Pancreatic Cancer, Abdominal, & Liver Specialist Dusseldorf Prof. Knoefel

Prof Dr Wolfram T. Knoefel, FACS
Professor und Chairman
Specialist in Abdominal Surgery
Dusseldorf, Germany

University Hospital of Dusseldorf Clinic for General, Visceral, and Paediatric Surgery - Logo

Treatment Focus

  • Oncological surgery/metastasis surgery (especially metastases in the liver e.g. colo-rectal cancer)
  • Hepatobiliary surgery (liver surgery/bile duct surgery e.g. liver tumours (hepatocellular carcinoma), gallbladder cancer, and cholangiocellular carcinoma (cancer of the bile ducts)) and pancreatic surgery (pancreatic surgery e.g. pancreatic cancer)
  • Surgery of the oesophagus and stomach (e.g. achalasia, oesophageal cancer, Zenker's diverticulum, and gastric carcinoma)
  • Colo-rectal surgery (surgery of the colon and the rectum e.g. rectal cancer, colon cancer, diverticulitis, and complications of inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's disease)
  • Bariatric surgery (obesity)
  • Endocrine surgery (surgery of the glands, including thyroid surgery) and neuroendocrine surgery (e.g. endocrine pancreatic tumours)
  • Minimally-invasive surgery (especially in surgery of the hernia, gallbladder, colon, spleen, and adrenal gland)

Medical Range

Range of Diagnostic Services

  • Invasive tests: e.g. esophagogastroduodenoscopy (gastroscopy), colonoscopy, ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, inspection of the bile ducts and pancreatic ducts)
  • Radiological examinations (e.g. sonography (ultrasound), computed tomography (CT), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI))
  • Diagnosis of the oesophagus and stomach: e.g. functional diagnosis of dysphagia (pH measurement, manometry), gastroscopy (esophagogastroduodenoscopy)
  • Soft tissue sarcomas: Tumours of the soft tissues
  • Numerous specialist consultations:
    - Private consultations
    - General consultation
    - Obesity
    - Thoracic surgery (surgery of the chest)
    - Pancreatic surgery
    - Hepatobiliary surgery (surgery of the liver and biliary system)
    - Endocrine tumour centre/thyroid (endocrine = based on hormone system)
    - Oesophagus/stomach
    - Colo-rectal surgery/Proctology (surgery of the colon and rectum)
    - Peritoneal carcinosis
    - Soft tissue tumours/sarcomas
    - Pelvic floor centre 


Range of Therapeutic Services

  • Oncological surgery/metastasis surgery e.g. interdisciplinary care and organisation of an individual, multi-modal therapy concept for patients with cancer (especially colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, or hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer)), regular tumour boards (i.e. meeting of surgeons, radiologists, radiotherapists, and oncologists) on the individual treatment of each patient
  • Hepatobiliary surgery (surgery of the liver and the biliary system e.g. surgical removal of liver metastases)
  • Pancreas centre: e.g. pancreatic cancer, surgical therapy of chronic pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
  • Oesophageal cancer, benign and malignant tumours of the stomach
  • Surgery of the oesophagus and stomach: e.g. Zenker's diverticulum (protuberance of the wall of the oesophagus in the upper third of the organ, which can lead to dysphagia), reflux disease (heartburn, risks of developing oesophageal cancer, achalasia (impaired muscle relaxation of the oesophageal sphincter, food can only reach the stomach with difficulty)
  • Bariatric surgery: Gastric balloon, gastric banding, gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, bilio-pancreatic diversion with duodenal switch, body contouring after weight loss (e.g. fat paunch removal)
  • Thoracic surgery (lung cancer, lung metastases, minimally-invasive lung and thoracic surgery)

About Prof Dr Wolfram T. Knoefel, FACS

Prof. Dr Wolfram T. Knoefel MD is a specialist for visceral surgery and director of the Department of General, Visceral and Paediatric Surgery at the University Hospital of Düsseldorf.

The Department of General, Visceral, and Paediatric Surgery, which is led by Dr Knoefel, covers the entire diagnostic and therapeutic range of disciplines (visceral surgery, paediatric surgery, thoracic surgery) and is therefore rated as a centre of maximum care.

Specialist in Liver, Gallbladder, and Pancreatic Cancer

Visceral surgery is the surgery of the intestines i.e. the internal organs of the entire digestive tract (e.g. oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, liver, biliary system, and pancreas). A major focus of Dr Knoefel is the surgical treatment of malignant tumours of the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. Because of proven expertise, his clinic is a certified liver and pancreas centre.

The majority of patients are treated in certified centres:

  • Centre colorectal cancer, colo-proctology
  • Endocrine tumour centre: e.g. thyroid carcinoma
  • Obesity centre: Counselling on the multi-modal concept of obesity treatment, education about treatment options
  • Pelvic floor centre
  • Hernia centre
  • Peritoneal carcinosis centre: Peritoneal carcinosis = metastases of the peritoneum
  • Liver centre
  • Pancreas centre

Minimally Invasive Surgical Techniques for the Benefit of the Patient

Dr Knoefel has demonstrated a mastery of the current operational standard techniques. Where technically possible, Dr Knoefel and his team use minimally-invasive surgical techniques. This “keyhole surgery” involves fewer complications (e.g. haemorrhaging, pain, wound healing disorders) and leads to faster recovery. In special cases, he also takes innovative approaches in order to provide the best treatment possible.

