneer in the application of combined chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments, as Dr. Guillermo Raspall, its former head, and Dr. Coro Bescós, the current head, know well.
The former head of the Thoracic Surgery Department, Dr. Mercè Canela, recently retired, recalls the important evolution of the Department to become a leader in Spain and a lung transplant pioneer. A task made possible thanks to collaboration with professionals from other departments, an added value in the personal and team environment.
Rosalia Moure arrived at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in 1967. She spent her entire working life in the linen and laundry department of the Hospital. Rosalia Moure has witnessed the Hospital’s big transformations, from dictatorship to democracy and from analogue to digital systems.
Dr. Josep Sánchez de Toledo Codina, head of the Paediatric Haematology and Oncology Department, tells us about a Department that has laid the foundations for the specialism in Spain. He also remembers the evolution of transplants from haematopoietic stem cells and progenitors, from the beginning, buying the material at a shop in Barcelona city centre, to the more than 1,200 transplants that have now been performed.
Dr. Francesc Bosch, Head of the Haematology Department, talks about the complexity of the Department, which has turned Vall d’Hebron into a reference centre in haematology thanks to its commitment to transplants and the use of new treatments. The Clinical Trials Unit helps a lot, giving access to treatments for complex patients.
The Master's Degree in Biomedical and Translational Research is an official programme created to train researchers with the requisite combination of scientific knowledge and skills to contribute to the future success of biomedical research.
Fermín Fernández Álvarez, Porter Coordinator, explains the importance of the role these professionals play in the hospital. After 36 years at Vall d’Hebron, Fermín is a real master of the ways things are done. He says that a porter has to combine humility, discretion and safety with a single goal: that patients receive human and friendly treatment.