Prof. Schmoeckel is the Senior Consultant of the Department of Cardiac Surgery at the Cardiac, Vascular and Diabetes Centre of the St. Georg Asklepios Hospital in Hamburg. In his department, Prof. Schmoeckel performs all treatment and therapeutic procedures in adult cardiac surgery.
The emphases of the Department of Cardiac Surgery in Hamburg include bypass surgery on cardiac vessels (coronary arteries), the repair and replacement of cardiac valves and surgery on the aorta in the vicinity of the heart. Since the St. Georg Asklepios Hospital is a maximum care hospital, Prof. Schmoeckel and his team also treat patients with cardiac conditions in emergency cases, around the clock. In addition, the Department of Cardiac Surgery in Hamburg provides comprehensive cardiac surgery counselling for adults. Surgery is performed in ultramodern operating theatres in accordance with the current medical standards, reliably and gently. At the same time, Prof. Schmoeckel ensures that the treatment concept is orientated towards the particular situation of the patient.
The Department has a 16-bed Intensive Care Ward and a 12-bed Intermediate Care Ward. After the operation, physiotherapists are ready to commence rehabilitation measures at an early stage.
Patients with cardiac valve conditions frequently require artificial cardiac valves. When introducing these valves, rather than conventional cardiac surgery, Prof. Schmoeckel relies more and more on a catheter-assisted technique, so-called trans-catheter cardiac valve implantation (TAVI), in which, in collaboration with the Department of Cardiology, the valve replacement is introduced with the aid of a catheter via the groin, the axilla or the neck.
If coronary vessels are no longer patent and these occlusions or constrictions cannot be kept open using stents, etc., the heart’s blood supply must be ensured by suturing bypasses at these points. For these bypasses, endogenous arteries from the thorax are almost always used at the Department of Cardiac Surgery in Hamburg. In this way, the circulation of the cardiac muscle can be ensured over decades.
Bypass surgery is generally performed on the heart at rest using a heart-lung-machine, which undertakes the heart and lung function during the operation and so provides the body with adequate oxygen. Prof. Schmoeckel and his team can also perform bypass surgery for severely ill cardiac patients on the beating heart (“off pump”).
For procedures on the aorta, the Department of Cardiac Surgery in Hamburg relies on up to date techniques, such as antegrade cerebral perfusion and hybrid prostheses with endovascular stent grafts (stents) in order to reduce the relatively high mortality and neurological complications, which occur in the classic techniques. The close co-operation with specialist of the Department of Vascular Surgery and Angiology is a great advantage here.