Prof. MUDr. Kostelka has been conducting heart operations for approximately 25 years and he is one of Europe's most experienced cardiac surgeons. At the start of his medical career, he completed a number of postgraduate scholarships at the famous universities of Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles as an already qualified physician. In the 1990s, he was a visiting cardiology consultant in heart centers in Kuwait and Germany. After working for many years in his native Czech Republic, and spending a year in a clinic in London, Professor Kostelka came to the Heart Center Leipzig in 1998. As Chief Consultant of the Department of Pediatric Cardiology, he treats children with heart disease between the ages of 0 to 18, and adults with congenital heart defects here. Professor Kostelka also holds the Chair of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at the Medical Faculty and this allows him to pass on his enormous experience to the next generation of medical students. Research has also been very important to Professor Kostelka throughout his medical career. He has been honored several times for his research activities, and has himself conducted experimental trials.
As a specialist in cardiac surgery he is naturally also closely associated with various national and international profession associations. Heart defects are amongst the commonest congenital deformities in human beings. Approximately 8 % of all babies are born with a congenital heart defect. This includes ductus arteriosus: a vascular connection that occurs between the aorta and pulmonary artery during the fetal growth phase, but which normally closes after birth. However, if this connection persists, it can develop later into a heart defect. An operation is thus frequently necessary to separate the connection. Other common congenital heart defects are atrial and ventricular septal defects. These septa are located between the left and right atria of the heart, and between the left and right ventricles, thus ensuring a separated blood flow. These septa can be permeable or, in the worst case, entirely absent. This means that the blood flows through the heart in the wrong direction and can cause hyperperfusion of the lungs. Specialists can close the defect with a patch in a surgical operation. Although the abnormalities can be very diverse and complex, the pediatric cardiologists at the Heart Center Leipzig can treat them very well due to great advances in modern medicine. The Department of Pediatric Cardiology covers the entire spectrum of congenital heart defects. Professor Kostelka personally operates on over 300 patients with congenital heart defects a year with an outstanding success rate. The majority of his patients are children, and two thirds of them are less than a year old. Because of Professor Kostelka's expertise and his ability to operate on very young patients, these children are later able to live largely normal lives. As early a diagnosis as possible is absolutely essential, however. And so, the gynecologists, pediatric cardiologists and pediatric heart surgeons in the Department of Pediatric Cardiology collaborate with one another to monitor any potential heart defects as closely as possible, even during pregnancy. After delivery, Professor Kostelka and his team can deploy cutting-edge diagnostic equipment, including cardiac ultrasound, MRI and CT scanners, and 3D navigation systems, and they have a fully equipped cardiac catheterization lab at their disposal. The Heart Center Leipzig is affiliated with the University of Leipzig and is one of the leading centers of its type anywhere in Europe. Anyone with heart disease is in good hands here.