The University of Athens is a pioneer center of excellence in several scientific fields, the Dean of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and Professor of Cardiology Gerasimos Siassos said referring to a recent  successful liver transplant  from a living donor.

The operation was performed a few days ago by a team of surgeons lead by Georgios Sotiropoulos and with the participation of German surgeon Dieter Broering.

The surgery which involved a young woman –the first patient in Greece-  to receive a liver transplant from a living donor, her father, was released from hospital on Friday.

The 23-year-old Eleni Haimalaki, received part of the liver from her father, at the Laiko University Hospital.

Minister of Health Adonis Georgiadis, along with Alternate Health Minister Irini Agapidaki and Deputy Minister Marios Themistocleous and the surgeons were present during her discharge from hospital.

Georgiadis said that he was very proud the National Health System could carry out such a specialized and difficult transplant operation and particularly proud of the Laiko University Hospital.

Sotiropoulos, the performing surgeon, expressed his appreciation for the trust in him by the patient and her family and to the entire medical team that participated in this first-time operation.

Regarding the visiting surgeon from Germany- Broering-, Sotiropoulos said he had invited his colleague because one needs an experienced team in such cases. “The operation is very specialized, even for Germany, where I lived for many years,” he said.

Of the 21 transplant centers in Germany, only 4 carry out liver transplants from a living donor, and for adults in particular, only two of them do so.

“What we did is that the liver – which is a large intra-abdominal organ and we perceive as a single organ – there is a way of dividing it in half, in two pieces, a right one and a left one. In this way, we took the father’s liver, which we saw was the best matched, split it in two, took the right lobe – the right liver, in other words – and transplanted it to his daughter after removing her own liver. Therefore, the father has the left piece and the daughter the right one” Sotiropoulos explained.