The Third Surgery Clinic of Evangelismos Hospital was founded in 1926 by Emanuel Benakis, one of the greatest benefactors of the Greek nation who had been mobilized by Eleftherios Venizelos to assist in the political reorganization of Greece.
E. Benakis appointed Alexandros Pappas to be the Clinic’s first director, as he admired Pappas’ scientific knowledge and full-hearted devotion to the medical profession. A. Pappas had previously been an assistant professor of Urology in Paris and professor of Surgery at the University of Constantinople (Istanbul) from 1910 until 1918, but he resigned from his teaching post for political reasons. In addition to being the founder of the Health School of Athens, A. Pappas went on to serve as the Minister of Health and Welfare in the government of E. Venizelos and as a Member of Parliament. He died while performing surgery on one of his colleagues.
In 1935, Petros Kokkalis, who had studied at the Universities of Athens, Berlin, Zurich and Bern and had worked at the Munich University Clinic next to professor Sauerbruch from 1920 until 1928, succeeded A. Pappas as the director of the Clinic. In 1929, P. Kokkalis was made an assistant professor and in 1939 he became a full professor of Surgery at the University of Athens. From 1955 to his death P. Kokkalis served as the Director of the Cardiovascular Surgery Institute in East Berlin.
In 2002, thanks to a donation made by the Kokkalis Foundation, the Laparoscopic Surgery Unit of the Clinic doubled and modernized its technical equipment. While in 1993 93 laparoscopic bile-vesicle incisions were performed, by 2002 this number had doubled. Furthermore, new advanced laparoscopic surgery techniques were initiated.