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University Hospital Cologne

location_on Cologne, Germany
9.5/10 from 82 Votes

Department of Adult and Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery (26175)

Thorsten Wahlers

Prof. Dr. med.

Thorsten Wahlers

Specialized in: adult and pediatric cardiothoracic surgery

About the department

According to the Focus magazine, the Department of Adult and Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery at the university Hospital Cologne ranks among the top German departments specializing in cardiac surgery!

The department offers the full range of highly effective surgical treatment for heart and thoracic diseases. It performs more than 2,800 interventions on the cardiovascular system annually, including 1,700 surgical procedures using a heart-lung machine. The surgeons of the department work on the most advanced medical equipment, thereby providing sparing minimally invasive treatment even in complex clinical cases. The Chief Physician of the department is Prof. Dr. med. Thorsten Wahlers. The specialist has the exceptional experience and qualifications, thanks to which enjoys an impeccable reputation in Germany and at the international level.

The department has 50 beds for planned treatment. In addition, the department operates a specialized intensive care unit (24 beds equipped for artificial lung ventilation). The department also has a separate unit for the care of patients after heart transplantation.

The surgical treatment is carried out in four state-of-the-art operating rooms, including those with the equipment for hybrid interventions. Also, the surgeons of the department have at their disposal a special operating room for pacemaker implantation.

The department has many prestigious certificates confirming the high-class medical service. The most significant among them are certification as a Lung Cancer Center (German Cancer Society) and certification as a Center of Competence for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (German Society of Cardiology).

The service range of the department includes:

  • Coronary artery bypass grafting
    • Total arterial myocardial revascularization
    • Minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass grafting
    • Coronary artery bypass grafting with or without a heart-lung machine
  • Minimally invasive and heart valve surgery
    • Aortic valve interventions
    • Mitral valve interventions
    • Tricuspid valve interventions
  • Transcatheter aortic valve implantation
  • Aortic surgery
    • Prosthetic replacement of the ascending aorta
    • Combined prosthetic replacement of the ascending aorta with the prosthetics or reconstruction of the aortic valve and reimplantation of the coronary arteries
    • Aortic arch prosthetic replacement (partial and total)
  • Aortic valve reconstruction
    • David procedure
    • Yakub procedure
    • Aortic annuloplasty using a special ring HAART ™
    • Ozaki procedure
  • Thoracic surgery
    • Surgical treatment of lung cancer
    • Removal of lung metastases
    • Surgical removal of mediastinal tumors
    • Treatment of diseases of the chest wall and pleura
    • Surgical correction of the chest wall deformities (for example, Nuss procedure)
    • Surgical treatment of pulmonary inflammatory diseases
    • Lung volume reduction surgery
    • Sympathectomy for increased sweating (hyperhidrosis)
    • Surgical treatment of diaphragmatic hernia
    • Treatment of thoracic injuries
      • Special techniques of thoracic interventions
        • Laser surgery (Nd-YAG)
        • Minimally invasive thoracic surgery
        • Lung tissue preserving surgery
  • Pediatric cardiac surgery
    • Heart surgery in newborns with hypoplastic left heart syndrome
    • Operations for the transposition of the major vessels
    • Aortic arch stenosis surgery
    • Revision surgery
  • Treatment of adults with congenital heart defects
  • Cardiac arrhythmia surgery
    • Pacemaker and defibrillator implantation
    • Implantation of a wireless mini pacemaker (MICRA)
    • Resynchronization therapy
    • Removal of pacemakers and defibrillators after a long use in case of complications or the development of infections
    • Surgical therapy of atrial fibrillation
  • Artificial heart implantation
  • Heart transplantation and surgical treatment of heart failure
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • Cardiac surgery intensive care
  • Other medical services

Curriculum vitae

  • 1977 Military service in Munich and Bonn, medical-sanitary battalion.
  • 1977 - 1983 Study of Medicine at the Rheinish Friedrich Wilhelm University Bonn, Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf, the University of Cologne.
  • 04.1983 State exam at the University of Cologne.
  • 05.1983 Admission to medical practice, Medical Association of Cologne.
  • 05.1983 Thesis defense on Cardiology, University of Cologne (Prof. Dr. H. H. Hilger) "On the Influence of oxyfedrine on the bradycardiac heart rhythm disorders in humans".

