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Our Services in the

Department of Congenital Heart Surgery – Pediatric Heart Surgery


heart operations in 2019

Surgical Treatment of Congenital Heart Defects

When the diagnosis of a congenital heart defect is made and an open-heart operation is necessary, parents are often very worried about their child’s future. But today even severe malformations of the heart can often be corrected so that the young patients can grow up enjoying good quality of life.
To offer our patients and their relatives the best possible consultation and treatment, the Department of Congenital Heart Surgery – Pediatric Heart Surgery was founded at the DHZB in 2012, as one of the first centers of its kind in Germany. We are among the most important European centers for mechanical circulatory support and heart transplantation in children and adolescents. In 2017 we performed over 600 heart operations.


Special Treatment

Complex Operations in Newborns without Blood Transfusions

Thanks to special heart-lung machines and many years of experience in surgical management we can offer even complex heart operations in newborn children without transfusing allogeneic blood – the only heart center worldwide to do so routinely. With operations in which blood transfusion is unavoidable, we seek to reduce the amount of blood to a minimum.

Treatment of Complex Heart Defects in Newborns

We operate for complex heart defects, such as transposition of the great arteries or hypoplastic left heart syndrome with associated malformations, with a high degree of safety. Operations include the Norwood operation, Yasui, arterial switch operation, Senning-Rastelli, Nikaidoh and the truncal turnover operation.

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

Our center specializes in the treatment of hypoplastic left heart syndrome. In this severe congenital defect only one of the two ventricles is developed. Thanks to many years of experience and intensive research we can, nevertheless, frequently make a high quality of life possible for our patients. We are proud that many of our patients have now become adults and this spurs us on.

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Valve-Preserving Operations

A further focus of our Department is special surgical procedures for the correction of damaged heart valves. For adults there is a large range of biological and mechanical aortic valve prostheses. In children these prostheses cannot always be implanted. Valve reconstruction is then a good alternative until the child reaches adulthood.

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Cosmetically Favorable Operations

In many cases we can perform heart operations by making a small incision in the patient’s side, below the right arm, which avoids opening of the rib cage. This enables our patients to grow up without a large scar on the chest which marks them out as heart patients, although the heart defect has long been corrected.


A repeat operation may be necessary for differing reasons. Many of these reoperations are expected, i.e. we know at the first operation that some of the patients will have to be operated on again. If a second operation is likely, special membranes are used during the first operation that reduce the development of scarring or protect particular implants. This makes the second operation easier and safer.