Cardiovascular Surgery

Our Team      Photogallery

A brief overview od the Cardiovascular Surgery Specialized Center

At the center of cardiovascular surgery, we provide comprehensive care across the whole range of our specializations: cardiac surgery and vascular surgery. We ensure 24-hour surgical service for all emergencies of the cardiovascular system, including traumas.

Yearly, we provide outpatient care to more than 4.000 patients and we carry out around 1.000 major surgeries. Half of these surgeries are cardiac procedures and half are vascular interventions. The number of such procedures increases each year.

We closely cooperate with the Specialized Center of Surgery, Anesthesiology, Radiology and ICM, as well as our Specialized Center of Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine, since recovery after surgery can be lengthy.

How will your detailed schedule look like? What kind of surgeries, procedures, methods or treatment can you observe? Check what can you see by shadowing every member of the mentoring team.

 

Is this specialty placement ideal for you?

  • As this surgical placement allows you to be in close contact with the patients, before, during and after their cardiac surgery, you need to be determined to pursue this specialty and ready to withstand all the demanding aspects of our work. You will stand side-by-side with our skilled cardiovascular surgery team members and observe every single detail they perform within their job - how our patients are prepared for surgeries, what kind of procedures and methods we use and what kind of post-operative care is required in particular cases
  • This placement suits perfectly to those of you, who desire to understand the comprehensiveness of cardiovascular surgery and for all students, who are still uncertain about their desired healthcare profession. Among our mentors are doctors, nurses, as well as, healthcare assistants. This way, you can get a complete picture of the work in our center with all its trimmings, where each member of the team is irreplaceable.

Let's take a closer look at the specialties…

Cardiosurgery is a specialty targeting a wide range of pathologies. As part of the treatments provided, we use various types of surgeries and approaches, according to the specific procedure. Vascular surgery is a branch of medicine focused on veins and arteries. The vascular issues we deal with include arterial occlusive disease, aneurysmal disease and blockages in the bloodstream.

We perform ischemic heart disease surgery (aortocoronary bypass), including complete arterial revascularization and operations without extracorporeal blood circulation, as well as the whole range of acquired defects of valves surgeries with emphasis on restorative operations (plastic surgery) of the mitral and aortal valves. We further focus on allotransplantation of human valves into the aortal position, especially in cases of infectious endocarditis (we performed the first operation of this kind in the Czech Republic in 1994). We provide surgical treatment in cases of heart failure, thoracic aorta diseases (including implantation of stent grafts), congenital heart defects in adult patients and atrial fibrillation (MAZE). We also offer the complete range of vascular surgeries, including treatment for aneurysms of the abdominal aorta, treatment for peripheral artery diseases and dialytic approaches.

Our team has performed a total of 40 extracorporeal membrane oxygenations (ECMO) on patients from our department, the 3rd Department of Surgery, the Specialized Center of Anaesthesiology, Resuscitation and ICM. Within the transplantation programs, 31 lung transplants have been performed via extracorporeal circulation. We have collaborated on four heart transplants in patients with congenital heart disease at the Children's Heart Center.

The department includes an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Intermediate Care Unit and two standard units. We use two modern operating rooms in the central complex, and we share a septic operating room with the Specialized Center of Orthopedics and the Specialized Center of Surgery. Our patients can be hospitalized in the 12-bed ICU, as well as in the intermediate and standard units, which have a flexible number of beds.

In cooperation with our Specialized Center of Surgery we have performed an ex-vivo lung reconditioning using extracorporeal circulation. This new method will save more lives, as it keeps the out-of-body lungs usable.

Our center includes the following specialized outpatient facilities:

  • Cardiology
  • Cardiac surgery
  • Vascular diseases
  • Congenital heart defects in adults
  • Arrhythmology after surgical treatment for atrial fibrillation
  • Child vascular diseases
  • Treatment of ischaemic defects of the lower extremities
  • Clinic for patients after surgical treatment of infective endocarditis

Our cardiology and vascular diseases outpatient facilities are in daily operation with the constant presence of cardiologist and surgeon, not only for consultative purposes, but also for indications, preoperative preparation and postoperative patient checks.

