Heart valve surgery / Top clinic in Germany, Friedrichshafen

Heart valve surgery at the Friedrichshafen clinic

Every year about 6500 heart and vessel surgeries are conducted in Friedrichshafen clinic. Professor Jäger, head of cardiology department, is an experienced surgeon specializing in minimally invasive surgeries. Invasive radiology is an interdisciplinary branch. It is closely connected with cardiology, as well as diabetology and vessel operation, which is why experts of the clinic collaborate with their colleagues from Tübingen university clinic and introduce new techniques of cardiac treatment.

Cardiac surgeries

Such a heart surgery is the second most common cardiac operation in Germany after coronary bypass surgery and pacemaker implantation.

Cardiac malfunctions – constriction (stenosis) or insufficiency – can be treated by means of their reconstruction or replacement. First of all, German surgeons try to save patient’s natural heart valve, because this will reduce the need for medication and stimulate physical stamina, improve life quality and duration. Cardiac surgery helps to normalize heart blood flow and thus reduce strain on the cardiac muscle. Depending on the extent of cardiac valve damage, German experts conduct reconstruction or full replacement surgery. High-skilled medical staff of German clinics, as well as modern equipment, allow successfully performing cardiac surgeries on patients of all ages.

Cardiac valve reconstruction (plastic surgery)

Most patients suffering from mitral and, in some cases, aortic valve insufficiency are offered to conduct reconstruction or so-called valve plastic surgery. The advantage of valve reconstruction (mitral, aortic) is saving patient’s natural matter. After heart reconstruction the patient will not need to take regular medications thinning the blood or worry about the wearing of biological prosthesis and having another surgery. If heart valves are seriously damaged and cannot be reconstructed, then replacement surgery is performed.

Cardiac valve replacement

Mechanical (artificial) or tissue (biological) prostheses are used for heart valve replacement.

Mechanical (artificial) cardiac treatment

Known for their reliability and high durability, they also do not require to be replaced. There is one great disadvantage: after the operation patient will need essential medication which inhibits blood clotting.

Tissue (biological) used at cardiac surgery

Produced from chemically treated heart parts of pigs, horses or cows. Such prostheses can be put on a carcass or be used without it. Tissues prostheses have their advantages and disadvantages. After the operation it is not necessary to take blood-thinning medications, but durability of prosthesis is time-limited, and biological valves eventually degrade. After 10-15 years (depending on patient’s age and concomitant diseases) the patient will need another heart valve replacement surgery.

Duration of heart valve surgery

Such a cardiac operation usually takes about 3-6 hours, its duration depends on how complicated the case is.

In Germany such kind of cardiac operation can be performed either on the open heart using pump oxygenator, or by means of minimally invasive method without it. For the first option an incision is made in the middle of the chest to gain access to the heart.

Minimally invasive aortic operations

Aortic valve replacement operations are conducted in Germany by means of minimally invasive method, also known as keyhole surgery. In this case patient remains under general anesthesia, and access to the heart is gained through a small incision (4 cm). Pump oxygenator is not used. As a matter of priority, minimally invasive operations are conducted on high-risk patients (acute respiratory failure, old age, concomitant diseases).

In clinics of Germany patients can be discharged in 3-4 days after minimally invasive valve replacement is conducted.

Heart valve surgery

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Department

Facts and Figures

  • 1272 inpatients
  • 7000 outpatient
  • 3000 echocardiographies
  • 1900 long-term ECG
  • 130 pacemaker surgeries
  • 310 bronchoscopies
  • 350 electrophysiological interventions
  • 70 radio frequency ablations
Services

Cardiology

Medical Staff

MD PD Detlev Jäger

MD PD Detlev Jäger
Head of the Cardiology Department at Friedrichshafen Clinic

MD Rudolf Schiele

MD Rudolf Schiele
Head physician assistant

MD A. Schaum

MD A. Schaum
Senior physician

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