Prof Dr Thomas Gruenberger
Departmental Head
Specialist in Liver surgery
Vienna, Austria

Prof. Gruenberger - Logo

Information about Prof Dr Thomas Gruenberger

Treatment focus

  • Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, cancer of the liver, hepatoma)
  • Hepatic metastases (of colorectal cancer, breast cancer, renal cell carcinoma, etc.)
  • Carcinoma of the gallbladder and bile duct (cholangiocellular carcinoma, CCC, Klatskin tumour)
  • Benign hepatic tumours (haemangioma, liver cell adenoma, focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH), hepatic cysts)
  • Conditions of the biliary tract (gallstones (cholelithiasis), biliary colic, cholangitis, primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), stenosis of the biliary tract, biliary tract cysts)
  • Conditions of the gall bladder (inflammation of the gall bladder (cholecystitis), perforation of the gall bladder

Medical range

Range of Diagnostic Services

  • Radiological examination techniques (e.g. computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance tomography (MRT))
  • Precise determination of the disease stage in tumour conditions (primarily for liver metastases, advanced stage colorectal carcinoma), cancer of the gallbladder, carcinoma of the biliary tract (CCC, cholangiocellular carcinoma)
  • Examination of the gallbladder and biliary tract: clinical (palpation, e.g. Murphy’s sign for inflammation of the gallbladder), sonography (ultrasound examination), computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance tomography (MRT), ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography), PTCD (percutaneous transhepatic cholangio-choledochography), intravenous cholecystocholangiography (i.v. gallbladder), MRCP


Range of Therapeutic Services

  • Surgical resection (removal) of liver metastases (sole curative treatment for liver metastases)
  • Multidisciplinary care and organisation of the treatment for liver metastases, primarily of colorectal carcinoma (cancer of the colon), carcinoma of the gallbladder and carcinoma of the biliary tract (CCC, cholangiocellular carcinoma)
  • Creation of interdisciplinary, individual treatment strategies for rich patient in the “Tumour Board” (meeting of hepatic surgeons, (interventional) radiologists, radiotherapists, gastroenterologists, medical oncologists, pathologists, anaesthetists, surgery co-ordinators)
  • Combination of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (chemotherapy prior to surgical procedure; can reduce tumours, thus reducing the extent of surgery) or adjuvant chemotherapy (chemotherapy following surgical procedure in order to reduce or prevent tumour recurrence)
  • Palliative chemotherapy co-therapy if the disease stage is inoperable (improvement in the quality of life, extension of survival period)
  • Radiotherapy (suitable for small numbers and inoperable liver metastases)
  • Tumour destruction (radio frequency ablation (RFA) or microwave ablation = thermoablation (local thermal destruction of tumour tissues, for inoperable patients and small numbers of metastases)


Prof. Thomas Gruenberger is acknowledged across Austria as a leading specialist in the field of oncological hepatobiliary surgery (liver surgery and biliary tract surgery). Currently, he is the surgeon who has performed the most procedures on the liver and the biliary system in Austria (more than 2,000 surgical procedures completed on the liver).

Prof. Gruenberger is currently the Head of Department of Surgery No. 1 at the Rudolf Foundation Hospital in Vienna. This consists of 2 surgical wards, a surgical out-patients’ clinic and a modern operating theatre in which the entire field of general and accident surgery is covered by Prof. Gruenberger and his team. Today, if technically possible and reasonable, minimally invasive procedures (using the keyhole technique) are more frequently used here. Prof. Gruenberger has also been the Head of Hepatobiliary Surgery at the Medical University of Vienna (MUW) for a number of years. Here, he also trains a great number of colleagues in his own specialist field. Prof. Gruenberger perfected his knowledge and surgical expertise, inter alia, during a two-year stay in Australia, at St George Hospital in Sydney, where, besides other duties, he was also Assistant Head of the Liver Unit.

In addition to these activities as the Head of the Department of Surgery No. 1 at the Rudolf Foundation Hospital, Prof. Gruenberger is the proprietor of his own private practice, headquartered in Vienna. 

In his specialist field, Prof. Gruenberger deals with the treatment of patients with cancer conditions of the liver and the biliary system. Above all, this concerns liver metastases (e.g. of colorectal cancer), hepatic cancer (liver cell carcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, HCC), cancer of the gallbladder or tumours of the biliary tract (cholangiocellular carcinoma, CCC, bile duct carcinoma).

Cancer of the liver is generally a consequence of longstanding chronic conditions and changes in the liver. These are caused e.g. by viral inflammation of the liver, alcohol-related changes (AFLD) or pathological fatty degeneration of the liver (“fatty liver”, NAFLD). Generally, due to chronic inflammation, these causes initially induce cirrhosis of the liver (modification of the connective tissue of the liver) and may lead to cancer of the liver. The treatment of choice for hepaocellular carcinoma is partial removal (liver resection), which is performed by a surgeon such as Prof. Gruenberger. Hepatic metastases are colonies of malignant tumour cells of tumours in other organs in the liver. Colorectal carcinoma (carcinoma of the colon, colorectal cancer), which is very common, for example, in an advanced stage, generally spreads its tumour cells to the liver. Since the clinical picture for hepatic metastases is generally a part of a more complex patient history, it is essential that the counselling and treatment of each patient is individual and patient-orientated. With the aid of the tumour board, such as the tumour board in which Prof. Gruenberger and his colleagues participate weekly, this comprehensive, interdisciplinary care is guaranteed.