Who do we take care of?

In our department, we examine patients suspected of having any heart problems. Our patients also come to us for post-surgical and other medical check-ups.

We perform acute and elective cardiac operations across the spectrum of the specialty (except for heart transplantation) by using both on-pump and off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting. We also treat aortic aneurysms (thoracic and abdominal) and aneurysms of large vessels, including dissecting aneurysms of the ascending and descending aorta. With the exception of heart transplants, we provide a full range of treatments in the field of cardiovascular surgery.

Our methods and procedures

Our coordinated team performs these procedures within the department:

  • Video-assisted mini-invasive surgery of the mitral valve
  • Mini-invasive surgery of the aortic valve, using valve prosthesis without stitches
  • Video-assisted mini-invasive surgery of some congenital cardiac defects (e.g. defect of the atrial septum)
  • Comprehensive care for adult patients with congenital heart disease
  • Surgical treatment of infectious endocarditis, including the treatment of drug addicts in cooperation with the Department of Infectious Diseases of the MUH
  • Hybrid mini-invasive solution for polymorbid patients with ICHS (PCI – stent + MIDCAB – bypass via a minithoracotomy without extracorporeal circulation)
  • Mechanical cardiac and lung supports – EMCO
  • Reconstructive (sparing) surgeries of the aortic valve
  • Revascularization of the myocardium without using extracorporeal circulation

How does the usual schedule look like?

  • Work in our specialized center varies and it includes a lot of direct contact with the patients. If you are interested and confident, you can expand your schedule and stay for both the day and the night shift. We guarantee you will be in your placement at least 25 hours per week.

If you are not sure whether this choice is suitable for you, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will discuss your experience and motivation and come up with the best solution for you.

Our Team


Photo Jan Šibík

MUDr. Radovan Fiala

Head of the Unit

Doctor


I started to study medicine with the clear goal to become a surgeon, specifically in cardiology. I like the challenge of being the one on whom the fate of an organ or a limb depends. During my university studies I was taking internships in hospital and assisting in minor surgeries. I was so proud and excited when I got into the Cardiovascular Surgery Specialized Center as during that time a specific program in vascular surgery started to evolve. Being a part of this process was particularly inspiring for my professional career.

Why did I become a healthcare professional?

As a child I dreamed about being a dustman, firefighter, or cosmonaut, but these ideas quickly evolved into more practical plans. In seventh grade, I decided that I definitely wanted to become a doctor. I wanted to be helpful and I loved the smell of hospitals. My mother was a nurse and the unknown scent from her clothes– the aroma of hospital disinfectant – welcomed me every time she got home. During my first year of lyceum, I was wandering about becoming an archeologist but finally I realized it is better to be a doctor with an interest in archeology than an archeologist with an interest in medicine. My last moment of hesitation occurred just before applying to medicine. I came up with the idea of fullfiling my childhood dream and applying to the military university to become a pilot. But for lack of interest, this subject wasn’t open that year. Maybe it was a sign of destiny to not give up on medicine and that is how I became a doctor.

You will try, you will see, you will know.

What do I love the most about my specialty?

For me the main benefit of this specialty are the immediate results and improvements for the patient after a surgery. Furthermore, current vascular surgery takes place not only in a typical operating room, but also in an angiographic one. I have the chance to provide various types of surgeries – from treatment for varicose veins, to minor and major reconstruction procedures, to organ transplants. This specialty combines modern techniques with surgical and endovascular interventions. Vascular surgery is for me a field that brings new challenges all the time.

What can you see by shadowing our team?

