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Hannover Medical School (MHH)

location_on Hannover, Germany
9.8/10 from 43 Votes

Department of Adult and Pediatric Interventional Radiology (594424)

Frank Wacker

Prof. Dr. med.

Frank Wacker

Specialized in: adult and pediatric interventional radiology

About the department

The Department of Adult and Pediatric Interventional Radiology at the Hannover Medical School offers the full range of medical services in the area of its ​​specialization. The department's specialists pay due attention to diagnostic imaging and minimally invasive imaging-guided therapeutic procedures. Of particular interest is the therapy of vascular diseases, oncological pathologies and pain therapy. The highly qualified specialists who strictly follow the standardized protocols of professional societies take care of the patients' health. The key to the successful functioning of the medical facility is also the availability of state-of-the-art medical equipment. The department's radiologists have a wealth of experience and thousands of successfully performed therapeutic procedures, thanks to which even complex pathologies can be cured without extensive surgical interventions. The department is headed by Prof. Dr. med. Frank Wacker.

Since accurate diagnostics is the key to successful treatment, the department's doctors carry out various diagnostic imaging tests, including computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound and X-ray examinations. For the diagnostics of cardiac pathologies, the department has a specialized laboratory for cardiac CT and MRI. In addition, the department offers the widest diagnostic options for women with suspected breast cancer. Diagnostic services include mammography, tomosynthesis, galactography, sonography, and various types of image-guided biopsies. Both adults and children can undergo diagnostics in the department. In the second case, diagnostic tests are carried out using special equipment adapted to the specific characteristics of the child's body. The range of procedures includes ultrasound scanning, X-ray diagnostics, including fluorography, CT, MRI and emergency diagnostics. The department's specialists cooperate closely with doctors from all medical fields of the university hospital and carry out imaging examinations in patients with various pathologies.

The department's radiologists also perform image-guided therapeutic interventions. Thanks to state-of-the-art technical equipment and innovative materials (catheters, stents, balloons), the treatment becomes as sparing as possible, but at the same time it is not inferior in efficiency to conventional therapy. Radiological interventions are also performed in children of various age groups. The treatment of vascular pathologies, namely stenoses, occlusions and aneurysms of various localizations, is of particular interest for the specialists of the medical facility. During therapeutic manipulations, the radiologist makes a small skin incision through which a catheter is inserted into the vascular lumen. The catheter is directed to the pathologically altered part of the vessel under image guidance (using ultrasound, CT, MRI, X-ray). The specialist then places a stent, including a drug-coated one, or other implants, eliminating vascular stenosis or obstruction.

The department's medical team also specializes in interventional procedures for the treatment of liver, kidney, lung and bone tumors. Radiofrequency ablation, microwave ablation and cryoablation are successfully used for this purpose. The optimal type of ablation is selected for the patient individually, based on the particular clinical data, the stage of cancer, the size and location of the tumor. Depending on the chosen technique, the tumor is either cooled to a temperature below -120 °C, or heated to a temperature above + 100 °C.

The department's experts have special competence in the field of transarterial chemoembolization for the treatment of liver tumors. The technique is a minimally invasive procedure for the targeted injection of an embolic agent into the arteries supplying the liver tumor. The effect of the procedure is enhanced by the injection of chemotherapy drugs directly into the liver tumor or metastatic foci. Chemotherapy drugs act on cancer cells and destroy them. As of today, transarterial chemoembolization is an advanced therapeutic procedure performed only by doctors at leading hospitals in countries with a high level of medicine. It is worth noting that the technique allows the specialists to successfully deal with especially aggressive liver neoplasms, which were previously considered incurable.

The department's range of medical services includes:

  • Interventional therapy for inoperable chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension using pulmonary artery balloon angioplasty
  • Prostatic artery embolization
  • Interventions on the arteries
    • Restoration of patency of the arteries of the pelvis and lower limbs in stenoses and thromboses
    • Interventions for acute occlusions of the arteries of the pelvis and lower limbs
    • Restoration of patency of intestinal arteries in stenoses and thromboses
    • Restoration of patency of renal arteries in case of stenoses and thromboses
    • Restoration of patency of arteries of other localizations in stenoses and thromboses
    • Treatment of arterial aneurysms
    • Treatment of endoleaks in aneurysms
    • Closure of blood vessels in arterial hemorrhage (embolization)
    • Sclerotherapy for uterine fibroids
  • Interventions on the veins
    • Treatment of venous stenoses and thromboses
    • Implantation of filters into the inferior vena cava
    • Sclerotherapy for varicocele
    • Formation of hemodialysis shunts
    • Selective blood sampling from adrenal veins
  • Liver interventions
    • Transarterial chemoembolization
    • Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunting (TIPS)
  • Placement of port systems to ensure venous access
  • Percutaneous tumor ablation
  • Other medical services

Curriculum vitae

Higher Education and Postgraduate Training

  • 1984 - 1990 Study of Human Medicine at the University of Tuebingen.
  • 1989 - 1991 Internship, City Hospital Esslingen.
  • 1991 Doctoral thesis defence (magna cum laude), University of Tuebingen. 
  • 1991 - 1997 Residency, Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Neurology, University Hospital Benjamin Franklin, Berlin.
  • 1997 - 1999 Fellow, Radiology, University Hospital Benjamin Franklin, Berlin.
  • 2001 Habilitation in Radiology, Free University of Berlin.

Professional Career

  • 1999 - 2001 Head of the Section of Angiography and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital Benjamin Franklin, Free University of Berlin.
  • 2001 - 2003 Visiting Professor of Radiology, Case Western Reserve University, and Attending Physician, Section of Angiography and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital Health System, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
  • 2003 - 2004 Adjunct Associate Professor of Radiology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
  • 2003 Medical Consultant, Siemens Medical Solutions, MR Development, Erlangen.
  • 2004 - 2008 C3 Professor of Radiology, Vice Chairman, Head, Section of Angiography and Interventional Radiology, Charite University Hospital Berlin, Campus Benjamin Franklin.
  • 2007 - 2008 Head of the Section of Interventional Radiology, Charite University Hospital Berlin, Campus Mitte/Virchow/Benjamin Franklin.
  • 2008 - 2010 Visiting Professor of Radiology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Director of the Section of Vascular Interventional Radiology, Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Johns Hopkins Hospital Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
  • 2010 - 2016 Adjunct Professor of Radiology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
  • Since 2010 W3 Professor of Radiology and Head of the Department of Adult and Pediatric Interventional Radiology, Hannover Medical School.
  • Since 2014 Head of the Imaging Unit, Clinical Research Center Hannover.
  • Since 2014 Board of Directors, Research Campus STIMULATE: Solution Centre for Image-Guided Local Therapies, Magdeburg, Germany.
  • Since 2015 Medical Executive Director, Radiology Center, Hannover Medical School, Germany.

Major Clinical and Scientific Interests

  • Imaging-guided therapies.
  • Interventional oncology.
  • Quantitative imaging and functional body MRI.

Awards

  • 2000 Grassi Award, International Society for Digestive Surgery.
  • 2001 Second Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen Award, German Society of Radiology.

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

Department of Adult and Pediatric Interventional Radiology.
Hannover Medical School (MHH):

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