St. Marien-Hospital on Bonn’s Venusberg has provided people in the region with a first-class place to turn to in case of health problems for well over a hundred years. Today, the long-standing acute care hospital with its twelve specialist departments impresses patients on both sides of the Rhine: within the GFO Kliniken Bonn hospital network, the venerable but ultra-modern hospital plays a central role in patient care. St. Marien-Hospital also regularly attracts attention from far beyond the region, thanks to the range of services and activities of the Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery under the direction of Prof. Dr. med. Kai Balzer.
Under Prof. Dr. med. Kai Balzer, the Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at Bonn’s St. Marien-Hospital presents itself as an institution with numerous specialities. His interdisciplinary approach alone ensures patients with vascular diseases the best possible treatment: this is the result of intensive interdisciplinary cooperation in a hospital with an all-round excellent set-up.
Vascular and endovascular surgery: all clinical specialties covered
The daily interdisciplinary case discussions are of enormous importance for the experienced surgery, vascular surgery and endovascular surgery specialist. Vascular surgeons and members of the team from the Ambulatory Care Centre for Vascular Medicine as well as interventional radiologists take part in the discussions. Dr Balzer knows that this is the only way to create individual therapies geared to the individual patient. When it comes to deciding whether a treatment should be surgical, interventional or conservative, every single aspect needs to be weighed very carefully – and in a timely manner.
This is exactly what the specialist approach is all about: the Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery offers the entire range of medical specialties, along with the relevant clinical specialties. They start with stroke prevention. Advice regarding stroke risks is important, and priority is placed on patients from high-risk groups. Whether to prevent or treat the consequences of a stroke, the team in Bonn performs a wide variety of operations on vessels supplying the brain. Dr Balzer and his team frequently perform operations on the carotid arteries – for example, to treat carotid artery stenosis.
Experienced specialist: arterial aneurysms
Diseases of the chest and abdominal area are the main reason for arterial dilatation therapy, which is also part of the department’s range of services. The chief physician makes use of all the modern interventional therapy concepts as well as classical surgical methods to prevent tears in these frequent cases of arterial dilatation. Whether the aneurysm lies in the abdominal cavity or in the thorax, open surgery or stent implantations are just two examples of the wide range of therapeutic options. Potential patients are of course aware that Prof. Dr. med. Kai Balzer has years of experience performing such operations, for example replacing an aneurysm with a vascular prosthesis – and always does so with curiosity and passion. In other words, you are in the best of hands here. The team led by the specialist is also very familiar with constrictions of the abdominal and renal arteries. Aneurysms of the leg artery or the popliteal artery (popliteal aneurysm) are treated with great expertise.
Important goal: avoiding amputations
Avoiding amputations is one of Prof. Balzer’s areas of expertise: this often has to do with the consequences of diabetes mellitus or Charcot’s syndrome. As diabetic patient often have foot problems, Dr Balzer also offers the conservative and surgical treatment of diabetic feet, including a variety of catheter and bypass procedures.
When it comes to treating arterial circulatory disorders in all vascular regions apart from the coronary vessels, priority is once again placed on an interdisciplinary approach, which sees the department working closely with radiology. Together they come up with therapeutic concepts and in doing so the decision-making process always focuses on the patient’s well-being.
Prof. Dr. med. Kai Balzer is also in demand when shunt surgery is performed in Bonn’s Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery. Chronic kidney failure in particular requires the creation of an artificial connection – a shunt – between two normally separate blood vessels.
Venous diseases: in the best hands
Prof. Dr. Kai Balzer attaches great importance to ensuring that the treatment of venous problems such as varicose veins is tailored exactly to the respective stage of the disease, while performing the least invasive surgery possible. The specialist and his competent team also have a lot of experience in preventing pulmonary embolisms. Although the surgical treatment of deep leg and pelvic vein thrombosis is also among the standard procedures in Bonn, they are of course always carried out very carefully and in a highly concentrated manner. Another specialty is the treatment of superficial venous diseases ranging from varicose veins and spider veins to thrombosis.
Important facility: Ambulatory Care Centre for Vascular Medicine
In the Ambulatory Care Centre for Vascular Medicine at the Bonn Hospital, inpatient therapy can be continued on an outpatient basis. Vascular diseases are examined and treated there – provided that the treatment can be performed on an outpatient basis. The Ambulatory Care Centre also performs outpatient vein operations and sclerotherapy treatments, such as the sclerotherapy of varicose veins. The transitions between the Ambulatory Care Centre and the Department of Vascular Surgery at St. Marien-Hospital are so smooth that they do not inconvenience the patients in any way. If inpatient treatment proves necessary, the patients are simply admitted there – and the team led by chief physician Balzer provide them with the appropriate therapy, operation or catheter treatment.
The committed chief physician is likewise the reason why the population in the Bonn region on both sides of the Rhine are also more aware of and better informed about vascular diseases today. For example, vascular surgery consultation hours are held regularly on Wednesday afternoons in the Ambulatory Care Centre for Surgery at the St. Johannes-Hospital in Troisdorf-Sieglar. Potential patients are of course aware that Prof. Dr. med. Kai Balzer and his team have years of experience performing the necessary operations and do so frequently.
Always up to date: quality assurance
Quality in diagnostics and therapy is an important topic for Prof. Balzer, which also explains why he puts high priority on quality assurance measures. In addition to the legally obligatory carotid quality assurance, Prof. Balzer voluntarily participates in the abdominal aortic aneurysm quality assurance of the Vascular Surgery Society. He also regularly participates in large studies on circulatory disorders of the legs as well as on rare diseases such as popliteal aneurysms.
Prof. Dr. med. Kai Balzer studied in Bochum. After working as an intern at the Augusta-Kranken-Anstalten in Bochum, he completed his training at the renowned Clinic for Vascular Surgery and Kidney Transplantation at the University Hospital Düsseldorf under Prof. Dr. med. Wilhelm Sandmann, as senior physician since 2007 and as senior consultant since 2009. Today, as head of the Department of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at the St. Marien-Hospital in Bonn, he fondly looks back on this time. His patients nevertheless already notice during their very first consultation that Dr Balzer above all looks ahead – to elaborating the optimal individualised therapy for them.
Prof. Dr. med. Kai Balzer
Specialist for Vascular surgery in BonnProf. Balzer has immense experience in the entire spectrum of vascular diseases - from varicose veins to strokes. As a renowned surgeon, he performs even the most complex vascular surgeries. The empathic specialist also convinces with his interdisciplinary approach, which ensures optimal treatment for all patients.
- Out-patient examinations of the arterial and venous vascular system (Doppler/duplex sonography, treadmill ergometry, oxygen measurement in tissue)
- Correction of carotid stenosis through surgery or stent implantation
- Removal of constrictions or arterial dilatations of the abdominal, pelvic and leg arteries through bypass surgery or catheter procedures (e.g. dilatations, stent implantations)
- Shunt surgery for chronic kidney failure, (outpatient/inpatient)
- Differentiated treatment of diabetic foot through bypass or catheter procedures
- Stage-specific, minimally invasive and endoscopic varicose vein surgery (outpatient / inpatient)
- Surgical treatment of pelvic/leg vein thromboses