About us Asst Lect. Dr Martin Huertgen
When it comes to diseases of the lungs, rib cage and pleura, he is one of the most experienced and renowned specialists in the German-speaking world: PD Dr. med. Martin Hürtgen has gained an excellent reputation as head physician of the Clinic for Thoracic Surgery at the Catholic Hospital Koblenz - Montabaur, particularly as a result of his pioneering work in the field of lung cancer. He developed a minimally invasive surgical method that opened up completely new possibilities for treating lung cancer – and which made him and the Interdisciplinary Lung Cancer Centre at Marienhof famous on an international scale.
With three traditional but ultra-modern sites, the Catholic Hospital Koblenz - Montabaur ensures medical care for people in the beautiful region on the Rhine – with twenty specialist departments, which also incorporate seventeen centres of excellence. Alongside Brüderhaus Koblenz and Brüderkrankenhaus Montabaur, it is the long-established Marienhof Koblenz Hospital that provides its patients with a comprehensive range of the highest level medical and therapeutic services. The fact that each facility has its own therapy centre and medical care centre with specialist practices also ensures the immense trust that the hospital network enjoys among the population.
When the Catholic Hospital was founded as a merger in 2011, PD Dr. med. Martin Hürtgen had already been the head physician of the Clinic for Thoracic Surgery at the Marienhof site in the Rauental district of Koblenz for a long time. He has been caring for people with diseases of the chest area in this position since 2002. Whether tumours or metastases in the lungs, pleural effusions or a collapsed lung, chest wall diseases or problems with the mediastinum – supported by an extremely experienced team, the clinic director looks after the patients who are often seriously ill, and who are in the best hands in Koblenz.
Great competence: A wealth of experience in thoracic surgery
In fact, most of the senior physicians and specialists at the clinic have at least ten – and many, over twenty – years of experience in their field. Incidentally, all the staff at the clinic command a high level of training and experience – whether in nursing, the functional departments or in the secretariats: In addition to professional competence, the entire team also makes a lasting impression with their respectful attitude.
Those affected benefit from great surgical experience, especially during operations. Surgical precision is a decisive factor, especially in complex interventions – such as tumour operations in the chest cavity: Recent studies show that the prognosis of lung cancer depends to a large extent on the competence of the surgeon. And because early-stage lung cancer only causes minor, often diffuse symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath, unfortunately it is often detected quite late.
Internationally renowned contact point: The Koblenz Lung Cancer Centre
So there are many reasons why, if you have the slightest suspicion of lung cancer, you should consult a highly specialised medical doctor with a lot of experience. Another reason: PD Dr. Hürtgen provides assurance with reliable early diagnostic procedures. The surgical expertise of the chief physician is mainly characterised by his research into minimally invasive thoracic surgery: He performed the first keyhole operation in which a pulmonary lobe was removed in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate – and he simultaneously developed two procedures that attracted worldwide attention among experts: Together with his team, PD Dr. med. Martin Hürtgen developed the videomediastinoscopic lymphadenectomy (VAMLA) and mediastinoscopic sonography (MUS), which make operations for lung cancer much more efficient, safer and successful in the long run. No wonder, then, that specialists from Europe, the USA and even Japan want to learn these newly developed methods – from the man himself.
Minimally invasive surgery has many advantages for patients. First of all, tiny incisions leave equally tiny scars, cause less pain during the shortened healing period – and ensure shorter stays in hospital. This improves breathing, which also contributes to faster recovery, especially after operations on the lungs.
Interdisciplinary approach: The person in focus
Everyone at the Interdisciplinary Lung Cancer Centre at Marienhof knows that the diagnosis of lung cancer completely changes the life of sufferers and their families. First of all, it is important for PD Dr. med. Martin Hürtgen to arrive at a profound diagnosis in a quick and gentle manner. The best individual therapy option is agreed upon just as quickly. Patients immediately notice that everything here is done in order to apply the optimal treatment: After comprehensive presentation of the tumour and functional clarification of the physical resilience, the decision about the individualised therapy is finally made – always explained and agreed upon at eye level. The therapy is developed in a highly professional manner – within the framework of an interdisciplinary tumour conference in which specialists from a wide range of disciplines contribute their expertise. Pneumologists, oncologists and psycho-oncologists are involved in every decision, as are radiologists and radiotherapists – and, if necessary, also palliative physicians and socio-medical advisors.
But also in the close cooperation with top-class representatives of other disciplines, PD Dr. med. Martin Hürtgen always remains focussed on the person being treated. In addition to the disease, factors relating to the social and family situation are also part of the process when it comes to deciding on the appropriate therapy strategy. And the findings from the numerous studies to research new cancer therapies, in which the Koblenz Interdisciplinary Lung Cancer Centre regularly participates, flow into every single treatment. Many patients take advantage of the opportunity to be treated with state-of-the-art medicines that have yet to be launched on the market – voluntarily, of course.