Professional Career

  • 07.1983 Research Fellow, Surgery Center, Hannover Medical School.
  • 1983 - 1989 Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Hanover; Surgery Center (Prof. Dr. H.G. Borst), Department of Trauma Surgery (Prof. Dr. H. Tscherne) Department of Abdominal and Transplant Surgery (Prof. Dr. R. Pichlmayr).
  • 11.1986 - 04.1987 Harefield Hospital, National Heart Hospital, Middlesex, London, UK (Prof. Sir M. Yacoub, F.R.C.S.).
  • 10.1989 Certified Surgeon, State Chamber of Physicians of Lower Saxony.
  • 09.1990 Senior Physician, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Hannover Medical School.
  • 03.1991 Certified Cardiothoracic Surgeon, State Chamber of Physicians of Lower Saxony.
  • 08.1991 Certified Vascular Surgeon, State Chamber of Physicians of Lower Saxony.
  • 02.1992 Habilitation, Hannover, "Studies with experiments on animals to preserve organs in lung, heart-lung transplantation".
  • 08.1993 Advanced training in Vascular Surgery, Hannover Medical School (State Chamber of Physicians of Lower Saxony), Cardiothoracic Surgery (under the direction of by Prof. Dr. H.G. Borst).
  • 05.1994 Additional qualification in Emergency Medicine, State Chamber of Physicians of Lower Saxony.
  • 08.1995 Chief Physician, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Hannover Medical School.
  • 02.1996 Extraordinary Professorship.
  • 12.1996 - 1999 Foundation and management of the Section of Eastern Municipal Hospital, Hannover Medical School, with the introduction of a new specialization in Cardiac Surgery, integration of General, Thoracic, Vascular Surgery.
  • 11.1998 Appointed as an Examiner of the State Chamber of Physicians of Lower Saxony, Vascular Surgery.
  • 09.1999 C4 Ordinary Professor, Head of the Department of Cardiac Surgery, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, as well as appointment to the leadership position of the Department of Thoracic and Vascular Surgery, Friedrich Schiller University Jena.
  • 02.2000 Member of the European Board of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons (F.E.B.T.C.S).
  • 02.2002 Member of the Board of the German Society for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.
  • 11.2003 Director of the Surgery Center, Friedrich Schiller University of Jena.
  • 02.2004 Member of the Board of the German Society for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, elected for the second term, for the next 2 years.
  • 12.2004 Invitation to take over the post in the Department of Adult and Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery (after Prof. Dr. de Vivie), University Hospital Cologne.
  • 11.2005 Ordinary Professorship, Head of the Department of Adult and Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University Hospital Cologne.
  • 10.2007 Deputy Speaker of the Heart Center at the University Hospital Cologne.
  • 08.2009 Speaker of the Experimental Advisory Board of the Center for Experimental Medicine at the University Hospital Cologne.
  • 2009 - 2012 Speaker of the Heart Center at the University Hospital Cologne.

Main Awards and Honors

  • 1993 Köhler Prize of the German Society for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (jointly with Prof. Dr. med. A. Haverich), Hannover, for the research and development in the field of clinical lung protection and transplantation.
  • 1992 Ethicon Prize of the German Society for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. Report: "The use of extracorporeal circulation in lung transplantation".
  • 1989 Presidential Award of the International Heart and Lung Transplantation Society. "Dose reduction for the treatment of transplant rejection after heart transplantation".

Membership in Professional Societies

  • National Societies
    • 2000 - 2005 Thuringian Society of Surgery.
    • Since 1997 German Society of Cardiology.
    • Since 1997 German Society of Transplantology.
    • 1986 - 2002 German Society of Surgery.
    • Since 1984 German Society for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.
  • European Societies
    • Since 2000 Fellow European Board Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons.
    • Since 1995 European Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery.
    • Since 1990 European Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation.
  • International Societies
    • Since 2011 American Association Thoracic Surgery.
    • Since 2007 American Society of Thoracic Surgeons.
    • Since 1985 International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation.

Department of Adult and Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery.
University Hospital Cologne:

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