This placement gives you an excellent opportunity to see how the week really looks for a person in my position. Apart from an everyday routine in the patient’s wards and morning rounds, you will also participate in common x-ray indication seminars and see vascular surgeries. If you are interested, you may stay for the afternoon and night shift. On Mondays I work in the outpatient department where I meet patients that have come in for their first vascular exams (concerning venous or arterial system) or meet with patients for post-surgical and other medical check-ups. On Wednesdays, I participate in endovascular interventions together with my colleague – an interventional radiologist - in an angiographic operation room. In the afternoon I have outpatient work again, but this time for children that suffer from inborn or acquired diseases of the vascular system and children after reconstructive procedures. On Thursdays and Fridays I usually conduct surgeries, for example to correct lower limb disorders. Apart from seeing the work of a vascular surgeon you will have the opportunity to study the problems of vascular system diseases.

Apart from being a healthcare professional...

I like motorcycling, traveling, historical literature, movies, theater, scuba diving, taking photographs, and sports (squash and mountain biking)

My motto…

Never know, never try.

Photo Jan Šibík

Libor Javorka, DiS.

Head of a Shift for Nurses and Healthcare Assistants

ICU Nurse


I have been working in healthcare for ten years. I followed my path from being a paramedic and healthcare assistant in the UK to be the head of the shift at my intensive care unit. Since many patients are in very difficult life situations and their families are worried about their lives, the work can sometimes be very tiring. But I am still very satisfied when I can see them making progress, and I leave the hospital with the feeling that my work has a purpose.

Why did I become a healthcare professional?

My decision was actually a matter of circumstance. After studying electronics in high school, I was supposed to fulfill a one-year military service requirement if I did not continue with my studies. As I did not plan on a career in the army, I was looking for a discipline in which I could gain valuable knowledge and use it later. That turned out to be healthcare. I chose the higher school of nursing, specifically as a qualified paramedic. After finishing my studies, I became qualified as a general nurse and became registered. During my work, I passed the aptitude test and kept practicing, and a year later I passed the graduation exam in the field of general nursing.

I can guarantee that whatever will be happening, you will be there with me to see it!

What do I love the most about my specialty?

In addition to the satisfaction from patients´ recovery, I appreciate very much that I have a certain amount of independence. I can modify the parameters of the ventilators, the dosage of drugs, and react to condition changes of my patients. I like this responsibility, as I can use my experience without being dependent only on the decisions of my other colleagues or doctors.

What can you see by shadowing our team?

I work as the head of the shift so I determine who will take care of which patient. Therefore, I have an overview of all the patients in the Intensive Care of the Cardiovascular Surgery. There is a lot to see but just to have an idea, you may see a non-invasive ventilation that is provided by a full-face mask or a helmet. And if we have a patient on heart support, I will explain to you counterpulsation, which is an inserted catheter through the left ventricle to the aorta with a balloon that helps the heart with stretching. Here are few more procedures to mention: the changing of bandages on surgical wounds, invasive inputs, heart electrodes, and marrows, including their removal; ECMO device; dilution and administration of drugs through a vein catheter by a dosimeter and a pump to a gastric probe.
We will also be looking after patients who are going in for surgery differ from patients with complications in an acute phase. Procedures will vary in patients with chronic diseases who are hospitalized in our department for several weeks. But the care of patients is not my only task. As a head nurse, I need to organize the work of other nurses, as well as medicine and sterilized tools.

Apart from being a healthcare professional...

My wife and I used to spend our free days hiking in Czech Republic or Austria. We went biking, kayaking, and snowboarding in the winter. When our son was born a year ago, it was necessary for us to set our hobbies aside and give our free time to him. We go for shorter trips which our dog enjoys. Italian cuisine, museums, and fine wine are also things that I appreciate.

My motto…

Just do not be afraid. When it is not about life, it is about nothing.

Photo Jan Šibík

Jakub Lorenc

ICU Health Assistant

Health Assistant


I have always wanted to work in a department where one needs to decide very quickly and without mistakes in difficult and crucial situations, where life is hanging in the balance. I wanted to have a chance to talk to patients about their feelings and witness their progress. These criteria were essential for me when choosing my specialty. The Intensive Care Unit of the Cardiovascular Surgery Department matches them all.

Why did I become a healthcare professional?

