The scientific and medical advances that make “modern medicine” possible are ultimately impossible without professionals carrying out the actual procedures. Dr. Hartmuth Bittner, MD, PhD, FACS, has for the past three decades offered advanced and minimally invasive cardiac surgery and heart and lung transplantation to patients. As a result, people whose lives hung in the balance have been able to get back on track. These are people like Jonni Hultin, who had a life-saving bilateral lung transplant performed under the skilled guidance of Dr. Bittner and his team. While Dr. Bittner has performed more than 100 heart transplants, 400 lung transplants and more than 4,000 valve and coronary surgery, hearing from an individual patient after the operation makes it all worth it.
Sept. 16, 2012 was a fateful day for Hultin, who was 53 at the time. After being admitted to Orlando’s Florida Hospital for surgery that day, she had already suffered five collapsed lungs in the span of about three months. In Dr. Bittner’s professional medical opinion, the evaluation process should begin immediately and a lung transplant would take place very soon. The procedure itself lasted a mere five-and-a-half fours and the recovery period was less than two weeks long. “My recovery was amazing because of the care I received, the way the surgery was done less chance of infection,” said Hultin. Now 59, she says the fact that there was no rejection immediately after the surgery is a testament to the professionalism of Dr. Hartmuth Bittner and his team. “If it would have not been for the team and Dr. Bittner, I honestly believe I would not be here today. I try to pay it forward every chance I get to make them and my donor proud,” Hultin said, adding that she received excellent care before and after the procedure and was encouraged to contact them at any time with questions. Among the activities she has been able to do since the surgery include walking in six 5K events, driving across the U.S. from Florida to Salt Lake City in 2018 for the Transplant Games of America, caring for a 94-year-old neighbor and traveling across Europe for five weeks to celebrate her third “breathday.”
Dr. Hartmuth Bittner is proud of his 30 years of work in the medical field and his numerous published works prove that he’s a leader in his field of practice. His education at the National Academy of Sports Science and Sports Medicine (BS), the University of Heidelberg Medical School (MD) and the Leipzig Heart Center, University of Leipzig (PhD) also helped make his long and personally-rewarding career possible. However, it’s true testimonials from former patients that put things in perspective and Hultin’s life experiences in the years since her surgery are a point of pride for Dr. Bittner.