Neurosurgery Specialist in Cologne: Prof. Dr Nakamura

Prof. Dr Makoto Nakamura
Chief Physician
Specialist in Neurosurgery
Cologne, Germany

Clinics of the City of Cologne – Merheim Hospital  - Logo

Treatment Focus

  • Neurooncology (tumours of the brain, its membranes or other parts of the nervous system, including skull base)
  • Neurotraumatology (traumatic brain injury)
  • Vascular disorders of the brain and spine
  • Spinal injuries and degenerative diseases of the spine
  • Spinal tumours
  • Peripheral nerve disorders

Medical Range

Range of Diagnostic Services

  • Electrophysiological diagnostics and neuromonitoring
  • Preoperative and intraoperative mapping
  • Intraoperative three-dimensional imaging
  • Intraoperative neuronavigation
  • Fluorescence-based intraoperative diagnostic procedures


Range of Therapeutic Services


  • Brain tumours and specific, modern follow-up treatment for these
  • Tumours of the base of the skull
  • Pituitary tumours
  • Fluorescence-based tumour surgery
  • Intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring
  • Neuronavigation
  • Neuroendoscopy
  • Stereotactic Surgery

Skull Base Surgery

  • Diagnostics and surgical treatment of diseases of skull base areas
  • Treatment of tumours located at the base of the skull, including pituitary adenomas, meningiomas
  • Interdisciplinary surgical treatment of pathological processes of the skull base

Endoscopic Neurosurgery

  • Endoscope-assisted intervertebral disc surgery, ventriculocisternostomies and transnasal resection of various processes in the pituitary and skull base
  • Surgical treatment of pituitary tumours
  • Surgical treatment of hydrocephalus
  • Biopsy and resection of intraventricular tumours

Spinal Surgery

  • Stabilisation of the spine through ventral, dorsal, lateral or combined interventions on all sections of the spine
  • Minimally invasive spinal surgery
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Intervertebral disc surgery of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine.
  • Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty
  • Percutaneous stabilisation
  • Intervertebral disc prostheses
  • Endoscopic procedures
  • Minimally invasive injection therapies

Vascular Neurosurgery

  • Surgical treatment of cerebral aneurysms, vascular malformations
  • Cerebral haemorrhages
  • Cerebral cavernomas, arteriovenous fistulae


  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Skull fractures
  • Spinal fractures
  • Traumatic intracranial bleeding
  • Complex intensive care therapy

Pain Therapy

  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Medical and surgical treatment of headaches, facial pain, neuropathic pain, residual limb and phantom limb pain, back pain, tumour pain, acute pain and spasticity
  • Infiltration and rhizotomy for patients with back pain
  • Invasive non-ablative pain therapy (intrathecal drug pump or spinal stimulation (SCS))

Paediatric Neurosurgery

  • Diagnostics and surgical treatment of diseases, malformations and (consequences of) injuries and other damage to the central and peripheral nervous system
  • Treatment of congenital malformations, tumours or trauma

Rehabilitation in the Neighbouring Neurosurgical Rehabilitation Clinic

About Prof. Dr Makoto Nakamura

Prof. Dr Makoto Nakamura is a specialist in neurosurgery and Chief Physician at the Neurosurgery Clinic of the Cologne City Clinics in Merheim. He is also the tenured professor for neurosurgery at the University of Witten/Herdecke. Prof. Nakamura has extensive clinical and scientific experience, particularly in the field of surgical treatment of intracranial meningiomas.

Using innovative techniques, Prof. Nakamura and his team operate on the sensitive structures of the brain and nerves as gently as possible. During surgery, microsurgical techniques as latest microscopes, fully endoscopic and endoscopically assisted techniques, computer-assisted neuronavigation, and intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring ensure highest possible safety levels.

Neurosurgery Clinic in Cologne with State-of-the-Art Equipment

The Cologne-Merheim Clinic is a full-service facility offering maximum care. At the Neurosurgery Clinic, around 3100 operations are performed each year by an interdisciplinary team headed by expert Prof. Dr Makoto Nakamura. The Neurosurgery Clinic has a total of 76 beds. After each surgery, patients are admitted to the OITS intensive care unit. This is one of the largest and most modern intensive care units in all of Germany, located directly opposite to the operating theatres. A seamless transition into neurological rehabilitation is also ensured by the neighbouring Neurological Rehabilitation Clinic.

Innovative technologies are able to ensure that sensitive structures in the brain and nerves are protected during surgery. State-of-the-art microscopes with the highest micro-assistive and fluorescence-based technology are used for this process. It is possible to visualise areas of the brain that are difficult to access using latest endoscopic methods. In addition, computer-assisted neuronavigation and intraoperative neurophysiological monitoring to track and record brain functions before and during surgery ensure the highest possible level of safety during complex interventions. This innovative technology is a significant advance in patient care. It increases safety during surgery and significantly improves the surgical results.

