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The Warsaw Voice » Other » September 16, 2009
The Lower Silesia Voice
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Surgery Without Experiments
September 16, 2009   
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Traumatologist and orthopedist Andrzej Mrowiec, M.D., deputy director for medical affairs at the Specialist Medical Center in Polanica-Zdrój, talks to Barbara Deręgowska.

The Specialist Medical Center in Polanica-Zdrój, which opened four years ago, ranks high in national league tables. What makes it special?
We set our medical standards high right from the beginning. We chose to pursue modern surgery, but not as innovative as to carry out experiments. We use the latest, but already proven, surgery techniques. At the trauma and orthopedic surgery ward, we use state-of-the-art bone fixation methods, drawing on the experience of the Synthes company, a world leader in trauma surgery. The company brings together the biggest authorities in medicine and materials science and thanks to cooperation with Synthes, our doctors use the newest bone fixation methods that comply with the principles of the AO Group. We introduce new and more economical techniques that minimize the invasiveness of bone fixation and reconstruction. Our hospital takes pride in rigorous adherence to the AO principles which, sadly, is not a common practice in Poland yet, even though it should often be used as the treatment of choice.

Innovative procedures are also performed at other wards. We have a highly specialist endoscopy clinic with colonoscopy, proctoscopy and gastroscopy units that meet European examination standards. They provide patients with cancer diagnostics for the entire alimentary canal. The privately-run Polish-American Heart Clinics recently opened a branch at our hospital, which further increased the safety of our patients. We are also the only Polish hospital to thoroughly diagnose all newborns before they leave the hospital. We run sonography tests of the head, thymus, heart, abdominal cavity and hips and so we are able to detect a number of disorders that we start treating right away.

I should also mention that our hospital has several programs aimed at early diagnosis of cancer of the alimentary canal and breast cancer in women. We are a certified Friendly and Pain-Free Hospital, which obligates us to administer high-quality painkillers to our patients, guaranteeing them better comfort and safety.

You are one of a few ministerial hospitals in Poland. There are six operating theaters at the hospital and the diagnostics laboratory is open around the clock. There are plenty of patients and yet the hospital is running at half capacity. Why is that?
We're awaiting changes in the health care sector. For as long as we are unable to obtain extra funds from insurers other than the National Health Fund, our financial options will remain limited. Since the legal status of public and private healthcare establishments is not equal, the former are unable to obtain extra funds, which hinders their work considerably. This is the case even though last year we came in third in the Nationwide Healthcare System in the Innovative Ideas in Healthcare competition. We were singled out for praise for applying modern procedures and medical technologies in cooperation with leading health centers in Poland and Europe, and for comprehensive educational activities in the medical community. Still, we are unable to spread our wings and admit private patients, for example, which could solve a lot of problems.

1. Fixation of a femur fractured below a hip replacement.
2. Stable fixation of a complex intra-articular fracture of the lower extremity of the humerus.
3. Low-invasive, flexible "biological osteosynthesis" of a complex intra-articular fracture of the upper extremity of the tibia using a LISS plate.
4. Fractured osteoporotic femur, fixation using a low-stress, locked plate.


Andrzej Mrowiec, 54, is married with two children. In 1982, he graduated from the Faculty of Medicine of the Medical University of Silesia in Katowice. In 2003, he completed postgraduate studies at the Organization and Management Department of the Silesian University of Technology. In 1995, he obtained the title of Doctor of Medicine from the Medical University of Silesia. In 1982-1988, he worked as an assistant professor at the Medical University of Silesia at the Department and Faculty of Normal Anatomy and the Trauma and Orthopedic Surgery Clinic. In 1988-2004, he was the head doctor of the traumatology and orthopedics ward of the Specialist Provincial Hospital in Tychy. Since 2004, he has been the head of the trauma and orthopedic surgery ward at the Specialist Medical Center in Polanica-Zdrój. Since 2008, he has also been the center's deputy director for medical affairs.

Mrowiec is a member of the Province Board and Board of Directors of the Polish Association of Orthopedics and Traumatology of the Locomotor System. He is a member of Polish training and instruction group AO Alumni Poland.
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