Shamil Galeev, head of the branch of the FSBI National Medical Research Center for Transplantology and Artificial Organs named after Academician Shumakov of the Russian Ministry of Health, made a report on promising methods of transplantation, which was made at the congress on organ transplantation and donation, aroused great interest of specialists. The columnist for “RG” is talking to him.
Shamil, you studied at the medical faculty. Agree, very few, or I’m wrong, choose their specialty as a transplantologist. Why did you decide to take up this particular area of medicine?
Shamil Galeev: Accident and fate. My father was a renowned urologist in Russia. And it seemed to me that it was predetermined to become a urologist. I didn’t. The fact is that my father was not just a urologist, but also a transplantologist. It was he who performed the first kidney transplant in Tatarstan in 1991. Due to my age, I was not at that operation. But I always knew: my father performed such an operation. And so … I became a transplantologist. And I have never regretted it in my life. Although I understand that this is probably not the most widespread and, if you like, not the most monetary branch of medicine. After receiving his diploma, he completed postgraduate studies in urology at the Kazan State Medical Academy. PhD thesis was devoted to the problems of kidney transplantation. After graduate school, he worked at the Republican Clinical Hospital in the kidney transplant department. I made her first independent transplant here in 2009. On the operating table was a young woman with kidney failure. It so happened that at that time I carried out both the collection of the donor organ and the transplant itself.
At that time you only had a kidney transplant, but now?
Shamil Galeev: Now not only the kidney, but also the liver.
That is why the chief transplantologist of Russia, academician Sergei Vladimirovich Gauthier suggested that you head the branch of the Shumakov Institute that is opening in Volzhsky?
Shamil Galeev: I have no exact answer to this question. But there is a fact. In 2019, when the construction of the branch of the Shumakovsky center was nearing completion, I began to head it. Yes, this is a combination of professional knowledge and administrative affairs. I was lucky: there is a close, illustrative and very successful example of such a combination – the example of the Shumakov Center itself, the very Academician Gauthier. Sergei Vladimirovich is in the operating room almost every day. But this does not interfere with the skillful, professional management of the center. An example, you see, is always important. In June 2020, the official opening of the branch took place. Our center has 150 beds, 110 employees, including doctors, nurses, orderlies, engineers and technicians. Believe it or not, it’s true: we have state-of-the-art equipment. The Volga branch is not only organ transplantation, but also departments of therapy, cardiology, surgery, urology and cardiac surgery.
Donation is still an acute problem. How do you deal with it at the Volga branch?
Shamil Galeev: With difficulties! We are not an exception to the rule – we are the rule. Of course, it is easier when it comes to liver transplants. Since you can transplant not a whole liver, but its fragments. These fragments can be obtained from a living donor who is a close relative. As you know, a person has two kidneys. And, again, as you know, you can live with one. Therefore, as a rule, a donor kidney is also taken from a loved one who coincides in all parameters of a person. Quite different when it comes to heart transplants. And to be honest, I have no recipes for changing the donation situation. You can repeat for the thousandth time the slogan of the Catholic Church that the dead do not need to take their organs to heaven, that they can be useful to the living. We admit that this appeal is far from being popular everywhere, and even more so not everywhere it is practiced. However, this in no way can stop the very development of organ transplantation. What are we hoping for? .. Let’s leave the question unanswered.
The questions of the need to create such branches are being discussed. It is believed that this is not a wise waste of funds. What is easier to send a patient from the hinterland to a leading center … And at the same time, do not discount the huge scale of the country …
Shamil Galeev: I will not reveal a secret if I say that the appearance of our branch is almost anecdotal. Back in the late 90s, it was decided in Volgograd that they needed their own transplant center. Volzhsky was chosen as the place of registration. The first stone was solemnly laid, and then … Then for 20 years they built what they had built. And they decided that such a structure should not stand idle, that it could be made a branch of the Shumakov Center. There were young enthusiasts from another Volga city – Kazan, who came to Volzhsky and gave life to the branch. For a year and a half, we have treated more than 2.5 thousand patients. More than 800 operations performed Yes, we are enthusiasts. And we are not going to change our place of work for work in central clinics. Still, this cannot become the rule. Will always be the exception. Our branch, I repeat, is the brainchild of the Shumakov Center. A very reliable and successful exception. But not for replication.