The Heidelberg Surgical Department enjoys an excellent reputation worldwide – thanks to its excellence in major abdominal operations, procedures on the pancreas, heart and vessels, and especially because of the many transplantations conducted here with excellent long-term results. One of the first kidney transplantations in Germany took place in Heidelberg in 1967. Today, the Heidelberg Transplant Center is one of the leading centers in Germany. Essential to our success is the close interdisciplinary cooperation between gastroenterologists, nephrologists, immunologists and surgeons.
One focus of the Heidelberg Transplant Center is living donors. More than 400 healthy persons have donated a kidney for a relative with kidney failure in Heidelberg. Living kidney donations are conducted using so-called “keyhole surgery”, a minimally invasive procedure. For living liver donations, a piece of the organ is removed and transferred. This piece then grows into a nearly full-sized liver within several weeks.
Barely thirty years ago, it was a daring experiment when Heidelberg doctors gave a patient with blood cancer his own stem cells – a first time in medical history. In the meantime, stem cell transplantation has become routine and is often the only chance of a cure for people suffering from blood or lymph node cancer. At Heidelberg University Hospital, almost 300 stem cell transplants are conducted each year, with many patients being cured. Thus, Heidelberg University Hospital is one of the largest centers for blood stem cell transplantation in Germany and Europe.
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