Department of General, Visceral and Transplantation Surgery

The Department of General, Visceral and Transplantation Surgery is an excellent example of surgical expertise in the field of oncology, offering the whole range of surgical interventions. Over 200 beds in 10 clinical units are provided for inpatient surgery. Functionally, these units are grouped into

  • general surgical care units,
  • intermediate care units,
  • interdisciplinary intensive care units, and
  • special units for organ transplantation or, for example, acute dialysis.

The patient treatment is performed at five locations: Heidelberg University Hospital, Salem Hospital in Heidelberg, GRN Clinic in Sinsheim, GRN Clinic in Eberbach, and the District Hospital in Heppenheim. Depending on the type of disease and the patient's place of residence, one of these locations is suggested for surgical treatment.

Range of surgical expertise

The Department of General, Visceral and Transplant Surgery offers the whole range of surgical expertise in the field of oncology. Moreover, it integrates the European Pancreas Center (EPZ), the Transplant Center, the Interdisciplinary Endoscopy Center (IEZ), the Reference Center for Endocrine Surgery and the Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery. Surgical oncology is a main focus of this clinic. The interdisciplinary range of treatment extends to, inter alia, tumors of the thyroid glands, pancreas, colon, rectum, esophagus, stomach, liver, and soft tissue (sarcoma).


This clinic has been awarded the titles Reference Center for Endocrine and Minimally Invasive Surgery and Center of Excellence for Pancreatic Surgery by the German Society for General and Visceral Surgery (DGAV). On a national level, the Clinic is rated first in the FOCUS ranking for the treatment of colorectal carcinoma. In order to provide optimal treatment for our patients, we foster interdisciplinary tumor conferences on gastrointestinal tumors, liver tumors, sarcoma, and thyroid tumors. In addition to this, we also hold a general surgical oncology tumor conference, which enables us to discuss special cases. We also offer an additional oncologic consultation session for patients and referring physicians.

Further information on the surgical procedures of the individual clinics and treatment methods can be found on the website of the Center for Surgery.

European Pancreatic Cancer Center
Phone: + 49 6221 567807
Fax: + 49 6221 565075

Transplantation Center Heidelberg
Phone: + 49 6221 566205
Fax: + 49 6221 565781

Consultation hour for Neuroendocrine Tumors
Phone: + 49 6221 564801

Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIC)
Phone: + 49 6221 568641
Fax: + 49 6221 568645

Oncologic consultation hour
Phone: + 49 6221 566252
Fax: + 49 6221 565791

Interdisciplinary Endoscopy Center
Phone: + 49 6221 568713
Fax: + 49 6221 568904

Thyroid consultation hour
Phone: + 49 6221 568787
Fax: + 49 6221 564233


Since 2002, the newly founded Central Office for Patient Management (ZPM) is in charge of coordinating all inpatient stays. The ZPM takes care of registering new inpatients and coordinating surgical appointments and bed occupancy. This requires a close cooperation between nurses and physicians at all levels.

New inpatients are reported to the ZPM by referring physicians, outpatient clinics and hospitals of the area. This also involves a close cooperation with the staff of the National Center of Tumor Diseases (NCT). The ZPM keeps a current list of all available and occupied inpatient beds, and is daily informed about the number of patient discharges by the attending physicians during the ward round. Appointments are made always taking into account

  • the available surgical capacity,
  • the capacity of the intensive care unit and intermediate care unit,
  • the intensity of patient care required for the regular care units.

Due to this centralized system, all available information on inpatient stay can be obtained from one central point of contact. Furthermore, the ZPM serves as a qualified central information desk for referring physicians and performs a review of preliminary examinations if this has not been taken care of in one of the Department of Surgery consultation sessions. This eases the way for an effective preoperative procedure. Consequently, redundant examinations are avoided and diagnostic gaps are filled.


Before the actual inpatient stay, preoperative examinations can be planned in a way that allows them to be completed within 24 hours before surgery. A prerequisite is a close interdisciplinary cooperation, for instance, within the Department of Anesthesiology consultation session for premedication.

We have been able to reduce the preoperative waiting times for major visceral surgery to 1–2 weeks, while the waiting time for minor surgery is even less. Defining a central point of contact within the Department of Surgery has significantly simplified the communication between Heidelberg University Hospital and referring physicians.

The planning of the bed and surgical capacities is performed weekly, so that the total occupancy is optimized. Simultaneously, an optimal occupancy of the intensive care units and an even distribution between the regular care units is achieved. Both nurses and physicians can thereby be almost completely relieved from the organizational work of the registration management.

Since the founding of the ZPM preoperative waiting times have been reduced to a point that meets the requirements set for Diagnosis Related Groups (DRG). The ZPM has proven to be of value in its bridging function between referring physicians and the Department of Surgery on the one hand and inpatient management on the other hand. It has established itself as an effective management tool, guaranteeing a smooth flow of patient registration and surgical coordination.

Further information:

Central Office for Patient Management (ZPM)
Phone: +49 6221 564878
Fax: +49 6221 564881