Cooperation Agreement Signed by LSMU with Asan Medical Centre, South Korea

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Lithuanian University of Health Sciences (LSMU) has signed a cooperation agreement with the Asan Medical Centre in Seoul, South Korea. The Memorandum of Understanding will enable the exchange of clinical experience, and joint research is planned in the future.

Expert-Level Knowledge Gained

The Asan Liver Transplantation Centre in South Korea is one of the world’s largest liver transplant centres. More than 400 patients undergo liver transplants at the centre every year. Since 1993, surgeons at the centre have performed liver transplants for more than 8000 people.

The contact with the leading South Korean organisation in this field of medicine was established in 2022 by Irena Valantienė, Associate Professor at the LSMU Department of Gastroenterology. In 2023, together with Dr. M. Urba of the Department of Gastroenterology under the Faculty of Medicine and representatives of the Department of Surgery prof. Ž. Dambrauskas and Prof. A. Daukša spent a few weeks visiting the Asan Medical Centre.

During their traineeship, they observed the selection of donors for living organ transplantation, donor preparation for the procedures, performance of the procedures, patient treatment after transplantation, and how potential complications after the complex surgery are dealt with.

The LSMU representatives could familiarise themselves with the centre’s medical equipment and surgical techniques, and had the opportunity to compare the transplantation protocols and tools used in South Korean and Lithuanian healthcare facilities.

“The Asan Liver Transplantation Centre in South Korea is a high-level institution with expert knowledge. We expect this cooperation to contribute to the education and development in the field of liver transplantation,” said Tomas Vanagas, Associate Professor of Abdominal Surgery at the Department of Surgery under the LSMU Faculty of Medicine.

More Areas to be Covered by the Cooperation

As a continuation of the cooperation, Prof. Kim Ki-Hun from the Asan Transplantation Centre and his team visited LSMU last week. This experienced surgeon not only performs surgeries but is also actively involved in the development of international liver transplant programmes and guidelines. The organisation represented by the doctor pays great attention to the development of specialists in other countries.

During his visit to LSMU, Prof. Kim Ki-Hun gave a presentation to the physicians and residents of the Clinics of Gastroenterology, Surgery, Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care and shared with them the best experience of liver transplantation surgery.

The professor also met with the Rector of the University, Prof. Dr. R. Benetis, with whom he discussed further directions of partnership and signed a Memorandum of Cooperation. Both parties agreed to continue exchanging specialists, conducting joint research activities, and expanding cooperation beyond gastroenterology.

Representatives of the South Korean Centre also met with the Director General of Kaunas Clinics, Prof. Habil. Dr. R. Jurkevičius, to discuss the prospects of cooperation between the two centres.

“South Korea is a highly advanced country with a high level of scientific activity and medicine. We are delighted to have it among our other structured partnerships in Asia – Japan and Taiwan. All these countries are renowned for innovation, and joint research projects will provide positive results in improving people’s health,” said Prof. Dr. Juozas Kupčinskas, Head of the LSMU Department of Gastroenterology and Dean of the Centre for Postgraduate Studies.