Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2017; 65(S 03): S205-S208
DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1601348
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Therapy for Heart Failure: The Leipzig Approach

J. Gummert
1  Direktor der Klinik für Thorax- und Kardiovaskularchirurgie Herz- und Diabeteszentrum Nordrhein Westfalen Bad Oeynhausen, Germany
M. Barten
2  Universitäres Herzzentrum Hamburg GmbH (UHZ) Klinik und Poliklinik für Herz-und Gefäßchirurgie, Hamburg, Germany
A. Rahmel
3  Deutsche Stiftung Organtransplantation, Germany
S. Doll
4  Praxis für Kardiologie, Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Germany
R. Krakor
5  Klinikum Dortmund gGmbH, Dortmund. Germany
J. Garbade
6  Herzzentrum Leipzig – Universitätsklinik, Leipzig, Germany
R. Autschbach
7  Klinik für Herzchirurgie – Universitätsklinik Aachen, Aachen, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

01 March 2017

01 March 2017

Publication Date:
07 April 2017 (online)


Heart failure is the “Achilles heel” of cardiac surgical therapy. Being aware of this problem Prof. Mohr focused on therapeutic options and the possibilities when cardiac surgical therapy could be of benefit for our patients. He had this specific interest already during his early surgical career when he successfully established a new heart transplantation program in Göttingen in the years 1990 until 1994. During this time a frequent collaboration with Germany's largest transplantation center, the Heart and Diabetes Center in Bad Oeynhausen, Germany was established. In the consecutive years, several teams from Göttingen and later from Leipzig visited Bad Oeynhausen and learned from the large experience there. Based on this training a very successful patient support group was also formed at that time.

Prof. Mohr was one of the first leaders who taught his fellows and residents to collaborate with other medical specialties, to team up with cardiologists and thus to form a true interdisciplinary team. Especially close collaborations with the pharmacology,[1] the cardiology, and the pathology departments should be mentioned in this context. This concept as an expression of Prof. Mohr's extraordinary leadership was certainly the base for a successful surgical heart failure program at the Leipzig Heart Center.

Besides thoracic organ transplantation and mechanical circulatory support, guided by Prof. Mohr, the interest of our group focused on evaluating further surgical therapeutic options to treat heart failure. We concentrated on conventional surgical therapies in patients with heart failure and on exploring new technologies. Therapeutic options of the cardiac surgeons for patients with heart failure include therapy of underlying conditions, such as coronary artery disease or valve disease (mostly mitral valve disease), reconstruction of left ventricular size and dimensions, additional new techniques such as ventricular reshaping using splints or external meshes, or resynchronization therapy. Also, therapeutic options such as assist device implantation and heart transplantation have to be considered.