Hannover Medical School (MHH)

location_on Hannover, Germany
9.8/10 from 43 Votes

Department of Adult and Pediatric Cardiothoracic, Transplant, Vascular Surgery (229645)

Axel Haverich

Prof. Dr. med.

Axel Haverich

Specialized in: adult and pediatric cardiothoracic, transplant, vascular surgery

About the department

The Department of Adult and Pediatric Cardiothoracic, Transplant, Vascular Surgery at the Hannover Medical School offers the full range of services in these medical fields and belongs to the advanced medical centers of international level. It provides an effective surgical treatment of diseases of the heart, heart valves, congenital heart defects, pathologies of blood vessels, arteries and thoracic organs. The department specializes in the implantation of pacemakers, defibrillators, heart support systems. Also, an important focus of the department is transplant medicine. The department is headed by Prof. Dr. med. Axel Haverich.

The guarantee of excellent treatment results, which the department has been showing over many years, is not only the high competence of doctors, the state-of-the-art equipment and modern surgical techniques, but also active research activities. The medical facility belongs to the leading research centers in Europe, which carries out continuous work to improve existing treatment methods in the field of cardiothoracic, vascular and transplant surgery, as well as to develop and implement innovative therapeutic techniques.

One of the department’s key areas of specialization is the transplantation program, which was introduced here in 1983. Since then, the number of heart, lung and simultaneous heart and lung transplantations has been continuously increasing. To date, the department occupies a leading position in the field of transplant medicine in Europe. The survival rates of patients after lung transplantation reach 87% in 1 year and almost 50% in 10 years – the best results in the world. Both pediatric lung transplantation program (more than 10 transplantations per year) and the lung donation program, introduced in 2012, are unique in Germany.

The range of medical services of the department:

  • Heart valve surgery
    • Surgery to replace and reconstruct heart valves (especially mitral valve reconstruction and aortic valve reconstruction by David procedure)
    • Installation of a seamless heart valve
    • Installation of a "growing" heart valve in children (tissue engineering)
    • Repeated prosthetic repair of the heart valve
    • Minimally invasive mitral valve surgery
    • Repeated interventions after previous cardiac surgery
    • Interventional aortic valve replacement (transapical / aortic access)
    • Other treatments
  • Coronary surgery
    • Minimally invasive techniques, including revascularization on a working heart (i.e., without artificial circulation)
    • Total arterial coronary revascularization, the use of arterial grafts, including the internal thoracic artery and radial artery (thoracic wall and brachial artery)
    • Coronary artery bypass grafting in acute myocardial infarction
    • Reconstruction in severe lesions of the coronary arteries
    • Treatment of secondary complications associated with ischemic heart disease (ventricular aneurysm, ventricular septal defect, heart failure)
    • Coronary surgery with the use of modern perfusion systems (mini heart lung machine)
  • Aortic surgery
    • Use of all established methods for replacing the aortic root, such as the Ross procedure, and aortic root replacement with the preservation of the native aortic valve by reimplantation into the aortic prosthesis (David procedure)
    • Ascending aortic dissection
    • Treatment of thoracic, thoracoabdominal and abdominal aortic aneurysms with the use of a heart lung machine
    • Implantation of homotransplants (human donor tissue)
    • Other treatment methods
  • Organ transplantation
    • Lung transplantation
    • Heart transplantation
    • Heart-lung transplantation
    • Implantation of cardiac support systems
  • Vascular surgery
    • Reconstructive interventions on the arteries, for example, carotid thromboembolism, operations on supra-aortic vessels, aortic replacement, reconstruction of the pelvic and hip veins (Y-prosthesis)
    • Renal artery bypass and visceral artery bypass
    • Decompression procedures, for example, in thoracic outlet syndrome
    • Complex interventions for prosthetic repair of the vena cava in cancer
    • Vascular surgery in children
    • Treatment of infected vascular prostheses with the use of cryopreserved human allografts (homotransplants) and surgery to treat relapses
    • Use of an extracorporeal perfusion method to protect organs, for example, in supra- and perirenal aortic aneurysms
    • Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), implantation of peripheral and central stents (including carotid artery stenting, iliac artery recanalization)
    • Endovascular aortic stenting
    • Placement of dialysis shunts
    • Implantation of permanent catheters
    • Other therapeutic measures
  • Thoracic surgery
    • Resection of benign and malignant tumors of the thoracic organs, lungs and respiratory tract (bronchi, trachea)
    • Diagnostic interventions for the detection of lung diseases (mediastinoscopy, videotoracoscopia)
    • Thymectomy (removal of thymus) in myasthenia gravis
    • Correction of thoracic deformities, such as pectus excavalus and pectus carinatum
    • Treatment of injuries of the thoracic organs and sternum (broken ribs, unstable sternum)
    • Surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome (1st rib or cervical rib resection)
    • Sympathectomy in hyperhidrosis (increased sweating in the head, arms and palms)
    • Palliative care for patients with severe lung disease
    • Other medical services
  • Surgery to treat congenital heart diseases
    • Surgical correction of congenital heart defects in infants
    • Treatment of the hypoplastic left or right heart syndrome
    • Heart valve reconstructive surgery and aortic arch surgery
    • Late correction and treatment of recurrent, residual and accompanying defects in adults with congenital heart diseases
    • Implantation of heart valves made with the help of tissue engineering
    • Pacemaker implantation
    • Procedures to replace organ functions in cardiac and pulmonary insufficiency (ECMO), artificial heart implantation
    • Heart, lung and heart-lung transplantations
  • Other treatment methods

