3rd Hannover Medical School Patient's Day 2016

by Ann McCormack and Jonathon Hargreaves
Production Operator and Senior Product Manager
Ann with Professor Malakh Shrestha, Hannover Medical School


On Saturday 19th November, at the Hannover Medical School, Professor Haverich, Head of the Cardiothoracic Department, and his team including Professor Shrestha, held their third Patient’s Day. Ann McCormack and Jonathon Hargreaves were privileged to represent VASCUTEK Ltd at this event.

The focus for the day was Thoraflex™ Hybrid patients. Hannover Medical School is the biggest user of Thoraflex™ Hybrid in the world having implanted over 140 devices since it was launched in November 2012.
Over 100 patients from Germany and Sweden were in attendance – making this event the largest group of Thoraflex™ Hybrid patients ever assembled.

Professor Shrestha and his surgical team presented on the different types of aortic diseases that the patients had been treated for and how the methods of treatment had changed over the years, the latest innovation being Thoraflex™ Hybrid used for the “Frozen Elephant Trunk” Technique.

Dr Susan Brunner from the Fallingbostel Clinic located in Northern Germany spoke on the important aspects of rehabilitation, a critical part of the recovery process. This clinic treats more than 4,000 patients every year for a range of conditions making it one of the biggest rehabilitation hospitals in Northern Germany.

Patient’s Day allowed patients to meet with each other and medical staff which is an excellent example of the rehabilitation process.

During a very emotional talk, Timo Söderlund from Sweden who had a Thoraflex™ Hybrid device implanted in Hannover, described the Aortic Dissection Self Help Awareness Group he had started. Since his operation, he has devoted his life to raising awareness for the benefit of survivors. This has now become an international group, which was celebrated on 19th September in Hannover this year.

The goal of the group is: “To let survivors know they are not alone. Together we can make a difference.”

Throughout the day, Ann demonstrated the intricate sewing skills that the Vascutek sewing team has and showed how over 2,500 stitches are used to manufacture one device.

The patients were very emotional and grateful when asking questions; here are some quotes from the day:

“I am so grateful for everyone at Vascutek who provided me and my partner with hope for the future.”

“A truly remarkable product with the ability to save lives.”

“You cannot put into words the thanks I owe to everyone at your company for the dedication you show in making this product.”

Ann commented “I was overwhelmed by the appreciation from the patients and surgeons regarding the work that we do at Vascutek. I found the stories from the patients very emotional but at the same time felt a sense of satisfaction that we at Vascutek had played a part in saving their lives. The day gave me great satisfaction for the job that I do.”

LEARN MORE about our ThorafelxTM Hybrid product

Ann demonstrates the intricate sewing needed to assemble Thoraflex™ Hybrid – a life-saving device