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History of the Clinic of Dermatology of the Health Centre 4

Currently Clinic of Dermatology of the Health Centre 4 is the largest and most contemporary centre of this sector in Latvia. Dermatologists, dermatovenerologists, laser treatment specialists, podiatric specialists (therapeutic foot care specialists), phlebologists (vein doctors), urologists, cosmetologists and plastic surgeons work here. Clinic offers state-of-the-art diagnostics and treatment of acute and chronic skin diseases, as well as vein diseases with the application of latest technologies and work of highly qualified specialists. Various fields of specialization allow each doctor to have in-depth knowledge in one or the other sub-sector of dermatology. Dermatologists of the HC4 regularly improve their professional qualification and skills in trainings and workshops participating in local or international congresses, workshops and trainings of dermatologists.

Business card of the clinic is complex diagnostics and treatment where doctor’s in close cooperation secure the most effective solutions of the patient’s problems. Also children and babies can receive services of the doctor’s of the clinic.

 Consecutive insight into the history:

Starting from 1994 dermatologists work in the HC4; initially clinic was located in Riga, K. Barona Street and few doctors received patients of HC4 and diagnosed and treated inflammatory and other skin diseases. Then it was possible to diagnose illness with at that time the only in-depth diagnostics method of dermatological illnesses – skin biopsy. There were times when as to the number of the skin biopsies performed HC4 was a leader not only in the scale of Riga, but also Latvia. In the end of nineties sexual health issue was topical in Latvia and also the issue related to sexually transmitted diseases were made public. Therefore to attract the attention of patients towards various treatment possibilities in 1997 HC4 consolidated dermatologist’s offices and created Skin and Sexual Health Care Division. Initially four employees worked there – two dermatovenerologists (Dr. S. Zemvalde, Dr. E. Zvaguzis), one immunologist (Dr. L. Licitis) and a nurse. During the period from 1997 up to 2001 young dermatologists of that period - V. Priedite, R. Karls, S. Zigure, L. Kapteine, and also masters of the Latvian dermatology - J. Kīsis and R. Gutmane joined the team.

In 1999 dermatologists of the HC4 started to use the first dermatoscopy device in their daily work – device that allows using a magnifier for profound examination of the skin’s surface. At that time under the guidance of the Head of the Trainings of Latvian Doctors-Dermatologists, Leading Specialist in Dermatoscopy Dr. Raimonds Karls dermatoscopy became one of the priority directions of the HC4 that at that time was a routine method of the daily work of the centre but where still inaccessible in many places of Latvia.

In the October of 1999, Dr. R. Karls was unanimously elected as the Head of the Department in the meeting of employees and later (up to the February of 2011) he was the Head of the Clinic of Aesthetic Dermatology. In February 2011 Dr. K. Cīrule was appointed as the Methodical Head of the Clinic. After the February of 2015 Dr. L. Jacevica briefly worked as the Methodical Head of the Clinic. Starting from August, 2015, Methodical Head of the Clinic was Dr. L. Kapteine but Administrative Head of the Clinic - Z. Revalde who is appointed in this position starting from the end of 2013.

In 1999 Skin and Sexual Health Care Division of the HC4 started to operate also as one of the first therapeutic foot care consulting-rooms in Latvia that performed therapeutic foot care for patients with blisters, warts, cracking skin of foot and other problems, as well as patients of the “diabetic foot”. Exactly the podiatric experience of the Skin and Sexual Health Care Division of the HC4 formed a basis of the Latvian podiatric and PodiatricSchool was established.

In 2000 under the guidance of Dr. R. Karls digital dermatoscopy was implemented in Latvia in combination with the computerized patient’s data base that allows performing digital processing and storing of the precise data of skin formations, providing a high quality guarantee to doctor’s work. Patients of that time also during the doctor’s consultation can look at the formations in the images of that time.

While analysing possibilities provided by the latest technologies dermatologists of the HC4 started to study how to perform small surgical manipulations without the help of surgeons – remove formations of the skin, wens, undesired moles, treat in-grown nails etc. In 2000 dermatologists of the HC4 started to apply the first laser purchased for the dermatology needs that provided alternative solution to the necessity of the surgical intervention, without cutting out of the skin formations but eliminating them with the help of laser on the surface of the skin. This device was the device provided by the global leader of the manufacturers of laser devices Sharplan laser technology Derma K that includes two types of lasers – carbonic CO2 and Er-YAG – most state-of-the-art achievements of science and machinery.