Curriculum vitae

  • 1972 - 1978 Study of Medicine at the Hannover Medical School.
  • 23.10.1978 Medical License.
  • 06.11.1979 Doctor’s Degree.
  • 1978 - 1985 Assistant in the Surgery Center at the Hannover Medical School.
  • 1983 - 1984 A one-year scholarship of the German Research Society, Research Assistant at the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA.
  • 1985 Senior Physician, Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Surgery Center at the Hannover Medical School (Head: Prof. Dr. Hans G. Borst).
  • 1987 Habilitation (doctoral thesis defense).
  • 1992 Visiting Professor.
  • 01.04.1993 - 30.04.1996 Head of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Christian Albrechts University, Kiel.
  • Since 01.05.1996 Head of the Department of Adult and Pediatric Cardiothoracic, Transplant, Vascular Surgery at the Hannover Medical School.

Editorial Activities

  • 1984 - 1986 Associate Editor, "The Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeon, Georg Thieme".
  • 1986 - 1993 Associate Editor "European Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery", Springer Publishers.
  • 1994 - 2011 Co-Editor of the new Publishing House, Oxford University Press in Oxford, UK.
  • 1986 - 1992 Editorial Board Member, "Clinical Transplantation", Munksgaard Publishers.
  • 1988-1992 Co-Editor, " Transplant Medicine", Wolfgang Pabst.
  • 1990 - 1996 Editorial Board Member, "Extracorporeal Circulation International".
  • Since 1993, Co-Editor, "Langenbeck's Archives of Surgery", Springer Publishers.
  • 1997 - 2006 Editorial Board Member, "Heart", BMJ Publishing Group.
  • 1997 - 2000 Editorial Board Member, "Pediatric Transplantation", Munksgaard Publishers.
  • 1997 - 2000 Editorial Board Member, "Heart", Urban & Vogel Publishers.
  • 1998 - 2004 Editorial board Member, "Graft", Karger Landes.
  • 1998 - 2004 Editorial Board Member, "Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery".
  • Since 1998 Member of the Scientific Advisory Board, "Surgeon", Springer Publishers.
  • 2002 - 2008 Editorial board Member, "Heart and Vessels".
  • 2003 - 2006 Editorial Board Member, "Journal of Cardiology" (in 2006 changed to "Clinical Research in Cardiology").

