Press Release

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Ten years of innovative heart valves from Hannover

Bright eyes and happy smiles on the faces of children, young people and adults alike are nothing unusual at Hannover Adventure Zoo. On Saturday, however, it was a very special group that met at the zoo to have fun together: Twenty-three patients who had, at Hannover Medical School (MHH), received a special heart valve – one that grows with the body – celebrated in Hannover at the invitation of Professor Axel Haverich, Director of MHH’s Department of Cardiac, Thoracic, Transplantation and Vascular Surgery (HTTG). The reason: it’s 10 years since he and his colleagues first implanted one of these innovative valves in a patient. Since then, more than 70 have been successfully treated. “Our idea to develop cardiac valves that grow with the patient has become a real success story,” said Professor Haverich, who is also coordinator of the REBIRTH Cluster of Excellence (‘from REgenerative BIology to Reconstructive Therapy’). ‘We too – by which I mean our approach to tissue engineering, MHH and REBIRTH – are growing thanks to this innovation.” 

Caption: A real record: 23 patients with a heart valve that grows with the body as well as Professor Haverich and Dr Breymann at the zoo. Photo: Tom Figiel/MHH

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