Information About PD Dr Ralf A. Kockro

PD Dr Ralf A. Kockro

Specialist in Neurosurgery
Zurich, Switzerland

Hirslanden Neurosurgery, Zurich - Logo

Treatment Focus

  • Microsurgery procedures for tumours of the brain, of the base of the skull and of the spinal cord
  • Microvascular neurosurgery for aneurysms, cavernomata and malformations (vascular malformation) with intraoperative angiography
  • Minimally invasive surgery for intervertebral disc prolapse and constricted spinal canal
  • Trauma to the brain and skull with cranial reconstruction
  • Microscopic and endoscopic surgery on the pituitary gland (hypophysis) and base of the skull
  • Endoscopic procedures for dysfunctions of the cerebrospinal fluid circulation and tumours / cysts in the region of the ventricular system
  • Minimally invasive surgical planning on the 3-D simulator and surgery in open MRI and CT

Medical Range

Range of Diagnostic Services

  • High-definition MRI / CT / PET imaging for precise surgical planning, in particular, functional MRI for depicting the motor centres and the speech centre
  • Three-dimensional surgical planning on the virtual simulator (Dextroscope II) for preoperative simulation of the most suitable minimally invasive approach and for planning a suitable surgical strategy
  • Complete specialist neurological diagnostics (MEP, SEP, AEP, NLG, VEP, EEG, Sleep Laboratory)
  • Diagnosis of epileptic lesions using electrode implantation
  • Diagnosis of normal pressure hydrocephalus by means of continual CSF drainage and neuropsychological assessment


Range of Therapeutic Services

  • The most up to date minimally invasive technologies in microscope- and endoscope-guided tumour surgery (e.g. glioma, astrocytoma, glioblastoma, meningeoma, neurinoma, ependymoma, metastases) with intraoperative imaging: intraoperative (open) MRI and CT, as well as intraoperative high-definition ultrasound
  • Microscopic integrated fluorescence imaging of tumours using 5-ALA
  • Vascular neurosurgery (aneurysm, AVM, angioma, dural fistula), controlled by intraoperative angiography, microdoppler and ICG angiography
  • Electrophysiological intraoperative neuromonitoring (MEP, SEP and cortical / subcortical mapping)
  • Surgery while conscious, in particular, for procedures on the centres of the brain controlling speech and movement
  • 2-D / 3-D neuronavigation including 3-D fibre tracking and fMRI
  • Endoscope-assisted microvascular decompression for trigeminal neuralgia and hemifacial spasm
  • Endoscope- and MRI-guided procedures for pituitary tumours (adenomata)
  • Endoscopic procedures in the ventricular system for hydrocephalus, tumours and cysts
  • VP shunt procedures (abdominal, endoscopic) for hydrocephalus
  • Epilepsy surgery including amygdalo-hippocampectomy with electrophysiological monitoring and intraoperative EEG
  • Injuries to the cranium and brain (traumatic brain injury), including the excision of haemorrhages, plastic closure, closure of CSF fistulae and cranial reconstruction with tailor-made plastic implants
  • Paediatric neurosurgery for tumours, malformations and hydrocephalus
  • Minimally invasive spinal surgery: microsurgical and endoscope-guided disc surgery and tailor-made minimally invasive surgery for narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal canal stenosis). Intervertebral disc replacement using cages or prostheses.
  • The most up to date microsurgery for tumours of the spinal cord and tumours of the spinal canal (astrocytomata, ependymomata, neurinomata, meningeomata, pilocytic astrocytomata), including ultrasound and permanent electrophysiological monitoring

About PD Dr Ralf A. Kockro

Dr Ralf Kockro is a specialist neurosurgeon at the Hirslanden Hospital, Zurich. Here, Dr Kockro provides the complete range of neurosurgery in one of the most up to date clinics in the whole of Switzerland. By collaborating with the Hirslanden Hospital, Dr Kockro combines excellent medicine, innovative science and the latest technical equipment in medical technology. Hence, the Hirslanden Hospital has a neurosurgical operating theatre with intraoperative imaging at its disposal, which is available at only a few sites. Using the intraoperative MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), CT (computer tomography) and angiography (vascular display) techniques, conditions in the region of the brain, the base of the skull and the spinal cord can be treated unerringly and with the maximum protection of the surrounding cerebral structures. This makes your procedure an even safer and more precise surgical technique with the best prospects of success.