Following the progress of medical science Skin and Sexual Health Care Division of the HC4 gradually was equipped with up-to-date equipment and laser technologies. In 2001 for prevention of various medical and aesthetic problems of the skin dermatologists started to apply intense pulsed light devices (IPL) with wavelength that was provided for the removal of unwanted dark hair and vascular lesions.

Implementation of the above-mentioned technologies in the everyday work of the doctors provided a possibility for doctors to offer unique kit to patients - „full circle” dermatology services, that is, starting from the diagnostics of the program up to the fulfilment of the treatment tactics or performing of operational treatment “on spot”. Only HC4 offered this kit of skin services that patient’s could receive within one day’s time, in one medical institution and one division. Due to this approach Skin and Sexual Health Care Division of the HC4 gain rapid popularity and many patients visited it.

As the range of provided aesthetic dermatology services were only growing, in 2003 Skin and Sexual Health Care Division of the HC4 was named as the Aesthetic Dermatology Clinic.

In 2004 diode lasers for the treatment of vascular problems was added to the therapeutic equipment of the clinic and also HC4 became the first in Latvia where skin was examined with high frequency 20 MHz DermaScanC – high frequency ultrasound device that provides a chance to see and analyse structures of the skin and choose the most appropriate method – surgery, laser or another therapy for the elimination of new formations on the skin.

In 2004 slight rotation of the employees took place and J. Kisis left his position and was replaced by Dr. L. Jacevica.

In 2005 progressive diagnostics method – siascopy was applied for the treatment of progressive moles, melanomas and other new formations of the skin; this method allows to determine depth of localisation of the skin’s formation and its three dimensional structure (3 D).

In 2007 HC4 was first in the Baltic’s to introduce unique skin examination method in the dermatology practice – confocal laser microscopy that replaced skin biopsy.

In 2007 specialists started to work with Ruby laser that allowed eliminating tattoos, undesirable pigmentation and hair.

Premises of the Clinic of Aesthetic Dermatology in K. Barona Street became too small and on June, 2008, clinic moved to much spacious premises in Riga, Skanstes Street and was called the Clinic of the Aesthetic Dermatology and Plastic Surgery – the largest in the Baltic States. In 2009 this name was changed to the Clinic of Dermatology and Surgery that was followed by the current name – Clinic of Dermatology.

In 2008 range of laser technologies of the Clinic of Aesthetic Dermatology was significantly expanded and two CO2 lasers manufactured by the Lasering, KTP laser and other technologies that initially was the only in Latvia was added to it.

Continuing the large-scale development of the HC4 in 2010 most contemporary HC4 structural unit in the Baltic’s was established – Baltic Vein Clinic and also part of the BVC was integrated in the premises of the Clinic of Dermatology and Surgery. It includes consultative and out-patient surgical division with state-of-the-art operating room and day care centre.

From 2011 Clinic of Dermatology and Surgery serves as a scientific examination and training centre of technologies, tuition base of Riga Stradins University.

In the end of 2011 clinic received international quality management certificate in compliance with the standard ISO 9001:2008. It attests high level of services provided by the clinic in the certified field of action that includes out-patient provision of primary and secondary health care services, as well as day care centres with operating rooms.

In 2012 the latest and most contemporary MoleMax digital dermatoscopy device was implemented that includes unified mole mapping system.

In 2013 A. R. C. Diodes Fox (1064 nm) laser was started to be applied for the treatment of nail fungus.

In 2013 park of therapeutic technologies of the clinic received valuable additions - CO2 fractioned laser to perform laser treatment equivalent to the plastic surgery and multifunctional ELOS plus diode laser with radio frequency energy.

In 2014 Vbeam™Perfecta laser was started to be applied for the elimination of various vascular problems, hereditary and acquired skin pigmentations;laser acts on the cause of pigmentation.

In 2014 laser epilation was started to be performed with CANDELA GentleLase Pro-U™ Alexandrite (755nm) extended impulse laser with patented dynamic skin cooling system (DCD).