Hospital St. Elisabeth Grevenbroich

Department of General, Visceral, Vascular Surgery and Traumatology (300553)

Lothar Köhler

Prof. Dr. med.

Lothar Köhler

Specialized in: general surgery, visceral surgery, vascular surgery, traumatology

About the department

The Department of General, Abdominal, Vascular Surgery and Traumatology at the Hospital St. Elisabeth Grevenbroich, headed by Prof. Dr. med. Lothar Köhler, specializes in abdominal and vascular surgery, as well as in the treatment of victims of accidents. The team of the department uses both established methods of conventional surgery and modern minimally invasive techniques. The department has 120 beds.

In the field of general and abdominal surgery, the physicians of the department have a wide range of surgical techniques. These interventions are often laparoscopic, i.e. they are performed by means of the so-called keyhole technique. This sparing technique is also available for many patients who need complex abdominal surgery, e.g. operations on the stomach, colon or thorax. The department is especially focused on the treatment of benign and malignant intestinal tumors. The doctors of the department operate patients with bowel cancer in accordance with the latest scientific and technical achievements.

In addition to the treatment of malignant intestinal tumors, the specialists of the department deal with the treatment of esophageal, stomach, pancreatic and liver cancer. Also, to provide medical treatment of malignancies, doctors install port systems. The patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis) receive treatment that corresponds to all current recommendations (in cooperation with gastroenterologists). In this case, preference is also given to minimally invasive surgical techniques.

Surgery to treat abdominal and inguinal hernias can be performed on both an outpatient and inpatient basis. The standard methods include implantations of an artificial mesh designed to strengthen an abdominal wall or a groin area. In the field of endocrine surgery, surgeons perform interventions on the thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal glands. When performing thyroid surgery, doctors use the most advanced intraoperative neurophysiological methods for testing nerves of the vocal cords. In addition, the treatment of morbid obesity involves the use of special surgical techniques, including sleeve gastrectomy and the so-called gastric bypass surgery. 

The range of surgical services of the Department of Vascular Surgery comprises all interventions on the abdominal aorta and its branches below the renal arteries. To prevent strokes, the medical team of the department also performs operations to treat carotid artery stenosis. The service range of the department also includes conservative and surgical treatment of circulatory disorders in leg arteries, especially in smokers and diabetics.

The key focuses of general and visceral surgery are

  • Gastrointestinal surgery
  • Esophageal surgery
  • Surgery of the gallbladder and bile ducts
  • Liver and pancreatic surgery
  • Rectal diseases
  • Minimally invasive surgery (gallbladder, inguinal hernias, appendix, large intestine, stomach and esophagus, partial resection of the lung, adrenal gland, spleen)
  • Hernia repair (with or without mesh placement)
  • Obesity surgery (sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass surgery)
  • Thyroid and parathyroid surgery
  • Lung surgery in benign and malignant diseases
  • Surgery to remove metastases
  • Implantation of pacemakers and defibrillators
  • Installation of port systems for chemotherapy

The key focuses of vascular surgery are

  • Surgery on the carotid artery, arteries of the abdominal cavity, pelvis and legs
  • Bypass surgery
  • Shunt surgery (dialysis shunts)
  • Balloon dilatation and stent implantation
  • Local dissolution of blood clots (lysis)
  • Modern methods of venous surgery (e.g., in varicose veins)

The key focuses of traumatology are

  • Treatment of polytrauma
  • Injuries of the thoracic and abdominal cavity
  • Injuries of bones, ligaments, tendons and joints of the limbs
  • Hip and pelvic injuries (e.g. femoral neck fracture)
  • Injuries and diseases of the hand
  • Arthroscopy
  • Introduction of bone cement into the vertebrae (the so-called vertebroplasty)

Curriculum vitae

Graduate medical education 

  • 1977-1983: the University of Cologne 

Professional activity 

  • 1984-1989: assistant doctor of the 2nd surgical department of the University of Cologne (prof. Dr. H. Troidl) 
  • 1989-1990: internship abroad in Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA (Prof. Dr. K.A. Kelly) 
  • 1990-1994: assistant doctor of the 2nd surgical department of the University of Cologne (prof. Dr. H. Troidl, Prof. Dr. T. Tilling) 
  • 1995-1999: Senior Physician of the 2nd surgical department of the University of Cologne (prof. Dr. H. Troidl) 
  • since 1999: head physician of the Department of General, Visceral, Vascular Surgery and Traumatology 
  • since 2006: deputy director of the medical unit 

Defense of a doctoral thesis 

  • 1984: Institute for Normal and Pathological Physiology, University of Cologne, Department of Applied Physiology (Prof. Dr. H.J. Hirche) 

Obtaining a post of assistant professorship / a post of professor 

  • 1996: obtaining a post of assistant professorship in the specialty "Surgery" at the Medical Faculty of the University of Cologne 
  • 2001: appointed as freelance professor at the University of Cologne 


  • 1992: Surgeon 
  • 1994: subfield: Traumatology 
  • 1997: basic specialty: Visceral Surgery 
  • 1999: Traumatologist (Trauma Surgeon), specializing in accidents on the way to work 
  • 2004: upgrading in minimally invasive surgery (Camic, DGVC) 
  • 2007: Special Traumatology 
  • 2012: Special Visceral Surgery 

Rights to raise qualification /further training 

  • Basic training in surgery (general trunk), 24 months 
  • Visceral surgery, 48 months 
  • Special visceral surgery, 30 months 

Membership in specialized societies 

  • German Society of Surgery 
  • German Society for General and Visceral Surgery 
  • The Lower Rhine-Westphalia Association of Surgeons 
  • Cologne Surgical Association 
  • German Hernia Treatment Society 
  • Professional Union of Surgeons 
  • Convent of Leading Hospital Surgeons 
  • European Association for Endoscopic Surgery (E.A.E.S.) 
  • International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO) 
  • Mayo Clinic Alumni Association 
  • Member of the Working Group on Quality Assurance in Surgery / Orthopedics in North Rhine-Westphalia 
  • Invited surgeon 

At various times worked as invited surgeon in:

  • Milan/Italy 
  • Birmingham/England 
  • Mayo Clinic/USA 
  • San Antonio/USA 
  • Maastricht/The Netherlands 
  • Basingstoke/England/France 
  • San Francisco/USA 
  • Verona/Italy 
  • Horgen /Switzerland 
  • Strasbourg/France 

Range of interests and main specialization 

  • Endoscopic, minimally invasive surgery techniques 
  • Colorectal surgery 
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases 
  • Quality of life of patients undergoing gastroenterological surgery 
  • Obesity surgery 
  • Traumatology

Department of General, Visceral, Vascular Surgery and Traumatology.
Hospital St. Elisabeth Grevenbroich:

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