Cardiac Surgery and Department of Percutaneous Treatment of Structural Heart Disease

Cardiac Surgery and Department of Percutaneous Treatment of Structural Heart Disease

We offer all modern cardiac surgical techniques from coronary surgery to cardiac valve reconstruction and replacement, as well as treatment of complex aortic aneurysms and implantation of cardiac support systems.

A special focus of cardiac surgery is the treatment of coronary artery disease by means of complete arterial bypass surgery, exclusively with both breast wall arteries. The Albertinen Cardiovascular Center is rated at 95% and thus is one of the leading centers for complete arterial coronary surgery in Germany.

There is a special department for cardiac anesthesia within the Department of Cardiac Surgery. All surgeries are performed by specialists with many years of experience in cardiac anesthesia.

Our heart surgery also has a department for the percutaneous treatment of heart valve disease by means of interventional techniques. The heart team, which always consists of a cardiologist, a cardiac surgeon, and a cardiac anesthesiologist, determines the best method of treatment for each patient.

Cardiac Surgery

Cardiac Surgery is a dynamic field that has developed rapidly in recent years with the development of new surgical procedures. Complete arterial revascularization with and without the use of the heart-lung machine; mitral, tricuspid, and aortic valve reconstruction; and aortic aneurysm surgery with reconstruction of insufficiency aortic valves are now all part of the daily routine. The development of new so-called minimally invasive surgical techniques using smaller and less invasive surgical approaches which, in particular, do not require a heart-lung machine, have made cardiac surgery less stressful for the patient. Patients with serious concomitant diseases benefit particularly from avoiding the use of a heart-lung machine, as they do not experience deterioration of preexisting organ dysfunction due to side effects of the heart-lung machine.


  • Coronary heart disease
  • Aortic aneurysm
  • Aortic valve disease
  • Mitral and tricuspid valve disease
  • Pulmonary valve disease
  • Tumors on the heart and adjacent organs
  • Pulmonary embolisms
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Rhythm disturbances
  • Treatment of:
    • Patients with congenital or acquired coagulation disorders
    • Patients without blood transfusion

Surgical methods/diagnostics

  • Arterial coronary bypass surgery without heart-lung machine (off-pump) using both mammary arteries
  • Heart tumor surgery
  • Bypass operation
  • Arterial revascularization
  • Radio frequency ablation
  • Aortic valve surgery
  • Aortic valve reconstruction
  • Mitral valve surgery
  • Aortic aneurysm surgery and endoluminal stenting
  • Artificial heart/assist systems
  • Pacemaker therapy
  • CRT therapy (re-synchronization therapy)
  • ICD implantations (internal defibrillators)

Prof. Friedrich-Christian Rieß, M.D.

Head Physician, Cardiac Surgery Clinic and Chair of the Albertinen Cardiovascular Center

Prof. Friedrich-Christian Rieß, M.D.


  • Prof. Friedrich-Christian Riess, M.D. has been Head Physician of Cardiac Surgery and Chairman of the Albertinen Heart Center at Albertinen Hospital since 2006. The clinical focus of his work is complete arterial coronary bypass on the beating heart without a heart-lung machine, reconstruction of heart valves, rhythm surgery, and the treatment of thoracic aortic aneurysms.

  • born in Reinbek, married, six children

  • Head Physician, Cardiac Surgery Clinic, and Chair of the Albertine Cardiovascular Center in Albertinen Hospital

  • Appointment as Professor of Cardiac Surgery, University of Hamburg

  • Private lecturer in the field of cardiac surgery, University of Hamburg

  • Private lecturer in cardiac surgery, University of Hamburg

  • Habilitation (post-doctoral qualification for a teaching career in higher education) in cardiac surgery, University of Giessen

  • Specialist Physician in Cardiac Surgery and Intensive Care, Department of Cardiac Surgery

  • Chief Senior Physician, Department of Cardiac Surgery, Albertinen Hospital, with Prof. Bleese, M.D.

