University Hospital Cologne

location_on Cologne, Germany
9.5/10 from 82 Votes

Department of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery (304072)

Gerardus Bennink

Prof. Dr. med.

Gerardus Bennink

Specialized in: pediatric cardiac surgery

About the department

The Department of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at the University Hospital Cologne under the direction of Prof. Dr. med. Gerardus Bennink offers diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart diseases in children of all age groups. A particular focus of pediatric cardiac surgery is neonatal heart surgery. Thanks to a high qualification of the team and exceptional treatment quality, the department has been recognized as the interregional center. In addition, it is part of the Heart Center Cologne.

The department has at its disposal all methods of pediatric cardiac surgery for performing heart surgery in the first days after the child's birth. These include, amongst others, Norwood procedure to treat hypoplastic left heart syndrome, arterial switch operation in transposition of the main arteries, correction of total anomalous pulmonary venous connection, surgery to treat complex aortic coarctation, as well as placement of the aortopulmonary shunt.

In addition, there is also provided an effective surgical treatment of children of more advanced ages. For example, correction of the tetralogy of Fallot, atrioventricular canal, ventricular septal defect, aortic valve stenosis and coronary operations in infants with Bland-White-Garland syndrome (ALCAPA, ARCAPA). The Fontan and hemi-Fontan operations are standard surgical procedures for the treatment of children suffering from univentricular heart.

The main focuses of the Department of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery include:

  • Minimally invasive treatments in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory
  • Balloon angioplasty or stenting for vessel dilatation
  • Closure of the vessels causing excessive blood circulation by means of spirals or occluders
  • Implantation of artificial heart valves through the inguinal region
  • Hybrid treatment of complex heart defects in the hybrid operating room of the Heart Center (heart surgery and cardiac catheterization)
  • Interventional treatment of congenital heart defects in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory (minimally invasive treatment methods)
  • Treatment of congenital / genetically-related cardiac arrhythmia (Brugada syndrome, LQTS, ARVC)

Curriculum vitae

  • 1979 - 1986 Medical education in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
  • 1986 - 1987 Assistant Physician in cardiothoracic surgery, Maastricht, the Netherlands.
  • 1987 - 1993 Education in cardiothoracic surgery, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
  • 1989 - 1990 Fellow of the Texas Heart Institute, Houston, Texas, USA; under the direction of Dr. O. H. Frazier and D.A. Cooley.
  • 1993 - 1996 Higher education in pediatric cardiac surgery, Utrecht, the Netherlands; under the direction of Prof. Dr. JF Hitchcock.
  • 1994 - 2003 Senior Physician of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University Hospital Utrecht, the Netherlands; surgery in adults and children, as well as heart and lung transplantations.
  • 1995 PhD Thesis: Mechanical support prior to cardiac transplantation (ISBN 90393-0836-5).
  • 1996 Fellow, Pediatric Heart Surgery, Birmingham, UK; under the direction of W. J. Brawn.
  • 1996 Pediatric Heart Surgery, Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, New York, USA; Prof. Dr. J. M. Quaegebeur.
  • 2003 and currently Head of the Department of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery at the Heart Center of the University Hospital Cologne.


  • Doctor performed more than 4,500 surgeries, 3,000 of them in children.
  • The best survival rate in Europe.
  • Author of more than 50 international publications.
  • Reviewer in international specialized journals.


  • Fellow of the European Board of Cardiothoracic Surgery (FEBCTS).
  • Society of Thoracic Surgery (STS).
  • European Association for Cardiothoracic Surgery (EACTS).
  • German and Dutch Society of Cardiothoracic Surgery (DGTHG & NVT).
  • Association of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery of the German Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.

Department of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery.
University Hospital Cologne:

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