Innovative Procedures for Advanced Liver Metastases

Only at the University Hospital of Düsseldorf are the patients' own stem cells used to augment the remaining liver tissue. This technique is used when there is insufficient healthy liver tissue for survival because of metastasis. The ultra-modern surgical method ALPPS (Associating Liver partition and portal vein ligation for Staged hepatectomy) is also regularly implemented to treat liver tumours at the clinic of Dr Knoefel. In this procedure, patients whose livers are so heavily infiltrated by metastases can be helped. The tumours could not otherwise be removed without removing the entire liver. For ALPPS, the fast regenerative capacity of the liver is used, and the metastases are removed in two consecutive procedures. This technique was also developed by Dr Knoefel. 

Another specialisation of Dr Knoefel and his team is hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) in combination with a tumour reducing operation, which is used to treat peritoneal carcinomatosis (very advanced stage of cancer with metastases in the peritoneum).

Interdisciplinary Collaboration at the University Hospital Düsseldorf

At the University Hospital of Düsseldorf, virtually all medical specialities are represented in one space. This fosters interdisciplinary collaboration. It is thus always possible to work out the best individual treatment plan for the patient. All tumour patients of the clinic are analysed in interdisciplinary tumour boards so that individual therapy concepts that conform to the global standards of therapy can be developed. In complex individual cases, every attempt is made to work out innovative solutions for the patient.

Find more information at the website of Prof. Knoefel website of Prof. Knoefel.

Curriculum Vitae

Clinical and Academic Career

1981–1987 Study of Human Medicine, University of Hamburg, Université de Lausanne, Université de Kisangani, Zaïre, Harvard Medical School, Boston, and Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City
1987 Medical examination and license to practice medicine in Germany
1988 American State Examination
1986–1987 Stagiaire aîné Surgery and Intensive Care, Université de Lausanne, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne (Professor H. Sadeghi, Professor J. Freeman)
Dissertation “The prognosis of renal cell carcinoma and its stability after serial transplant to nude mice” under Professor Günter Klöppel (Hamburg/Brussels)
Doctorate 1988 (magna cum laude)
1987–1989 Scientific assistant at the Department of Surgical Clinic and Surgical Polyclinic of Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich (Director Dr L. Schweiberer)
1989–1991 Fellow, Departments of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston (W.G. Austen, M.D., A.L. Warshaw, M.D.)
1991 Scientific assistant at the Department of Surgical Clinic and Surgical Polyclinic of Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich (Director Dr L. Schweiberer)
1991–2003 Scientific assistant at the Surgical Clinic, Department of General Surgery, University Hospital Eppendorf, Hamburg
(Director Dr C.E. Broelsch)
(since April 1998 Director Dr. J. R. Izbicki)
1992 1 May to 31 October, Assistant doctor, Surgical Clinic, Elisabeth Hospital Essen (Director Dr V. M. Rötzscher)
1994 Recognition as a specialist for surgery
Habilitation “The change in micro-perfusion in acute experimental pancreatitis of the rat – validation of diffuse reflex spectrophotometry” University of Hamburg 1996
1996 Appointment as Senior Consultant of the Department of General Surgery, University Hospital Eppendorf, Hamburg
1998–2003 Permanent representative of the Director of the Department of General Surgery, University Hospital Eppendorf, Hamburg
2002 Offer of a C4 professorship for General and Transplant Surgery at the University of Rostock
2003 Offer of a C4 professorship for General and Visceral Surgery at the University of Düsseldorf


Academic Degrees, Priority Designations

15 December 1988 Doctor of Medicine (University of Hamburg)
23 February 1994 Doctor for Surgery (Hamburg Medical Association)
20 August 1996 Doctor of Medicine Habilitation (University of Hamburg)
13 November 1996 Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Hamburg
24 March 1999 Priority designation “Visceral Surgery” (Medical Association of Hamburg)
14 July 1999 Priority designation “Thoracic Surgery” (Medical Association of Hamburg)
17 ‎May 2002 Adjunct Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Hamburg
1 September 2003 Appointment as Professor (C4) for lifetime

Medical Team

  • Prof Dr Alexander Rehder
    Deputy Clinic Director
  • Prof Dr Andreas Krieg
    Head Senior Physician
  • Prof Dr Feride Kröpil
    Managing Senior Physician
  • Dr Christiane Staude
    Functional Area of Paediatric Surgery
  • Univ.Prof. Dr Nicholas H. Stoecklein
    Functional Area of Experimental Surgical Oncology
  • Dr Andrea Alexander
    Senior Physician
  • Dr Hany Ashmawy
    Senior Physician
  • Dr Levent Dizdar
    Senior Physician
  • Dr Özcan Iskender
    Senior Physician
  • Dr Sinan Kalmuk
    Senior Physician
  • Marius Kivilis
    Senior Physician
  • PD Dr Nadja Lehwald-Tywuschik
    Senior Physician
  • Dr Nina Picker
    Senior Physician
  • Dr Anja-Maria Schauer
    Functional Area of Thoracic Surgery
  • Dr Christian Vay
    Senior Physician


  • The Surgical Clinic of the University Hospital of Düsseldorf is easy to reach by public transport
  • The Department of General, Visceral and Paediatric Surgery is entirely wheelchair accessible
  • The University Hospital of Düsseldorf has an international office for international patients


Düsseldorf Central Station 3.5 km
Düsseldorf Airport 12 km
Dortmund Airport 82 km

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Prof Dr Wolfram T. Knoefel, FACS
Professor und Chairman

University Hospital of Düsseldorf
Clinic for General, Visceral, and Paediatric Surgery
Moorenstraße 5, D-40225 Düsseldorf

T: +49 211 946 277 70
F: +49 211 81 17 359


Mon, Thu, and Fri: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Wed: 8:30 am to 12:00 pm
other times: by appointment

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