Prof. Jacobs from the Maastricht Heart+Vascular Center to speak at the 2019 MEN meeting in Drammen
We are happy to announce that Prof. Michael Jacobs from Maastricht has promised to be one of our medical lecturers at the Drammen meeting in September 2019. In preparation of the meeting he has kindly sent us an article outlining the structures and specialities of the Maastricht Heart+Vascular Center. Below we forward this article to you for information and wish to take the occasion to invite our member organizations to ask their national Marfan centres whether they would be interested in presenting their relative strength and specialities likewise.
Surgery for aortic disease in patients suffering from Marfan syndrome at the Maastricht Heart+Vascular Center
The Maastricht Heart + Vascular Center (HVC) is a university medical center where highly specialized patient care goes hand in hand with ground-breaking research and innovation. The HVC has a top ranking position in the Netherlands and has positioned itself internationally on the basis of its unique profile and excellent clinical and research outcomes.
The uniqueness of Maastricht Heart+Vascular Center
The Maastricht Heart + Vascular Center combines all heart and vascular specialities in one coherent, interdisciplinary organisation. In this model, cardiology, cardiac surgery, vascular surgery, vascular medicine, vascular neurology and vascular dermatology and their related outpatient clinics and clinical and research activities are fully integrated. The distinctive feature of the center is the organisational integration of all cardiovascular specialities in to one single functional unit.
Facts and figures
The Maastricht HVC employs more than 700 care professionals and has a capacity of 110 beds. Each year 6,100 cardiovascular procedures are performed, including 2,000 surgical procedures (of which more than 100 complex open en endovascular aortic repairs), 1,000 percutaneous coronary interventions (widening narrowed blood vessels) and 800 ablations (correcting heart rhythm problems). The center has a state of the art multidisciplinary outpatient clinic, which serves 110,000 patients a year. The center has four catheter labs, four operating rooms and three hybrid operating rooms.
The Maastricht HVC is a leading partner in a number of international networks for research and high-end care. The center also welcomes a continuous stream of foreign medical specialists seeking knowledge and experience of complex cardiovascular pathologies. Every year we organise several congresses and courses. One of them was founded by Prof Jacobs. This annual meeting hosts more than 2000 participants from all over the world and provides a wide spectrum of training and education in cardio-vascular subjects.
Maastricht Heart + Vascular Center focuses on four therapy areas:
- Aortic disease
- Heart rhythm disease
- Heart failure
- Thrombosis and hemostasis
High volume center offering optimal clinical outcome
The surgeons and interventional radiologists of the HVC have extensive experience in open and endovascular treatment of complex aortic diseases, including aortic arch and thoraco-abdominal aortic aneurysms (TAAA). Endovascular repair of TAAA is performed by multidisciplinary teams, applying the most recent modern stent graft technologies. These lesser invasive operations are performed in state of the art hybrid operating rooms.
In patients with Marfan syndrome, open surgery is still the gold standard procedure. These complex operations are performed by a dedicated team and routinely carried out with extra corporeal circulation, organ protection and monitoring of the brain and spinal cord. By means of these adjunctive measures, complications are significantly reduced.
Repairing the entire aorta is a complex operation that is only performed in a limited number of European hospitals. The multidisciplinary team is led by Professor Michael Jacobs, who is a cardiovascular surgeon, performing these operations since decades. Professor Geert-Willem Schurink is a leading authority in endovascular procedures and Dr. Ehsan Natour is an internationally recognized surgeon in ascending and aortic arch repair. Professor Werner Mess and his team are responsible for the neuromonitoring part of the procedures, adding to the low incidence of brain and spinal cord injury. Due to the excellent clinical outcomes, especially in Marfan patients, this dedicated team is internationally regarded as a global leader in complex aortic operations.
The International Patient Office is there to help the patient
The International Patient Office supports and assists the patient when applying for treatment abroad with his/her health insurer. To support this application, within 24 hours (after receiving relevant medical data) the patient will receive a quote for treatment and a medical file containing the diagnosis and proposed treatment plan. This set of information makes it possible to apply for treatment (S2 approval) at the patient’s health insurer of National Health Board (NHB). The International Patient Office has several case managers, university-trained healthcare professionals, who are serving as a single point of contact for all of the patient’s questions and requests. Once the health insurer or NHB approved the treatment the case manager will guide the patient through the treatment application process and be there to answer all of his/her questions before, during and after the patient’s treatment. The International Patient Office also has a hospitality service. If desired, the case manager can organise travel, accommodation, visa application and interpreting services tailored to the patient’s specific needs.
More of the assessment and treatment of TAAA can be find here.
Curriculum vitae of Professor Michael Jacobs
Following his medical studies in Maastricht, Professor Jacobs was trained as a surgeon. He then moved to the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, Texas to learn complex aortic aneurysm operations. In 1993, he became head of vascular surgery at the Amsterdam University Medical Centre and launched an aortic center, focussing on patients with extensive aortic aneurysms. In 2000, he was offered the chair of surgery at the Maastricht University Medical Center, and later Director of the Heart + Vascular Center. In 2005, he was also appointed professor and chief of vascular surgery at the Aachen University Medical Center (Germany). Since then, he chairs two departments in two different countries. Since 23 years, he organizes the annual European Vascular Course. His main interest is in the most optimal treatment of complex aortic diseases, especially in young patients with Marfan syndrome. He shares his experiences with multiple cardio-vascular centers in Europe, training local teams to perform these procedures in their own environment.