Prof. Horstmann: Department for Colorectal Cancer Mönchengladbach (North Rhine-Westphalia)

Prof. Dr Olaf Horstmann
Head Physician of the Department for General, Visceral, and Endocrine Surgery, Head of the Colorectal Cancer Center
Specialist in Colorectal Cancer
Mönchengladbach, Germany

Städtische Kliniken Mönchengladbach - Logo

Treatment Focus

  • Surgical treatment of colorectal cancer
  • Transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM) for rectal cancer (rectal cancer)
  • Surgical tumor ablation, possibly in combination with radiation or radiation chemotherapy
  • Total mesorectal excision (TME)
  • Minimally invasive robotic surgery (daVinci)
  • Metastatic surgery of the liver

About Prof. Dr Olaf Horstmann

Prof. Dr Olaf Horstmann is a specialist in colorectal cancer and head physician of the Department of General, Visceral & Endocrine Surgery and head of the colorectal cancer center in Mönchengladbach.

The Elisabeth-Krankenhaus Rheydt, certified by the German Cancer Society, is one of the best colorectal cancer hospitals in Germany and offers patients coordinated, interdisciplinary, holistic treatment at a very high medical level. Since 2018, the colorectal cancer center of the Städtische Kliniken Mönchengladbach has generally been operating with the da Vinci system to avoid larger skin incisions as far as possible.

High Level of Expertise in the Treatment of Colorectal Cancer at the Certified Colorectal Cancer Center in Mönchengladbach

In cooperation with internal medicine colleagues in gastroenterology, patients with colorectal cancer are treated on an interdisciplinary basis at Elisabeth-Krankenhaus Rheydt under the direction of Prof. Dr Olaf Horstmann. The Colorectal Cancer Center has the latest generation of high-resolution video endoscopes for diagnostics and surgical planning. In the second step, the tumor can be removed entirely by Prof. Dr Olaf Horstmann and his team in the ideal case by surgical intervention.

Chemotherapy or radiation is often recommended to secure the therapy result in the long term. An optimal and individualized therapy regimen is developed in the weekly interdisciplinary tumor conference.

State-of-the-Art Minimally Invasive Surgical Technique for Intestinal Tumors: Transanal Endoscopic Microsurgery (TEM) 

The technical term transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM) describes a procedure primarily used for the surgical removal of smaller cancerous tumors and precancerous lesions in the rectal region. This technique uses the natural anus as an entry point and therefore does not require incisions on the skin's surface.

In particular, adenomas (precancerous lesions) can be removed easily with this technique since their growth is limited to the superficial mucosal layers. In addition, the lowest section of the rectum is hidden deep in the lesser pelvis and eludes conventional surgical access via the abdominal cavity. Ablation via the anal canal significantly reduces the surgical risk for the patient.

Total Mesorectal Excision (TME) for Rectal Cancer

The rectum is embedded in a cushion of protecting fat called the mesorectum and surrounded by lymphatic tissue. In malignant rectal cancer, the mesorectum is often penetrated by local metastases. To reduce the risk of local recurrence, total mesorectal excision (TME) removes not only the degenerated rectal tube but also the surrounding lymphatic and fatty tissue. This surgical method also allows essential nerve cords to be well exposed and spared to maintain proper continence and sexual function. At the certified colorectal cancer department at Elisabeth-Krankenhaus Rheydt, this procedure can also be performed with the help of DaVinci robotics to achieve maximum precision.

DaVinci: Complex Minimally Invasive Robotic-Assisted Treatment for Colorectal Cancer

The DaVinci surgical system was developed in California on behalf of the U.S. Armed Forces to enable surgeons to operate remotely in crisis areas. After being introduced into the civilian healthcare market, avant-garde technology quickly conquered the European market. Although surgery over long distances is technically possible, the surgeon sits directly at the operating table with the control console.

