ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT
The main goals of the department are: to provide endocrinological personal healthcare services, to conduct endocrinology studies, scientific work, to organise the upgrading of the qualifications of medical personnel.
Endocrinology, as a branch of biomedicine, began to take shape in the 10th and 9th centuries. Lithuanian endocrinology has its own rich origins, history and famous persons, thanks to whose work and efforts we have reached today’s level.
In 1972, the first Department of Endocrinology for adults was established at the Kaunas Republican Clinical Hospital, headed by Prof. J. Danys, and in 1974 the first in-patient beds for children with endocrine diseases have been established. In 1989, a Children’s Endocrinology Unit was established at the Department of Endocrinology, headed by Dr. M. Meškauskienė.
In 1971, Endocrinology was taught as a separate cycle of lectures, and in 1990 a separate Department of Endocrinology was established and headed by Prof. J. Danilevičius.
The Department of Endocrinology occupies an important place in the structure of the university hospital and is the largest centre for treatment, training and scientific research in the field of endocrinology in the country.
Today, the Department of Endocrinology of Kaunas Clinics consists of: Outpatient Unit, Endocrinology Unit (diabetology and general endocrinology sectors), Paediatric Endocrinology Unit. Experienced endocrinologists work in the department, professors, associate professors, doctors of medical sciences consult.
Since 2010, the Department of Endocrinology is headed by Prof. Rasa Verkauskienė.
OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE DEPARTMENT
The Outpatient Unit of the Department of Endocrinology is the only Unit of its kind in the Country. This unit provides secondary and tertiary endocrinological healthcare services for Lithuanian residents of various ages. The polyclinic has 9 rooms where adults and children are consulted. About 60,000 patients visit the unit every year.
Patients are consulted by all doctors of the Department of Endocrinology. There is a specialised diabetes office, where expectant mothers and other patients with diabetes are consulted. Diabetic patients are consulted by an experienced ophthalmologist. Diabetologist nurses provide counselling and diabetes care services. Patients with diabetes and leg circulation disorders are consulted by a vascular surgeon.
Echoscopies of the thyroid gland and aspiration punctures are performed. In cooperation with gynaecologists and urologists, patients are consulted on reproductive health issues. Patients with thyroid diseases who require surgical treatment are consulted by surgeons.
The diabetology sector treats patients with diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and obesity. Our goal is not only to treat, but also to teach on how to control and manage diabetes. This disease affects many aspects of life, so it is especially important to learn to adapt to daily changes, avoid complications, and treat them effectively if they develop.
The department of general endocrinology examines and treats patients with diseases of the thyroid gland, pituitary gland, parathyroid glands, adrenal glands, and diagnoses rare endocrine syndromes. The department performs complex diagnostic tests. Experienced endocrinologists, LSMU lecturers, doctors of science, associate professors work in the sector, and are consulted by experts in their fields.
The Paediatric Endocrinology Unit is the only one in Lithuania. The “Diabetes School” operates in the department. Diabetologist nurses teach the principles of self-control and nutrition to children with diabetes and their family members. The latest technologies for diabetes treatment (insulin pumps) and glycaemic monitoring (continuous glucose monitoring systems) are used. Children who are overweight or obese are taught healthy lifestyle and nutrition. In the Children’s Endocrinology Unit, 6 of the 9 doctors defended their doctorate theses, two more paediatric endocrinologists and one paediatric nurse diabetes educator are studying for their doctorates. The main directions of research are epidemiology, chronic complications and mortality of type 1 diabetes in children; standardised self-monitoring training programme for children and adolescents with diabetes; childhood and adolescent obesity, metabolic consequences of intrauterine growth retardation; structural and functional changes in children’s thyroid gland under conditions of iodine deficiency; studies on the occurrence of cryptorchidism and the characteristics of treatment with chorionic gonadotropin.
During 2003-2013, 20 national and 6 international conferences were organised at the department. Internationally, the most important of them are EASD’s Oskar Minkowski courses dedicated to the problems of diabetes. World Diabetes Day is organised annually for patients in cooperation with the Lithuanian Diabetes Association.