Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's health resorts offer cardiovascular patients optimal conditions to support preventive as well as rehabilitative measures. The mild stimulating climate of the Baltic Sea with its natural healing factors, such as the high air purity, a low pollen load, seawater aerosols and cold stimuli, contributes to the relief of the cardiovascular system. In addition, Kneipp treatments, Thalasso or climate therapy provide mental balance and general well-being, which also have a positive effect on the healing process of cardiovascular diseases.
Heart center with international reputation
Klinikum Karlsburg is considered an internationally renowned heart and diabetes center and offers its patients innovative cutting-edge medicine in the entire field of cardiovascular care (cardiology, angiology, cardiac and vascular surgery). Located not far from the Hanseatic city of Greifswald, Klinikum Karlsburg is one of Germany's most experienced centers for the implantation of aortic valves using catheter procedures (TAVI). The hospital is also a pioneer in gentle catheter procedures for mitral valves. For this reason, the German Society for Cardiology - Cardiovascular Research e. V. certified Klinikum Karlsburg as a TAVI center in 2016.
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Motz, Medical Director of Klinikum Karlsburg, works with a highly specialized team to provide the best treatment for each patient. We spoke with him.
Karlsburg has been practicing implantation of aortic valves using catheters since 2009, and about 1300 aortic valve stents have been placed since then. Why is the method in such high demand?
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Motz: The innovative and gentle procedure opens up a treatment option for very old and seriously ill patients in the first place. The minimally invasive procedure via the groin offers a great opportunity to significantly improve the quality of life and performance of elderly heart patients. In Karlsburg, we have the best conditions for this with the modern hybrid operating room and highly specialized heart team.
Mitral valve leakage - the second most common heart valve defect - is also treated in Karlsburg using catheter procedures. How does this work?
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Motz: Since 2011, we have been treating mitral valve insufficiency with the so-called MitraClip system. At present, only patients for whom conventional surgery is too risky are eligible for this procedure. These are patients of advanced age and with significantly reduced pump function. In 97 percent of these patients, we have a significant reduction in leakage after the procedure. What's more, we can discharge patients home after just three to five days.
Catheter-based treatments are taking up more and more space. Heart surgery with opening of the chest is becoming less common. How do you see the future?
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Motz: Minimally invasive procedures using catheters are already replacing many surgical interventions. In view of the increasingly aging patients, technical progress is a blessing. But younger patients will also benefit more from catheter innovations in the future. I have long observed how the formerly separate specialties are merging. At Klinikum Karlsburg, surgeons and cardiologists, intensive care physicians and anesthesiologists work closely together as the Heart Team.