The patient story: successful rectal cancer treatment
Heinz Woyke is sitting on his bed at the Helios Clinic Koethen, his bag is packed, and he is leaving the Clinic today. Despite many concerns, he is able to smile again. We recall this turbulent year together with him.
August 2019: Heinz Woyke was at a scheduled visit to the urologist. The specialist advised him to undergo a preventive colonoscopy at the Helios Clinic Koethen. The diagnosis was shocking: 'rectal carcinoma', so-called rectal cancer. It quickly became clear that a part of his intestines would be surgically removed after chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
'Thanks to the care at the Helios Hospital Koethen, from the very beginning I felt that I was in good hands, and I fully trusted the team of professor Kipfmüller,' says Heinz Woyke.
Prof. Dr. med. Brigitte Kipfmüller is Chief Physician of the General and Visceral Surgery Department at the Helios Hospital Koethen.
The patient can benefit from close cooperation of professional experts, since this procedure is often performed at the Department of General, Visceral and Minimally Invasive Surgery, Helios Clinic Emil von Behring, Helios Hospital Network.
Real surgery process is different from the plan
Severe radiation-induced inflammation was revealed during the surgery. It was too risky to connect the colon and the rectum at once, and this stage had to be postponed. The repeated surgery was needed. Chief Physician of the Hospital Koethen quickly decided to transfer the patient to the Helios Hospital Emil von Behring in Berlin, which is part of the Helios Hospital Network, to Prof. Dr. med. Marc H. Jansen.
Close communication between divisions
The two hospitals work closely in the field of surgery. The patient can benefit from close cooperation of professional experts, since this procedure is often performed at Department of General, Visceral and Minimally Invasive Surgery, Helios Hospital Emil von Behring. At the same time, the medical care before and after surgery is provided at local health facility,' says professor Kipfmüller.
"The patient has access to dual competence. In the case of Mr. Woyke, we were asked for advice, and we offered our help as this surgery was technically complicated."
Professor Mark H. Jansen, Chief Physician, Clinic for General, Visceral and Minimally Invasive Surgery, Berlin, Southwest | Helios Hospital Emil von Bering, Helios Hospital Network
Dual competence in surgery
Chief Physician of the Hospital Koethen accompanied her patient to a partner clinic to perform the second surgery. In view of the peculiar initial situation with the intestinal 'stump' of 1.5 cm long, a special solution was required, a so-called transanal reconnection of the intestine.
Two Chief Physicians based on their surgical experience formed Heinz Woyke a temporary artificial anus to protect the new connection, a so-called protective small-intestine stoma.
'The professional exchange of information at the highest medical level and the consolidation of our competencies in the medical network allow for the provision of optimal medical care to our patients in the first place. I have known my colleagues from the Hospital Koethen for several years now and I know that we can rely on them for cooperation,' says professor Jansen.
'The decision of performing a second surgery in Berlin did not alarm me. I knew I could trust the doctors.' The surgery in Berlin was also successful, and soon the patient was transferred to Hospital Koethen again.
Back to Koethen
After the recovery phase, the last and decisive surgery is ahead: the closure of the artificial anus. On Monday, Heinz Woyke was accommodated in a ward at the Hospital Koethen. He was almost calm. On the same day, he underwent a surgery. As early as on Thursday, he was sitting on his bed, smiling and waiting for his discharge documents to be issued.
He said goodbye to professor Brigitte Kipfmüller: 'I cried with happiness when I went to the toilet for the first time. I owe a lot to my treating physicians and would like to sincerely thank the teams of both clinics. It has changed my life, now I am looking forward to swimming with my grandchildren,' says Heinz Woyke at parting.
High-quality medicine competence centres
The consolidation of competencies and benefits from specializations: 'We have been combining medical professions for a number of years and, thus, we act in accordance with our requirements for the quality and the minimum scope of services as provided by law. That is why we no longer offer all services in all departments, but in specific cases we analyse in which of our network facilities we can provide the best assistance to our patients. This also applies to the cases when a respective team works in another hospital. It is true, because in complicated cases experts are needed. And if you do something quite often, you can do it better,' says professor Sebastian Heumüller, Regional Manager, Eastern Regional Office of the Helios Hospital Network. 'Our patients can enjoy a complex medical offer. No matter which of our facilities a patient applies to, they can always expect to receive the best treatment regardless of the clinic location.'
"Our patients receive comprehensive medical services. No matter which of our facilities a patient applies to, they can always expect to receive the best treatment regardless of the clinic location."
Prof. Sebastian Heumüller, Regional Manager, Eastern Regional Office of the Helios Hospital Network