Operation successful – butcher Helmut finally has his pig heart


The spare part has the serial number 7479302 and is ready in a sterile tray: a pig heart valve.

The patient is also ready in the operating room: Helmut Hofmann, 65 years old. He ran his butcher’s shop in Balingen (Baden-Württemberg) for 42 years. Until the heart barely cooperated, he had to close the business at the end of April (BILD am SONNTAG reported).


Tuesday morning, just after 11.30 a.m .: The open heart surgery has started

Tuesday morning, just after 11.30 a.m .: Open heart surgery has startedPhoto: Baumann Sascha / all4foto.de

Pig heart should bring a new quality of life

Now Helmut is getting the new heart valve implanted. A pig heart saves a butcher. BILD am SONNTAG is part of the three and a half hour procedure.

Helmut is under anesthesia. He jokingly made it out with the anesthetist that in a dream he was going to Italy on a scooter.

It is 11.23 a.m. when the chief physician Prof. Dr. Ralf Sodian (51) makes a seven-centimeter incision at the Mediclin Heart Center in Lahr, then uses a bone saw to open his patient’s chest. The surgeon is supported by the anesthetist, a senior physician, a cardio technician, an operating room nurse, an anesthetist and an instrumental nurse. A heart-lung machine beeps, keeps the blood circulation going.


View into the open chest: the new heart valve (top left) is already in place

View into the open chest: the new heart valve (top left) is already in placePhoto: Baumann Sascha / all4foto.de

Helmut’s heart is exposed. The electric scalpel obliterates the blood vessels during the cut – work on the open heart. After further incisions, the heart valve appears.

“The heart valve is massively calcified,” says Professor Sodian. “Lumps of lime could come off and clog important blood vessels. The result would be a stroke. “

The new heart valve is inserted. Attached to the aorta with 16 sutures and 112 knots. After working with the saw, filigree work is now required with the needle.


At the end of April, Helmut (65) and Ingrid (62) Hofmann closed their butcher shop in Balingen after decades

At the end of April, Helmut (65) and Ingrid (62) Hofmann closed their butcher shop in Balingen after decadesPhoto: Sascha Baumann / all4foto.de

Butcher is fine again after surgery

After 70 minutes, Helmut’s heart beats independently again. 24 hours later he is sitting in his hospital bed in the intensive care unit. Weakened but happy: “Things are looking up.” His health is now the most important thing for him: “There is still something to come in life. I deserve it. “


Operation successful: Butcher Helmut finally has his pig heart
Photo: BILD

If all goes well, he will leave the hospital next Monday and begin a rehab lasting several weeks. And then in September – as planned – drive to Lake Garda with his wife Ingrid (62) on scooters.

On real roads. Not under anesthesia. And Helmut’s new heart will beat faster with joy.

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