Senior Consultant Dr Hinrich Koehler completed his examination as a specialist surgeon in 2003 and gained further qualifications as a specialist in abdominal surgery and special abdominal surgery in 2011. Dr Koehler has headed the Surgical Department of the Herzogin Elisabeth Hospital in Braunschweig as its Senior Consultant since 2008 and has headed the Obesity Centre and the Thyroid Centre, also located at the hospital, since 2010.
Dr Koehler is also the Deputy Head of the Bowel Cancer Centre. Dr Koehler has published numerous contributions in the relevant specialist scientific literature and is involved in various national and international specialist associations. The Obesity Centre at the Herzogin Elisabeth Hospital in Braunschweig is the only reference centre in Lower Saxony certified by the General and Abdominal Surgery Association (DGAV) for baryatric surgery.
The certified Thyroid Centre is also the only such centre in the region. These certifications underline the outstanding treatment quality of Dr Koehler and his highly specialised team. Together with all established obesity procedures, their range of services includes so-called follow-up and repair surgery, which have the objective of removing excess skin. Whenever possible, the obesity specialists in Braunschweig perform the procedures minimally invasively and thus very gently for the patient. The classic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and the omega bypass are utilised to help overweight people to achieve a better quality of life. Here, the surgeons form a type of alternative route around the majority of the stomach, without removing this, however. Hence, the quantity of food absorbed by the remaining stomach is drastically reduced. The food, which the stomach can no longer absorb, is channelled straight to the small intestine via the gastric bypass. By this means, the feeling of hunger is reduced markedly and the patient loses a large amount of weight in the first year following the surgery. The gastric bypass is therefore considered to be the gold standard in bariatric surgery. Other common treatments for obesity are the gastric sleeve and the adjustable gastric band. With the gastric sleeve, the obesity specialists remove the majority of the stomach and reduce this to a narrow tube of only 2 – 3 cm in diameter. This procedure is somewhat easier to perform than a gastric bypass, and, for that reason, cannot be reversed. In contrast, the use of a gastric band around the gastric cardia limits the amount of food without reducing the size of the stomach. What method is best suited to the patient varies individually from person to person and depends on, among other things, the severity of the obesity condition, particular anatomical characteristics and the patient’s eating habits. Since bariatric surgery also requires a dietary adjustment in most cases, comprehensive dietary counselling and, in many cases, psychological care of the patients is very important. In any case, you will be given the best advice at the Herzogin Elisabeth Hospital in Braunschweig!
Around 20 to 30% of the population of Germany, i.e. approximately 20 million inhabitants, have an enlarged thyroid gland. 70% of patients with a goitre have no thyroid malfunction; around 15% of patients have an overactive thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ that lies like a shield below the larynx, in front of the trachea. Its task is to produce certain hormones from iodine and other building blocks. In a nutritional iodine deficiency, the thyroid gland enlarges pathologically in order to absorb even the smallest traces of iodine. This is a goitre (enlarged thyroid gland). Depending on the individual findings and the patient’s difficulty, thyroid surgery may be necessary. In the certified Thyroid Centre at the Herzogin Elisabeth Hospital, experienced specialists utilise minimally invasive surgical techniques whenever possible for these complicated procedures. This so-called key-hole surgery is less stressful for our patients and is associated with less pain.