Likewise, the prerequisite for a successful procedure is careful planning. Particularly for inaccessible and highly sensitive structures such as the brain, each step must be well considered. To this end, Dr Kockro and the Hirslanden Hospital have unique virtual reality surgical planning available. In the high-definition three-dimensional simulator, which merges all the image data from the MRI and the CT, Dr Kockro can simulate the entire surgical procedure in advance. Hence, inter alia, he is able to identify the best approach, as well as potential danger areas.

Dr Kockro has acquired his skills and knowledge over a number of years in renowned specialist hospitals in Germany, Switzerland, England and Singapore. His additional interest in modern science allows him to collaborate in important research projects in neurosurgery. His particular scientific emphases include intraoperative imaging with MRI and the development of an intraoperative navigation system.

Among Dr Kockro’s passions is his teaching and the training of young colleagues at the Medical Universities of Mainz and Zurich.

Dr Kockro’s special area is minimally invasive microneurosurgery. Using this method, Dr Kockro is able to remove, in particular, tumours in the brain and in the spinal cord gently. Less easily accessible tumours such as tumours of the hypophysis (pituitary adenoma) can be removed with the aid of endoscopy (a miniature camera on a fine, movable tube).

Dr Kockro collaborates closely with specialists in other disciplines in order to guarantee you the optimum result and the best care at each point during the treatment. This interdisciplinary team includes specialists in oncology, neurology, internal medicine, ENT, and endocrinology. The optimum further procedure following surgery is then decided on jointly.

A further specialist field of Dr Kockro is the surgical treatment of vascular changes in the brain. These include vascular protrusions (aneurysms) and potential vascular malformations. The position and the treatment progress can be followed in detail during the procedure via intraoperative angiography. To assess the risks of aneurysm, Dr Kockro himself has developed a risk calculator. In some cases in particular, the surgical risk is greater than the risk of an aneurysm haemorrhage, so that unnecessary surgery can be avoided using the risk calculator. (

Dr Kockro’s field also includes treatments on the spinal cord. Dr Kockro is an experienced surgeon, particularly in the area of herniated discs and constricted spinal canals. If possible, all procedures are performed minimally invasively, where the range extends to the insertion of artificial intervertrabral discs (intervertrabral disc prostheses).

In the field of cerebrospinal fluid circulation disorders, Dr Kockro works in close collaboration with the University of Heidelberg. In particular, Dr Kockro treats the various methods of drainage of hydrocephalus, as well as arachnoid cysts minimally invasively or endoscopically with the greatest of care.

Your safety during all procedures has the highest priority for Dr Kockro. For this reason, you will be constantly and intensely monitored during the procedure by a team of anaesthetists and neurologists, with the aid of state of the art neuromonitoring (monitoring of your nervous signals).

The website for PD Dr. med. Kockro can be found here.

For more information on neurosurgical topics and focal points, please visit

Curriculum Vitae

Since 2017 Director of the Center for Microneurosurgery, Hirslanden Hospital, Zürich
Since 2012 Senior Consultant and Co-Chair, Department of Neurosurgery, Hirslanden Hospital, Zurich
2009 – 2012 Consultant, Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital, Zurich
2008 Consultant, Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital, Mainz, Germany
2007 Consultant, Department of Neurosurgery, The Royal London Hospital, London, UK
2006 Senior Registrar, Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital, Mainz; Germany
1999 – 2010 Head of the Advisory Board for Neurosurgery, Advanced Medical Technologies, Bracco AMT, Princeton, USA
1999 – 2005 Registrar, Department of Neurosurgery, National Neuroscience Institute, Singapore
1999 Co-founder of the Dextroscope Virtual Reality Technology for Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery
1997 – 1998 Fellow of the BMBF (German Ministry for Research and Technology)
Department of Neurosurgery, National Neuroscience Institute, Singapore and Laboratory for Brain Imaging, National University of Singapore
1995 – 1996 Junior Registrar, Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Heidelberg, Germany
1987 – 1994 Medical school at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, Clinical Year at the University of California San Francisco, UCSF, Neurosurgery Department


  • Modern single and 2-bed rooms with flat-screen TV and WLAN, many with a balcony and a view of Lake Zurich
  • First-class, prestigious hotels of Hirslanden Hospital
  • Support for international patients by the Hirslanden International Bureau:  co-ordination and organisation of consultations, medical reports, cost estimation, hotel reservations, admission to rehabilitation clinics, health spa stays, as well as transport and travel advice
  • 24-hr interpreter service
  • On-site underground parking


Zurich Main Railway Station 5 km
Zurich airport 15 km

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PD Dr Ralf A. Kockro

Hirslanden Neurosurgery, Zurich
Center for Microneurosurgery
Witellikerstrasse 40, CH-8032 Zurich

T: +41 44 504 75 67
F: +41 44 387 21 31

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