May 20, 2022

New ways for heart disease surgical treatment of elderly patients at Henry Dunant

More than 50% of serious heart diseases in the elderly, which three decades ago were considered unresectable cases, are now amenable to effective surgical treatment. It is a development led by a number of innovative invasive methods and advanced materials, contributing significantly to increasing life expectancy and improving the quality of life, especially in the western world. Regarding Greece, our country is now in the 14th place in the world in the relevant list, with a life expectancy of 81.4 years, due to the new landscape that has been formed by the development of technology and the evolution of heart surgery.

With this basic conclusion, the new module in the Henry Dunant Hospital Center’s Credit-Allocating Training Program was completed, which focused on cardiac surgery in the elderly. As pointed out by the keynote speaker of the seminar, Dr. Dimitrios Protogeros, Director of Henry Dunant Hospital Center’s 3rd Department of Cardiac Surgery, coronary heart disease, valvular diseases and large vessels disease, can now be effectively treated in elderly patients, even in the presence of concurrent diseases that could previously be inhibitory factors for heart disease surgical treatment. He also emphasized the progress of both preoperative preparation and postoperative care aimed at improving the patients’ quality of life.

It should be noted that statistically, hypertension affects almost half of the general population over the age of 70. In the same age groups coronary artery disease is diagnosed in 15% of men and 9% of women, while aortic valve stenosis is the most common valvular disease observed in the elderly.

Innovative methods, such as Coronary Artery Bypass (OPCAB) on the beating heart, without the use of extracorporeal circulation, as well as the use, with the help of new technologies, of intraprocedural self-expanding valves have significantly reduced the operation time resulting in a drastic reduction in complications, hospital stay and costs, while offering a significant improvement in the quality of life of the elderly.

“The basic principles for successful results in the elderly include careful selection of patients, smooth surgical course, careful hemostasis, careful anesthesia care and appropriate myocardial protection, but mainly the short surgical time”, said Mr. Protogeros.

The director of the 1st Department of Internal Medicine and member of the Scientific Committee of Henry Dunant Hospital Center, Mrs. Anastasia Koutsouri, focused on the need for support of elderly patients before and after surgery by a multidisciplinary team (cardiac surgeons, cardiologists, internists – geriatricians, anesthesiologists, physiatrists, etc.), emphasizing that the clinical assessment of elderly patients undergoing cardiac surgery should aim at the frailty of these patients resulting from physical condition and activity, nutrition, cognitive assessment and polypharmacy.


The director of the Anesthesiology Department of Henry Dunant Hospital Center, Mrs. Fotini Danou, pointed out that currently, anesthesiology has methods and tools that significantly reduce the specific risks of the geriatric patient, while Mr. Alexandros Sykiotis, the deputy director of the Department of Electrophysiology and Pacemakers of 1st Department of Cardiology, mentioned the importance of the holistic approach of the heart patient.

With the seminar on heart surgery treatment of the elderly, which was coordinated by Mr.  Savvas Toumanidis, the director of the Department of Non-invasive and Interventional Cardiology of the 2nd Department of Cardiology, the last cycle of modules of the Credit-Allocating Training Program, has been initiated, which has been established by the Scientific Committee of Henry Dunant Hospital Center – with free registration and attendance. The academic program will be completed on June 22, 2022. The program will cover a total of 34 modules, and the Panhellenic Medical Association (PAM) will allocate a total of 68 credits for Continuing Medical Education (CME-CPD credits). However, attendance can be limited to each module separately, providing participants with two (2) Continuing Medical Education credits. The program is also broadcast in live streaming, with the ability to ask questions in chat, thus enabling attendance and credit allocation without the physical presence in the hospital center being a prerequisite.

For attending the respective seminar and completing the relevant electronic application, interested parties can contact the Department of Education and Development of Henry Dunant Hospital Center (head Mrs. Chrysoula Kaitatzi), at 210.6972189 or via the email address

At the same time, they can search for more information about the Training Program and its modules, at the link:

Seminar attendance in live streaming is done via the link: