The Heidenheim Hospital sets the right course for the future with the appointment of Dr Robert Hefty: The new Chief Physician of the Clinic for Urology is committed to novel treatment methods – and to developing innovative treatments for diseases such as stress incontinence. This frequently makes the clinic the focus of international press coverage. For people in the region, however, the institution in Heidenheim is and will remain the most important point of contact for primary care.
At first glance, the Clinic for Urology in Heidenheim is a completely normal, almost typical institution: A strong medical focus here is the surgical treatment of cancer of the urogenital tract. Whether prostate cancer or bladder cancer, kidney, testicular or penis cancer – in this clinic, the care from the first consultation and diagnosis to surgeries, care and aftercare is at an unquestionably international level. A mark of high quality: Dr Robert Hefty and his team work in close cooperation with the oncological centre in Ostwürttemberg.
Being able to benefit from the reputation of the entire hospital on the Schlossberg hill, which has been acquired over many decades, is a clear advantage for the Clinic for Urology. A total of fifteen specialist clinics and two institutes make up the comprehensive primary care in the city in eastern Baden-Württemberg. When needed, the Clinic for Urology can always rely on the enormous resource potential offered by the individual departments. This is because the close integration and the highly qualified staff in all areas are seen as a great advantage for the institution throughout the entire region, which encompasses the centres in Ulm, Aalen and Heidenheim. Alongside a high medical standard, the focus here is on individual patient care – and the quickest possible recovery.
A wealth of experience: Over 1,500 inpatients per year
The Clinic for Urology and Paediatric Urology alone treats around 3,000 patients annually as outpatients. More than 1,500 men and women receive inpatient care. For Dr Robert Hefty, the main focus of his work is to ensure that, in addition to practising surgery at the cutting-edge level, the care and reliable support of patients are not neglected. In this context, the treatment plans are usually prepared with the patients themselves and in close dialogue with the respective urologists in private practice. And, of course, the close contact within the hospital ensures that cooperation with the other medical departments at Heidenheim Hospital can be initiated immediately when needed.
The Clinic for Urology under the leadership of Dr Robert Hefty is committed to the latest standards in all areas. For example, in the case of urinary stones and benign prostate enlargements, minimally invasive therapy is practically always used. When dealing with neuro-urological dysfunctions, the clinic also strictly follows national and international guidelines in its treatment concepts.
International top-level: minimally invasive techniques
There are several reasons why the latest scientific findings are constantly being incorporated into the clinical routine in Heidenheim. One is the trust placed in the Heidenheim Hospital in Ostwürttemberg: As an academic teaching hospital of the University of Ulm, the institution has also made a name for itself at the university. That is why it is no surprise that the name of the clinic comes up time and again in international research.
This has even increased recently: Since Dr Robert Hefty took over the leadership for the Clinic for Urology, the number of minimally invasive surgeries has increased somewhat. This non-invasive type of surgery makes only the smallest of incisions, which leave behind hardly any scars. Patients can thus quickly get back to their usual day-to-day lives, as the healing time is also greatly reduced. Nevertheless, to operate successfully using minimally invasive techniques, a specialist needs many years of proven experience in this field. It’s a good thing that the clinic director is such an experienced specialist!
High-frequency laser process: “New-age”
The Clinic for Urology in Heidenheim is also considering an innovative high-frequency laser procedure that takes the quality of the spectrum of non-invasive treatment techniques used in urological endoscopy a step further. This offers Dr Hefty and his team new possibilities when it comes to the conservative, extremely precise and minimally invasive treatment of kidney stones, prostate changes and urethral stenoses. An “all-in-one” multi-pulse laser is used, which is currently only used in three other hospitals throughout Germany.
Not only Dr Robert Hefty speaks of the dawn of a new age in the clinic’s endourology division thanks to the innovative laser system. The treatment results speak for themselves: Tumours in the kidneys and urinary tract, for example, can now be operated on non-invasively, and often the organ itself is preserved as well. Since surgical access for suitable indications is via the urinary tract, large abdominal incisions are also a thing of the past in these areas.
On average, the length of hospitalisation is shortened by one week for patients following oncological surgery on kidneys or ureters. Patients often only stay in the hospital for three or four days – and pain is also significantly reduced. There’s another advantage: Today, many operations can be performed under local anaesthesia, which is particularly beneficial for elderly patients or those with heart problems. The further treatment spectrum also benefits from the new multifunctional device.
EMDA: Electrical bladder treatment
The team around Dr Robert Hefty in Heidenheim is making a name for itself with yet another minimally invasive treatment technique – “Electromotive Drug Administration” or EMDA for short. This uses an electric field to introduce a combination of drugs into the bladder wall. An electrode catheter, which is inserted into the bladder through the urethra, transports drugs through the mucous membrane into the deeper layers of the bladder wall. This allows pain and chronic inflammation of the bladder wall to be treated directly where they occur.
After this electrical treatment, bladder dilatation can also be used to increase the capacity of the bladder – in a minimally invasive and most painless way. In general, EMDA therapy is highly effective and has no systemic side effects. This therapy is carried out on an inpatient basis in Heidenheim. The length of hospitalisation of the patients is short – usually, only one overnight stay in the Clinic for Urology.
Strong expertise: Bladder cancer
Dr Robert Hefty has achieved an outstanding reputation for bladder cancer surgery. It is important to the clinic director that he himself operates – so he can pass on his exceptional expertise to younger colleagues in his team. Even though Dr Hefty has a wide range of responsibilities as a director today, urological surgery always takes priority for the experienced specialist. It is also no coincidence that three of his former assistant doctors are now renowned chief physicians.
Innovative protection from infection: One-time endoscopes in action
To further optimise the healing chances of his patients, Dr Robert Hefty is focusing on another innovation at the Schlossberg in Heidenheim. The innovation involves pioneering work with disposable endoscopes that can be used in a variety of ways, which practically eliminates operation-related infections.
Another point is also important for Clinic Director Dr Robert Hefty. Wishing patients to feel at ease in his department from the outset, he has optimised the patient admission, and new patients are now prepared for surgical procedures in a separate room. This approach of taking the needs of patients very seriously right from the start fits in perfectly with the goals that Dr Hefty exemplifies in Heidenheim: enabling people to have a life as comfortable, long and as good as possible – preferably without medical aids.
Urolastic: New treatment for stress incontinence
Dr Robert Hefty himself demonstrates that innovative techniques are constantly developing. In March 2020, he is introducing “Urolastic”, a treatment for stress incontinence intended to give women with stress incontinence a new zest for life. This minimally invasive technique answers to a widespread taboo topic: Many women suffer from this form of urinary incontinence with increasing age. An involuntary loss of urine, even with slightly increased pressure on the bladder during coughing, sneezing or even laughing, can often severely limit the quality of life, which can lead to an aversion to participating in social life. The reason for this form of incontinence is usually weakened pelvic floor muscles, which can occur after childbirth – or after the menopause.
With the Urolastic procedure, a filler is injected into small depots around the urethra during a minimally invasive procedure. This forms flexible implants in a matter of minutes which lead to a narrowing of the urethra – and thus provide immediate stability.
The benefits of the procedure are compelling. The procedure takes around 15 minutes under local anaesthesia; the material is long-lasting, non-absorbable and tissue-friendly. It does not fuse with the surrounding tissue and can even be easily removed if necessary. Most patients can already leave the Clinic in Heidenheim after one day – and begin a new life with carefree laughter. Incidentally, this procedure is also suitable for women who want to finally fulfil their desire to have children.
Dr. med. Robert Hefty
Specialist for urology, pediatric urology, bladder cancer in Heidenheim an der BrenzAs a urologist, Dr. Hefty focuses primarily on cancer of the urinary bladder, but he has also attracted international attention with specially developed therapies for stress incontinence. And when it comes to surgery, the versatile specialist usually uses minimally invasive techniques.
- PDD cystoscopy with blue light to identify carcinoma in situ bladder
- Using Hexvix under blue light, carcinoma in situ carcinomas that are NOT visible in normal white light can be displayed
- X-ray examination
- Magnetic resonance imaging
- Punch biopsy
- Renal biopsies
- Ultra-thin ureteroscopy devices flexible for single use (each patient has his own device - these devices are only used once)
- Greatest expertise is in laser surgery and bladder replacement therapy
- Neobladder replaces the own bladder
- Specialties are surgical uro-oncology of all urological tumors, pediatric urology, incontinence surgery
- Minimally invasive Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery, Abbreviation NOTES (= operations via the natural urinary tract without scars)
- Laser surgery for the treatment of prostate enlargement, stones, tumors, and urinary tract obstruction
- Minimally invasive prostate treatments
- Surgical treatment of cancer of the urogenital tract
- Cancer of the prostate, bladder, kidney, testicles and penis
- Organ-preserving tumor therapy
- Bladder replacement therapy (neobladder) "Orthotopic bladder replacement"
- Kidney stones minimally invasive
- RIRS (retrograde intrarenal renal surgery = kidney surgery in the body via the natural urinary tract)
- Combined renal surgery = antegrade and retrograde kidney surgery via percutaneous and natural urinary tract
- ESWL treatments
- Pediatric urology: reflux, undescended testicles, incontinence
- Minimally invasive reflux surgeries = endoscopic deflux injections without scars
- Incontinence treatments with the entire portfolio from minimally invasive to prosthesis implantation
- Penis alterations
- Infections in urology
- Urinary retention
- Adrenal gland disorder
- Adrenal gland metastases
- Anal atresia
- Bladder cancer
- Bladder disorder
- Bladder extrophy
- Erectile dysfunction
- Irritable bladder
- Penile cancer
- Prostate disorder
- Prostatic cancer
- Prostatic hyperplasia
- Renal cancer
- Testicular cancer
- Undescended testicle
- Urinary calculi
- Urinary incontinence
- Urinary tract tumor
- Vesicorenal reflux