Scientific Activities

  • 1987 - 1991 Board Member, Working Group of Transplant Centers of the Federal Republic of Germany.
  • 1991 - 1995 Board Member, German Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.
  • 1993 Founding Member of the German Organ Transplant Foundation.
  • 1993 - 2000 Chairman of the Commission for Cardiovascular Diseases, Eurotransplant Foundation.
  • 1994 - 2000 Board Member, Eurotransplant Foundation.
  • 1997 - 2007 Chairman of the Foundation Council, German Organ Transplant Foundation.
  • Since 1997 Member of the Commission for Organ Transplantation of the Medical Chamber of Lower Saxony.
  • 1997 - 2005 Member of the Commission for Organ Transplantation of the German Medical Association.
  • 1997 - 1999 President, German Society for Transplantology.
  • 1999 - 2003 Member of the Senate of the Hannover Medical School.
  • 1999 - 2003 Member of the Board of Directors, International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation.
  • 1999 - 2008 Member of the Commission for Experimental Research in Animals, German Research Society.
  • 1999 - 2005 Member of the Commission for Clinical Research, German Research Society.
  • 2000 - 2002 Member of the Working Group on Stem Cell Research, German Research Society.
  • 2001 - 2007 Member of the Senate of the German Research Foundation.
  • 2002 - 2004 Member of the Central Committee for the Ethics of Stem Cell Research of the Federal Ministry of Health.
  • Since 2003 Member of the Advisory Board of Biotechnica.
  • 2004 - 2007 Member of the Board of Trustees of Veterinarians, Hannover Medical School.
  • 2005 - 2007 Vice President, German Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.
  • Since 2006 Representative of the Network of Centers of Excellence of the German Research Foundation "REBIRTH".
  • 2007 - 2012 Representative of the German Research Society SFB, "Transregio 37".
  • 2005 - 2011 Representative of the Clinical Research Group (DFG) "Lung transplantation".
  • Since 2006 Member of SFB 599 (DFG), "Intelligente Implantate".
  • Since 2007, Rank-and-File Member and Board Member of SFB 738 (DFG), "Innovative transplants".
  • 2007 - 2009 President, German Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.
  • 2008 - 2013  Rank-and-File Member and Board Member, Center for Integrated Research, BMBF, Hannover Medical School.
  • 2009 - 2010 Vice President, German Society of Surgery.
  • 2009 - 2011 Vice President, German Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.
  • 2010 - 2011 President, German Society of Surgery.
  • 2011 - 2012 Vice President, German Society of Surgery.
  • Since 2010 Board Member of the University of Leibniz in Hanover.


  • Professional Association of German Surgeons.
  • BioRegio, Lower Saxony.
  • Biotechnica.
  • German Society of Surgery.
  • German Society of Cardiovascular Research.
  • German Heart Foundation.
  • German Society for Stem Cell Research.
  • German Society of Thoracic Surgery.
  • German Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.
  • German Lung Foundation.
  • German Society of Transplantology.
  • German Academy of Naturalists "Leopoldina".
  • European Association of Cardiothoracic Surgery.
  • European Society for Heart Transplantation.
  • American Association of Thoracic Surgery.
  • International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation.
  • Society of Thoracic Surgeons.
  • Southern Association of Thoracic Surgeons (since November 1999 Honorary Member).
  • Society of Transplantology.

Research Awards

  • February 1993 Franz Koehler Award for experimental and clinical organ preservation in lung transplantation (together with Dr. med. Thorsten Wahlers).
  • January 1995 Honorable Leibniz Award for German Researchers, German Research Foundation.
  • November 2002 Prize of the Lower Saxony 2002.
  • October 2007 Honorary Doctor, Nicolae Testemitanu State University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Kishinev, Moldova.
  • February 2014 Münster Heart Centre Lecture Award 2014 (Heart Center Foundation Muenster).

Research Activities

  • 1996 Foundation of Leipzig Laboratories for Biotechnology and Artificial Organs.

Photo of the doctor: (c) Medizinische Hochschule Hannover (MHH) 

Department of Adult and Pediatric Cardiothoracic, Transplant, Vascular Surgery.
Hannover Medical School (MHH):

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