Academic Hospital Cologne-Merheim

location_on Cologne, Germany
8.9/10 from 23 Votes

Department of Adult and Pediatric Ophthalmology (274433)

Norbert Schrage

Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h.c.

Norbert Schrage

Specialized in: adult and pediatric ophthalmology

About the Department of Adult and Pediatric Ophthalmology at Academic Hospital Cologne-Merheim

The Department of Adult and Pediatric Ophthalmology at the Academic Hospital Cologne-Merheim offers the full range of medical services for the diagnostics and treatment of eye diseases in patients of all age groups. To provide optimal medical care, the department has special ambulatories and progressive operating rooms with all necessary equipment, including microscopes and laser devices. The department operates an Eye Bank, which allows the patients to receive suitable donor material as soon as possible.

The Chief Physician of the department is Prof. Dr. med. Norbert Schrage. According to the Focus magazine, the specialist has repeatedly been ranked among the top German doctors specializing in the treatment of retinal diseases.

The diagnostic measures are usually provided on an outpatient basis. Depending on the patient's complaints, the doctors can conduct general physical examination, refractometry (objective assessment of eye refraction), visual field test, fluorescein angiography, optical coherence tomography, corneal examinations using Pentacam, etc. 

One of the priorities of the department is the surgical treatment of cataracts. In most cases, operations can be performed on an outpatient basis, under local anesthesia using eye drops. The patient does not experience pain, but some discomfort may occur. In certain cases, the operations can be performed under general anesthesia, after an additional examination (blood test, ECG, X-ray). Prior to the operation, the attending physician explains its features and provides the necessary preparation. The yye recovery after surgery takes about 4-6 weeks. The patient may experience a burning sensation or a foreign body immediately after surgery, but this will disappear soon.

Another common disease that the department's ophthalmologists often have to deal with is glaucoma. The development of pathology is associated with elevated intraocular pressure. At the initial stages, conservative methods can be effective, namely the use of special eye drops. If conservative treatment does not yield positive results, the doctors resort to a surgical intervention. To confirm the indications for surgery, the patient requires a short-term hospitalization, during which the dynamics of the intraocular pressure level is monitored within 24 hours. The surgical procedure involves the formation of a drainage path under the conjunctiva to drain the fluid contained inside the eyeball. Due to the persistent increase in intraocular pressure, this procedure is quite complicated and requires professional training. 2-3 weeks prior to surgery, the patient stops using anti-inflammatory eye drops and antihypertensives, which include acetazolamide (only according to the ophthalmologist's prescription). It is also necessary to stop taking anticoagulants (for example, marcumar or aspirin) in advance. As a rule, the operation is performed under general anesthesia.

The department also has exceptional competence in the field of corneal transplantation. In some cases, this procedure is the only method, which allows the patient to restore vision in case of clouding of the cornea, serious deformities of the cornea, etc. When sampling and processing donor material, the department cooperates closely with the Aachen Centre of Technology Transfer in Ophthalmology. When performing corneal transplantation, the department's ophthalmologists are guided by three decisive factors – high quality of the corneal transplant (in accordance with the standards of German Eye Banks), proper preparation of the surgical field, as well as uniform suturing of the corneal transplant. In addition, the patients require careful postoperative monitoring in order to exclude transplant rejection or its timely treatment in the case of development of this process. To provide postoperative monitoring, the department has highly specialized technical resources, including combined systems for corneal topography and pachymetry, manual and automatic keratometers, a laser endothelial scanning confocal microscope, an ultrasonic pachymeter and others. The department's specialists have long experience in work with the most complex diseases and corneal lesions (for example, an acid burn, severe injuries, keratoconus), therefore they guarantee the best treatment result.

The range of medical services of the department includes:

  • Diagnostics and treatment of cataract
  • Diagnostics and treatment of glaucoma
  • Vitreoretinal surgery for the treatment of vitreous and retinal diseases
  • Refractive eye surgery (laser vision correction)
  • Lasik technique
  • Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)
  • Intraocular lens placement
  • Intravitreal injections in macular diseases
  • Keratoplasty and corneal replacement surgery (corneal transplantation)
  • Treatment of chemical burns of the eye and its appendages
  • Laser treatment of retinal diseases
  • Laser treatment of secondary cataract
  • Removal of intraocular tumors (for example, choroidal melanoma)
  • Surgical treatment of tumors, eyelid defects, including plastic surgery
  • Surgical treatment of orbital pathologies
  • Strabismus correction in adults and children
  • Diagnostics and treatment of retinopathy in premature infants
  • Other medical services

Curriculum vitae of Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h.c. Norbert Schrage


  • 1984 Study of Human Medicine at the University Cologne.
  • 1986 Study of Human Medicine at RWTH Aachen University.
  • 1989 Third State Examination, RWTH Aachen University.

Clinical and Scientific Career

  • 1989 Junior Research Fellow, Department of Ophthalmology at the University Hospital RWTH Aachen.
  • 1990 Doctoral Degree, Faculty of Medicine at RWTH Aachen University.
  • 1990 Assistant Physician, Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital RWTH Aachen.
  • 1991 Admission to medical practice.
  • 1994 Research Internship in Aarhus, Denmark.
  • 1995 Senior Physician, Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital RWTH Aachen.
  • 1996 Establishment of a Separate Working Group "Keratoprosthestics".
  • 1997 Habilitation with Venia legendi in Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, RWTH Aachen University.
  • 1997 Leading Senior Physician in the Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital RWTH Aachen.
  • 1998 Founding of the Aachen Center for Technology Transfer in Ophthalmology as an independent research institution under contract with RWTH Aachen University and various research institutions.
  • 2001 - 2003 Acting Head of the Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital RWTH Aachen.
  • 2002 Extraordinary Professor of Ophthalmology, RWTH Aachen University.
  • 2003 Head of the Department of Ophthalmology, RWTH Aachen University.
  • Since 2004 Head of the Department of Adult and Pediatric Ophthalmology at the Academic Hospital Cologne-Merheim.
  • 2007 Foundation of Eye Bank Cologne in Merheim.


  • 2014 Honorary Doctor of the Pirogov Medical University, Moscow.
  • 2010 - 2016 Repeated ranking in the Focus magazine as top-class specialist in the treatment of retinal diseases.


  • 1995 Board certification in Ophthalmology.
  • 2016 Certificate of Research Fellow in clinical trials of medications.
  • Examiner for the second and third State Medical Examination.
  • Certified Research Fellow in preclinical studies.
  • Authorized Laser Safety Officer.
  • Certification in ultrasound diagnostics, laser surgery, surgical ophthalmology, photodynamic therapy.
  • Permission for intravitreal injections (Association of Operating Ophthalmologists, VOA).

Research Interests

  • Microsurgery of the anterior and posterior eye segments.
  • Obtaining biomaterials, medical care optimization.

Photo of the doctor: (c) Kliniken der Stadt Köln gGmbH 

Department of Adult and Pediatric Ophthalmology.
Academic Hospital Cologne-Merheim:

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