  • Senior Physician, Department of Cardiac, Thoracic, and Vascular Surgery, Kerckhoff Clinic of the Max Planck Society in Bad Nauheim

  • Assistant Physician, Department of Cardiac, Thoracic, and Vascular Surgery in the Kerckhoff Clinic, Max Planck Society, Bad Nauheim

  • Experimental work for habilitation (post-doctoral qualification for a teaching career in higher education), University of Giessen, with Prof. G. Müller-Berghaus, M.D., Max Planck Institute, in the Department of Hemostaseology and Transfusion Medicine

  • Assistant Physician, Department of General Surgery, Albertinen Hospital, with Dr. Rohardt

  • Research Assistant, Department of Cardiac, Thoracic, and Vascular Surgery, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf

  • Staff Medical Officer, 2nd Naval Air Squadron, Tarp, Germany

  • Medical Corps Academy of the German Armed Forces, Munich

  • Doctorate "Summa cum laude" under the supervision of Prof. Laufs, Institute for Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf

  • Research Assistant working with Prof. Rodewald, Department of Cardiac, Thoracic, and Vascular Surgery, UKE Hamburg

  • License to practice medicine

  • Studies in human medicine in Hamburg

  • Abitur (high school) diploma


  • Special professional qualifications

    • 2017: Radiation protection
    • 2014: HeartWare Training Program for Long Term in LVAD Support
    • 2014: Advanced training – Basic principles of medical device law and legal bases of clinical trials of medical devices for clinical investigators
    • 2012: Radiation protection
    • 2009: Advanced training certificate, Hamburg Medical Association
    • 2008: Upgrading for specialist examiners
    • 2008: Advanced training certificate, Hamburg Medical Association
    • 2007: Advanced training certificate, Hamburg Medical Association
    • 2006: Advanced training certificate, Hamburg Medical Association
    • 1983: Flight surgeon course in Fürstenfeld-Bruck
  • Teaching assignment/Positions/Functions/Memberships

    • Member: German Society for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (DGTHG)
    • Member: European Society for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS)
    • Member: American Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS)
    • Member: Society for Heart Valve Disease (SHVD)
    • Member and expert assessor: Hamburg Medical Association
    • Member: Rotary Club Norderstedt
  • Licenses to conduct advanced training

    • Full license to conduct advanced training in cardiac surgery (4 years)
    • License to conduct advanced training in common trunk with Dr. Daniels, Department of General, Visceral, and Tumor Surgery, Albertinen Hospital (2 years)
  • Selected publications