But the technology is impressive even without the remote control. The robotic arms transfer the surgeon's movements without vibration to the sterile disposable instruments, which can be moved more flexibly than the human hand, thanks to their seven grades of freedom.

The camera optics provide the surgeon with a tenfold magnified, three-dimensional image, as a result of which even tiny blood vessels and nerve cords can be better protected.

Currently, robotics cannot be programmed and thus cannot perform autonomous movements or even surgery. Therefore, real-time surgeries by an experienced surgeon and several assistants remain essential.

Prof. Dr Olaf Horstmann has completed a certified training course at the European Academy for Colorectal Robotic Surgery. He has gained much experience and routine at the robotic console through numerous procedures performed annually.

Surgical Tumor Ablation in Combination with Radiation Therapy or Chemotherapy

Surgery alone is usually insufficient to fight large tumors effectively and sustainably. Therefore, radiotherapeutic or medicinal methods are also used to defeat the tumor. If the tumor is too extensive at the time of diagnosis to be safely removed by surgery, neoadjuvant chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be used. This reduces the tumor mass so surgery can be performed, and the extent of surgical intervention minimized.

Even after removal by the surgeon, a combination with chemoradiotherapy may be helpful. The planning of holistic cancer therapy is always done in close collaboration with colleagues in internal medicine.

Specialist in Surgical Therapy of Liver Metastases

Within his field, Prof. Dr Olaf Horstmann has specialized in the surgical removal of malignant metastases in the liver, which are a frequent consequence of colon carcinoma due to spreading via the bloodstream. Thanks to numerous developments in treatment methods, survival rates have significantly increased, even for liver metastases.

With state-of-the-art resection devices, liver tissue can be cut exceptionally gently by ultrasound application compared to conventional incision. In addition, since the liver is highly perfused tissue, intraoperative blood loss, transfused blood volume, and overall surgical risk can be minimized by sparing the vessels and ductal structures in the organ.

Certified Colorectal Cancer Hospital - Scientific Research and Holistic Cancer Treatment

As an academic teaching hospital, the Städtische Kliniken Mönchengladbach is affiliated with the medical faculty of Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf. As a result, the hospital and its patients benefit from the latest scientific findings in the field of colorectal cancer research.

This holistic academic view of the entire organism and its psyche is of utmost importance in successfully treating cancer. Only by combining a wide variety of specialties into an approachable human medicine is the patient empowered to defeat their cancer.

Please, visit the website of Elisabeth-Krankenhaus Rheydt for more information on Prof. Dr Horstmann


Medical Team

  • Prof. Dr Huan N. Nguyen
    Specialist in Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, Intensive Care Medicine, Diabetology, Medical Tumor Therapy
  • Dr Sebastian Schmitz
    Specialist in Visceral Surgery and Special Visceral Surgery


Mönchengladbach Main Station 6 km
Düsseldorf Airport 43 km
Weeze Airport 68 km
Köln/Bonn Airport 82 km

Information About Mönchengladbach

specialized physicians and medical centers in Mönchengladbach

The independent German city of Mönchengladbach is located west of North Rhine-Westphalia. Mönchengladbach is well-connected and easily accessible by public transportation. With more than 271,000 inhabitants, it ranks as the largest city in the left Lower Rhine region. A colorful mixture of historic buildings and modern architecture can be admired in the various districts. In the district of Rheydt, a charming central meeting place in the form of the market square is located, which also serves as a venue for many significant events. In addition to many opportunities to pursue a passion for sports, Mönchengladbach also offers an impressive sports stadium - Borussia Park.


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Prof. Dr Olaf Horstmann
Head Physician of the Department for General, Visceral, and Endocrine Surgery, Head of the Colorectal Cancer Center

Städtische Kliniken Mönchengladbach – Elisabeth-Krankenhaus Rheydt
Colorectal Cancer Center
Hubertusstraße 100, D-41239 Mönchengladbach

T: +49 2166 274 3020
F: +49 2166 394 2749


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