Together with liver cell carcinoma and hepatic metastases, tumours of the biliary tract and gallbladder are the third most frequent malignant disease of the liver. As well, for bile duct carcinoma and for tumours of the gallbladder, the only option with any chance of healing is a surgical procedure, and, in Prof. Gruenberger, patients with these conditions have come to the right specialist.

The mortality (mortality rate) of the liver procedures performed by Prof. Gruenberger is approximately 2% and thus below the international average. Thanks to years of experience and continually improved surgical techniques, the complications in the surgical procedures on the hepatobiliary system has been drastically reduced, and the use of stored blood, for example, has decreased markedly (today, less than 10% of liver patients require blood products). In the specialist field of hepatic and bile duct surgery, the multidisciplinary management of liver metastases, hepatic tumours (liver cancer, HCC), carcinoma of the gallbladder and cholangiocellular carcinoma utilised under Prof. Gruenberger is also the scientific and medical standard.

Visit Prof. Gruenberger’s website here.

Curriculum vitae

1982 – 1991 Studies in human medicine (University of Vienna)
1991 Doctorate
2002 Post-doctoral qualification at the University of Vienna “New insights into the surgical treatment of patients with hepatic metastases”
1991 – 1998 Training as a specialist in general surgery and transplantation at the Vienna University Hospital (MUW), Department of General Surgery; training partly at Baden Hospital (Lower Austria)
1998 Consultant at the University Surgical Hospital, Vienna
1999 – 2001 Practice in surgery and research at St George Hospital Sydney, University of New South Wales, Australia, specialising in oncological surgery focusing on the liver / gallbladder / pancreas, Assistant Head of the Liver Unit
2001 – 2014 Head of Hepatobiliary Surgery at the Medical University of Vienna
2001 – 2014 Head of the Quality Management in Surgery working group at the Medical University of Vienna
2001 – 2014 Consultant with in-patient beds at the University Surgical Hospital, Vienna
October 2002 Extraordinary Professor at the University of Vienna
2002 – 2014 Head of the Liver Team of the Department of General Surgery, MUW
Since April 2014 Head of Department of Surgery No. 1 at the Rudolf Foundation Hospital (2015: GI surgery Tumour Board input 60% of the total patients discussed; oncology GI resections >100, pancreas 25, liver 91)
2016 Updated Management in Health Care, Danube University Krems, graduated MSc


Leading positions in scientific associations:

  • 2002 – 2014: Board Member of the Austrian Society of Surgical Oncology (ASSO)
  • 2003 – 2006: Head of the HPB Surgery working group, ASSO
  • 2005 – 2009: General Secretary of the ASSO
  • Since 2008: Board Member of the European Society of Surgical Oncology (ESSO)
  • Since 2014: Head of the Membership Committee (ESSO)
  • Since 2012: Board Member of the European Society of Digestive Oncology (ESDO)
  • Faculty Member of the Pan-European Consensus Conference for the Treatment of Patients with Metastatic Colorectal Carcinoma
  • Faculty Member of the World Congress of GI Cancer
  • Austrian representative in the HPB section of the UEMS



  • Austrian Surgical Association
  • German Surgical Association
  • Austrian Gastroenterology and Hepatology Association
  • European Gastrointestinal Surgery Association
  • International HPB Surgery Association
  • European HPB Surgery Association
  • European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)
  • European Society for Surgical Oncology (ESSO)
  • Austrian Society for Surgical Oncology (ASSO)
  • European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO)
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
  • Austrian Haematology and Oncology Association (OEGHO)

Medical team

  • Dr Wolfgang Blauensteiner
  • Dr Gabriele Hastermann
  • Dr Elfriede Lebisch
  • Dr Michael Pramhas
  • Dr Michael Vrba
  • Dr Gerhard Wagner
  • Dr Anton Landsiedl
  • Dr Martin Schermann
  • Dr Heidemarie Uher


Prof. Gruenberger speaks fluent German and English.

Prof. Gruenberger - Portrait Prof Dr Thomas Gruenberger

Liver surgery
Juchgasse 25, A-1030 Vienna

Thursday 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.


Vienna Main Railway Station 1.25 miles
Vienna Airport 10.6 miles

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Prof Dr Thomas Gruenberger
Departmental Head

Rudolf Foundation Hospital
Department of Surgery No. 1
Juchgasse 25, A-1030 Vienna

T: +43 1 711 65 4107
F: +43 1 711 65 4109


Thursday 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.



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