Since I was a child I have had a positive attitude towards people. I enjoyed helping them, especially older people, so my choice to become a healthcare professional was easy to make. I wanted to find out how the human body works, how it can be cured, what is essential for basic vital functions, and how various actions within the body occur. Mainly, I wanted to be able to help an injured person when the situation occurs, to closely cooperate with doctors, and to watch how the disease or injury evolves during treatment.

Our department is one of the most interesting and most specialized ones in the Czech Republic. It will be exciting for students who like active jobs and want to learn something new. You will be able to watch medical procedures and see acute conditions that occur very often in our department, due to its nature.

What do I love the most about my specialty?

Choosing the perfect department to work at took some time for me. Finally, I decided to work in the Intensive Care Unit, and I bealieve it was the perfect choice. I like acute procedures such as intubation, artery cannula, or thorax punctures. And I thoroughly enjoy when we take care of someone for a couple of months and finally he or she goes back home. The attitude of my colleagues is amazing.

What can you see by shadowing our team?

At our department you will see acute conditions that actually occur very often here. I will show you ventilated and even spontaneously breathing patients or special devices such as intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation, ECMO, and others. In the meantime, you will have an opportunity to ask about anything that interests you. In some cases, you will also see the acute revision of the thorax directly in the department, as transport to an operating room could endanger the life of the patient. Furthermore, you may witness an open thorax due to massive bleeding during surgery or caused by poor healing and secondary infection. The professionals must work as a team.

Apart from being a healthcare professional...

I play bass guitar, read scientific literature, play video games, go for trips, and travel abroad. I enjoy taking part in contests with a paramedic theme.

My motto…

What is meant to happen will happen.

Photo Jan Šibík

Bc. Anna Palánová

ICU Nurse

Nurse and Paramedic


Thanks to my profession I know very well how precious our health is. Many people do not realize this and take it for granted until they get sick and often there's no way back. This is the reason why I enjoy every day a bit more than if I would work in a different field. As in that case I wouldn’t know that everything can dramatically change within seconds. 

Why did I become a healthcare professional?

I have become a healthcare professional by chance! After finishing high school, I was not accepted to my dream faculty of journalism. That was why I started to attend paramedical college. At the beginning, I thought that I would just spend there a year and then try to pass the journalism faculty exams. But then I fell madly in love with healthcare! During my studies, I gained hands on experience in many specialty departments and also in paramedicine. Something I enjoyed more, something less, but I have known ever since that I want to work in healthcare for the rest of my life. I have been working as a professional for two years now and I enjoy my job with every moment more and more. I have no doubts about my choice.

I always do my best to allow my patient to be as independent on the devices and medicaments as possible. My goal is to make the patients to be self-sufficient – that is what they physically and psychically need.

What do I love the most about my specialty?

First and foremost, I work with amazing people and this means everything to me. I can always ask them for help or advice and without such cooperation, I would have never become a good nurse. My colleagues have become a part of my family. What I really love is the work with people. If you do this kind of job you really get to know your patients as I take care of one patients for two or three shifts in a row. My patients are usually older and they share with me their stories and life experiences. To me it is a wonderful profession.

What can you see by shadowing our team?

I will show you comprehensive care we take of our patients. Apart from my daily tasks you’ll shadow I will explain to you how to communicate with your patient and how to behave in certain situations professionally. A person, who must stay all day long in one room, who can socialize with a very limited number of people, who is stressed and worried about his or her health condition and who is not able to take care of himself or herself requires a completely different approach than others. I will help you to understand by concrete examples what is typical for patients after heart surgery and whenever there will occur something unusual, we will talk about it in details. You can take for granted that I will try to leave an extra time to explain you how the ICU works and what is its role within the Cardiovascular Surgery Specialized Center. All that in prestigious department in the largest hospital in central Europe.

Apart from being a healthcare professional...

I love stories in all forms. My passion is literature, especially fantasy, sometimes I also write when I am not fighting my addiction to TV series smile My other joy is travelling, my favorite place is definitely London. Sometimes I like to relax while swimming or riding a longboard.

My motto…

We are all stories in the end. Just make it a good one.

Photogallery

LOVE WHAT YOU DO WITH EVERY HEARTBEAT