    • Riess FC, Löwer C, Seelig C, Bleese N, Kormann J, Müller-Berghaus G, Pötzsch B: Recombinant hirudin as a new anticoagulant during cardiac operations instead of heparin: Successful for aortic valve replacement in man.J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 110: 265 -267, 1995.
    • Riess FC, Schofer J, Kremer P, Riess AG, Bergmann H, Moshar S, Mathey D, Bleese N: Beating heart operations including hybrid revascularisation: Initial experiences. Ann Thorac Surg 66: 1076 - 1081, 1998.
    • Riess FC, Bleese N, Riess AG: A new method for coronary occlusion and local stabilization during minimally invasive LIMA-to-LAD bypass. Eur J Cardio-thorac Surg, 15: 206-208, 1999.
    • Riess FC, Bader R, Kremer P, Kuehn C, Kormann J, Mathey D, Moshar S, Tuebler T, Bleese N, Schofer J. Coronary hybrid revascularization from January 1997 to 2001: a clinical follow-up. Ann Thorac Surg 73:1849-55, 2002.
    • Riess FC, Krankenberg H, Tübler T, Danne M: Aneurysm hybrid treatment by simultaneous replacement of ascending aorta and aortic arch and endoluminal stenting of the descending aorta. Heart Surg Forum.2006;9(1):E530-2.doi:10.1532/ HSF98.20051033.
    • Riess FC, Poetzsch B, Madlener K, Cramer E, Doll CN, Doll S, Lorke DE, Kormann J, Müller-Berghaus G. Recombinant hirudin for cardiopulmonary bypass anticoagulation: a randomized, prospective, and heparin-controlled pilot study. Thorac Cardiovasc Surg.2007;55(4):233-8.
    • Riess FC, Cramer E, Hansen L, Schifferlers S, Wahl G, Wallrath J, Winkel S,Kremer P. Clinical results of the Metronic Mosaic porcine bioprosthesis up to 13 years. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2010; 37:145-153.
    • Riess FC, Bader R, Cramer E, Hansen L, Schiffelers S, Wallrath J, Wahl G. The Mosaic bioprosthesis: Role of age on clinical performance in aortic position.J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2011;141:1440-1448.
    • Riess FC, Heller S, Cramer E, Awwad N, Amin W, Hansen L, Lehmann C, Schofer J, Stripling J, Winkel S, Kremer P: On-Pump versus Off-Pump Complete Arterial Revascularization Using Bilateral Internal Mammary Arteries and the T-Graft Technique: Clinical and Angiographic Results for 3,445 Patients in 13 Years of Follow-Up. Cardiology 2017;136:170-179
    • Riess F-C, Behrend C-A, Armin W, Heller S, Hansen L, Winkel S et al.: Complete arterial revascularization using bilateral internal mammary artery in T-graft technique for multivessel coronary artery disease in on- or off-pump approach: does gender lose its historical impact on clinical outcome? European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (2017) 1-7; doi:10.1093/ejets/ezx287.

Department of Percutaneous Treatment of Structural Heart Disease

Interventional transcathetic aortic valve implantation (TAVI), transfemoral, transapical, transaortic, and transjugular treatment of mitral valve insufficiency, as well as treatment with MitraClip.

Patients with heart valve disease and high operative risk are treated percutaneously (using catheter techniques). This is usually done via blood vessels in the groin area and always on the beating heart, thus avoiding the use of a heart-lung machine. The most common procedures are interventional transcathetic aortic valve implantation (TAVI) and transfemoral, transapical, transaortic, and transjugular [aortic valve implantation], as well as treatment of mitral valve insufficiency with MitraClip.

We use the most modern procedures for all these interventions, and we have a variety of different heart valve prostheses, which allows us to tailor a treatment to the individual patient.


  • Aortic valve stenosis
  • Aortic valve insufficiency (leakage)
  • Mitral stenosis
  • Mitral regurgitation
  • Tricuspid regurgitation (in studies)
  • Leakage at valve edges (paravalvular leakage) after valve replacement
  • Shunt defects (patent foramen ovale)
  • Closure of atrial or ventricular septal defects
  • Closure of atrial appendage

Surgical methods

  • Interventional transcathetic aortic valve implantation (TAVI) (transfemoral, transapical, transaortic and transjugular aortic valve implantation)
  • MitraClip

Julian Witt

Senior Physician, Department of Percutaneous Treatment of Structural Heart Disease

Julian Witt


  • Julian Witt has been Senior Physician, Department of Percutaneous Treatment of Structural Heart Diseases, Clinic of Cardiac Surgery, Cardiovascular Center, Albertinen Hospital, since 2019. This is the focus of his medical work, as well as cardiac MRI.

    After studying medicine, he began training as a cardiac surgeon at Christian Albrecht University in Kiel. In August 2001, Julian Witt moved to Albertinen Hospital and began his specialist training in internal medicine and cardiology. In addition to intensive care, his focus from the beginning has been on interventional cardiology and cardiac MRI. From 2014 to 2019, Julian Witt worked closely with Prof. Schofer in the field of percutaneous treatment of structural heart disease.

