Aortic valve | University Clinic Bonn

Heart valve surgery

Animation with unique 3D model of the heart

The aortic valve is the outlet valve of the left ventricle. All the blood from the lungs is pumped through it before it supplies the body with oxygen. If the aortic valve is narrowed, the blood flow is obstructed. If the narrowing is severe, shortness of breath, chest pain and dizziness or even fainting may occur. Replacing the diseased valve with an artificial aortic valve is then the treatment of choice.


Alternating between real film and 3D animation, patients are informed in an easily understandable way about the structure, function and disease of the aortic valve and its replacement using the special, minimally invasive approach at the University Hospital Bonn. In addition to informing patients, the recently completed film serves to promote the image of the Bonn Heart Center and its positioning as a first-class provider of care.


The 3D model of the incised heart used for the animation is unique in the world (for an overview see cover & 0:57-1:07 min.). The incision of the left half of the heart and aorta was developed by us 10 years ago and refined in the course of numerous cardiology animation projects.
The course of the section in the 3D model is chosen in such a way that a good overview of the processes inside the heart is possible and at the same time important functional elements such as valves and papillary muscles are completely preserved. The path of the blood from the lungs into the body through the atrium, ventricle and aorta can be seen at a glance, making it easier for medical laypersons in particular to understand the complex spatial relationships. Diseases of the aortic and mitral valve, their effects on blood flow and the resulting need for surgical intervention can be visualized in an optimal way.


We have also developed a similar section for the right side of the heart. However, this is used less frequently, as surgical interventions are usually performed in the high-pressure system in the left side of the heart due to the higher wear and tear.

The overall concept and live-action filming were developed by Felix Heyder. We contributed the conception and production of the 3D animations. Many thanks to Felix Heyder, Press Spokesman of the Heart Center Bonn and Prof. Dr. Farhad Bakhtiary, Director of the Clinic for Cardiac Surgery at the University Hospital Bonn for the excellent cooperation.