Berlin - The (DHZB) recently performed the 70,000th heart operation using heart-lung machine. At the same time, the medical director of the DHZB, Roland Hetzer, is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the first successful artificial heart implantation in the heart center on July 20, which he carried out in 1987 on 53-year-old man from southern Germany.
The meaning of Artificial pumps are now higher than the importance of transplants, said Hetzer yesterday in Berlin. The reason for this is the drastic decline in the available donor organs. In the past year, 177 artificial hearts were inserted at the DHZB, but 62 transplants were still carried out. And even at transplant congresses, the specialists now deal more with artificial pumps than with the actual transplants.
The 70,000 The first patient to undergo open heart surgery at the DHZB is 84-year-old Lore Buettner. She was treated at the heart center for an aortic dissection. "Some say that an aortic dissection should not be operated on in patients over 80 years of age," explained Hetzer. "But from the very beginning I set the motto for this house to admit and treat every patient, no matter how old they are."
Buettner is doing well few weeks after the operation. “I feel extremely good,” said the native of Leipzig. “And I am very grateful that I still experience all of this despite my 84 years. I am very grateful that I can live. ”
The 69-year-old Hetzer has been medical director of the DHZB since it was founded in 1986. He performed his first heart transplant in 1983 in Hanover. "Building the DHZB was fascinating challenge," said Hetzer. At the time it was planned to be the largest heart clinic in Europe - and that on the island of West Berlin.
"I always enjoyed my work, and I still enjoy operating today," he said. And what is his motivation after all these years? "To run center about which you can say: If nothing works anymore, you can always send the patients there."