  • born in Kiel, married, no children

  • Quote from Wallenstein's Camp, by Friedrich Schiller: "Live and let live"

  • Senior Physician in the Department of Percutaneous Treatment of Structural Heart Diseases, Cardiac Surgery Clinic, Cardiovascular Center, Albertinen Hospital

  • Specialist Physician in Internal Medicine

  • Senior Physician in Cardiology, Albertinen Hospital

  • Assistant Physician in Cardiology, Albertinen Hospital

  • Assistant Physician in Cardiac Surgery, Christian Albrecht University of Kiel

  • Internship in Cardiac Surgery, Christian Albrecht University of Kiel

  • Medical studies at Christian Albrecht University of Kiel


  • Special professional qualifications

    • 2018: Additional specialty in interventional cardiology
    • 2011: Expertise in radiation protection
    • 2004: Additional specialty in emergency medicine
  • Teaching assignment/Positions/Functions/Memberships

    • German Cardiac Society (DGK)
  • Selected publications

    • Does valve in valve TAVR carry a higher risk for thromboembolic events compared to native valve TAVR? Eitan A, Brinkmann C, Haselbach T, Witt J, Schofer J. Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2020 Apr 1;95(5):1017-1021. doi: 10.1002/ccd.28391. Epub 2019 Jul 9. PMID: 31290241  
    • Percutaneous treatment of anterior mitral leaflet perforation using an AMPLATZER Septal Occluder. Tiburtius C, Witt J, Schofer J.EuroIntervention. 2018 Dec 20;14(12):e1286-e1287. doi: 10.4244/EIJ-D-18-00794. PMID: 30175962 No abstract available.
    • Combined jugular and femoral approach for treating severe tricuspid valve regurgitation. Eitan A, Tiburtius C, Witt J, Schofer J.EuroIntervention. 2018 Jan 20;13(13):1538-1539. doi: 10.4244/EIJ D-17-00662. PMID: 28846546 No abstract available.
    • Performance of the Evolut-R 34 mm versus Sapien-3 29 mm in Transcatheter aortic valve replacement patients with larger annuli: Early outcome results of Evolut-R 34 mm as compared with Sapien-3 29 mm in patients with Annuli ≥26 mm. Eitan A, Witt J, Stripling J, Haselbach T, Rieß FC, Schofer J. Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2018 Dec 1;92(7):1374-1379. doi: 10.1002/ccd.27588. Epub 2018 Mar 9. PMID: 29521464 Clinical Trial.
    • Tricuspid regurgitation is a predictor of mortality after percutaneous mitral valve edge-to-edge repair. Yzeiraj E, Bijuklic K, Tiburtius C, Witt J, Krause K, Steude J, Hansen L, Rieß FC, Schofer J. EuroIntervention. 2017 Feb 3;12(15):e1817-e1824. doi: 10.4244/EIJ-D-16-00909. PMID: 28117278
    • Transfemoral Tricuspid Valve Repair Using a Percutaneous Mitral Valve Repair System. Schofer J, Tiburtius C, Hammerstingl C, Dickhaut PO, Witt J, Hansen L, Riess FC, Bijuklic K. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2016 Feb 23;67(7):889-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2015.11.047. PMID: 26892424 No abstract available.
    • Increased Risk of Cerebral Embolization After Implantation of a Balloon-Expandable Aortic Valve Without Prior Balloon Valvuloplasty. Bijuklic K, Haselbach T, Witt J, Krause K, Hansen L, Gehrckens R, Rieß FC, Schofer J. JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2015 Oct;8(12):1608-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jcin.2015.07.013. Epub 2015 Sep 17. PMID: 26386760
    • Successful transfemoral Edwards SAPIEN 3 valve in valve implantation in a patient with a degenerated aortic bioprosthesis associated with severe paravalvular aortic regurgitation. Bijuklic K, Hansen L, Witt J, Schofer J. Clin Res Cardiol. 2015 Jan;104(1):92-3. doi: 10.1007/s00392-014-0760-9. Epub 2014 Sep 17. PMID: 25227426 No abstract available.

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