Specialist in Neurosurgery in Cologne

Prof. Nakamura has been Chief Physician of the Neurosurgery Clinic in Cologne-Merheim Hospital since 2016. During his studies, Prof. Nakamura completed periods abroad at Harvard, London and Oxford. Further clinical residencies led him to Tokyo, New York, and Zurich. In 2006, he became Senior Physician at the Hannover Medical School (MHH), and, from 2008, he was the Deputy Director and Head Senior Physician of the Neurosurgery Clinic. As Chief Physician of the Neurosurgery Clinic at Cologne-Merheim Hospital, he leads a competent, interdisciplinary team to diagnose and treat diseases, malformations, and injuries of the brain, spinal cord, spinal column, and peripheral nerves.

As the tenured professor of neurosurgery at the University of Witten/Herdecke (UW/H), Prof. Dr Makoto Nakamura researches the therapy of skull base tumours, especially skull base meningiomas. His goal is to improve medical care, since treating affected patients is still a major challenge. Prof. Nakamura's research focuses on molecular biological and genetic studies to understand tumour growth and to develop new treatment approaches, especially new drug therapies.

Prof. Nakamura is also working on improving surgical procedures in neurosurgery. Prof. Nakamura's primary goal is to optimise medical devices for minimally invasive brain surgeries. Of course, these procedures are not only used for tumours of the skull base or the brain. Vascular diseases and spinal diseases can also be treated more precisely by using minimally invasive techniques, thanks to navigated surgery.

Further information is available on the website of the Neurosurgery Clinic in Cologne-Merheim.


Curriculum Vitae

University Education

10.1991 – 05.1998 Study of Human Medicine at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main
Harvard Medical School
University College London
University of Oxford Medical School
12.1993 – 05.1998 Scholar of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation

Clinical Electives

02.1995 – 03.1995 Orthopaedics
Keio University Medical School, Tokyo, Japan
02.1996 – 03.1996 Internal medicine
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, USA
03.1996 – 04.1996 Neurology
Beth Israel Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, USA
07.1996 – 08.1997 Neurosurgery
University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland

Professional Career

10.1998 Junior Doctor at the Neurosurgery Clinic at Hannover Nordstadt Hospital (Prof. Dr h.c. mult. M. Samii)
01.04.2000 Licence to practise medicine
04.2000 Assistant Physician at the Neurosurgery Clinic at Hannover Nordstadt Hospital (Prof. Dr h.c. mult. M. Samii)
02.2003 Continuation of work as an assistant physician at the Neurosurgery Clinic, Hannover Nordstadt Hospital (Prof. Dr habil. M. R. Gaab)
29.11.2004 Specialist in Neurosurgery
04.2005 Senior Physician at the Neurosurgery Clinic, Hannover Nordstadt Hospital
01.01.2006 Senior Physician at the Neurosurgery Clinic, Hannover Medical School (Prof. Dr J. K. Krauss)
04.2006 – 06.2016 Spokesman for the Central Nervous System Interdisciplinary Tumour Board at Hannover Medical School
11.2008 – 06.2016 Deputy Director and Head Senior Physician at the Neurosurgery Clinic, Hannover Medical School (Prof. Dr J. K. Krauss)
11.2008 – 06.2016 Lecturer and advanced training officer at the Neurosurgery Clinic, Hannover Medical School
01.07.2016 – present Chief Physician at the Neurosurgery Clinic, Cologne-Merheim Hospital, Clinics of the City of Cologne.
09.2016 – present Professor of Neurosurgery, University of Witten/Herdecke

Medical Team

  • Dr Zafer Cinibulak
    Senior Physician
  • Dr Kazimierz Sadowy, MBA
    Senior Physician
  • Dr Ghassan Abuharbid
    Senior Physician
  • Dr Michael Behr
    Senior Physician
  • Prof. Dr Cleopatra Charalampaki
    Senior Physician
  • Prof. Dr A. Hartmann
    Senior Physician
  • Dr Claudia Schlimper
    Senior Physician
  • Dr Habib Bendella
    Senior Physician
  • Mihai Manu
    Senior Physician in charge of a unit


Cologne Central Railway Station 11 km
Cologne/Bonn Airport 14 km
Düsseldorf Airport 56 km
Frankfurt Airport 175 km

Information About Cologne

Specialist doctors and medical centres in Cologne
Cologne is a 2,000-year-old city located in the west of Germany at the Rhine and is the cultural center of its region. The city's landmark is the Gothic cathedral with its two towers. It stands in the rebuilt Old Town and is famous for its Epiphany shrine and views over the Rhine. The nearby Museum Ludwig displays 20th-century art, including many pieces by Pablo Picasso. In addition, the Roman-Germanic Museum houses objects from Roman times.

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Prof. Dr Makoto Nakamura
Chief Physician

Clinics of the City of Cologne – Merheim Hospital
Neurosurgery Clinic
Ostmerheimer Strasse 200, D-51109 Cologne

T: +49 221 5714 39 26
F: +49 221 8907 3997


By phone appointment only:

General Consultation Hours
Mon. – Thu. 8:30 am – 1:00 pm and
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Private Neurosurgery Consultation Hours
Mon. and Thu. 8:30 am – 11:30 pm

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