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Prof. Dr. med. Arnulf H. Holscher image

Department of oesophagal and gastric tumour surgery

Prof. Dr. med. Arnulf H. Holscher
general surgery, oncology

About the department

The department of oesophagal and gastric tumour surgery at St. Elisabethen Hospital Frankfurt am Main provides high-quality diagnostics, treatment and therapy for the oesophagus, stomach, intestines and pancreas diseases and also offers interdisciplinary medicine at the highest level. The medical team comprises therapists and surgeons who specialize in gastrointestinal disorders. The focus is on comprehensive diagnostics, including general and special laboratory tests, an extended range of endoscopic procedures and ultrasound diagnostics. After diagnosis, specialists prescribe patients a wide range of conservative therapy, general and specialized endoscopic interventions, and minimally invasive and open surgical interventions. The department's state-of-the-art intensive care unit offers the latest medical standards to ensure the highest possible level of patient safety.

Malignant tumours in the department are treated either with medication or in combination with surgery. To find the best individual treatment method for the respective patient,  doctors discuss all procedures at the interdisciplinary tumour board on a case-by-case basis. It is composed of specialists in surgery, internal medicine, oncology, pathology and palliative medicine, as well as radiology and radiotherapy.

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Treatment and diagnostic focus of the department


  • Oesophageal carcinoma
  • Oesophagal diverticula
  • Diaphragm hernia
  • Reflux disease
  • Achalasia
  • Stomach cancer
  • Gastric perforation
  • Duodenal bleeding
  • Foreign body in the oesophagus or stomach
  • Stomach strictures
  • Intestinal abscess, intestinal polyps
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn's disease
  • Rectal cancer


  • Anamnesis
  • Physical examination
  • Laboratory and biochemical tests
  • Urease test (determination of Helicobacter pylori)
  • Ultrasound examination
  • Endosonography of the stomach and upper abdominal organs
  • Virtual chromoendoscopy
  • Radiography with contrast
  • Computed tomography 
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Gastroscopy, colonoscopy, rectoscopy


  • Minimally invasive enucleation of benign tumours
  • Open surgery
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Gastric bypass surgery
  • Endoscopic removal of tumours
  • Customized chemotherapy
  • Hemostasis (injection, clipping, argon plasma coagulation)
  • Endoscopic sponge therapy for wound healing disorders
  • Wound closure with clips
  • Installation of stents
  • Bougienage, dilatation
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Doctor profile


  • 1968 – 1974 Study of Medicine in Göttingen, Kiel and Graz
  • 1974 – 1975 Internship in Göttingen and Hildesheim in surgery, internal medicine and gynaecology/obstetrics
  • 1978 – 1984 Surgical training in the Marienhospital Aachen, University Hospital Göttingen and University Hospital TU Munich, Klinikum rechts der Isar
  • 1984 Board certified surgeon
  • 1994 Board certification for special visceral surgery


  • 1975 – 1977 Doctor in the German Air Force (compulsory military service)
  • 1977 – 1978 Scientific assistant of the institute of the pathology of the University of Göttingen
  • 1989 Assistant Professor at the University of Munich (TU)
  • 1996 – 2016 Chairman of the Department of General, Visceral and Cancer Surgery of the University of Cologne 
  • 2016 Professor Emeritus of the University of Cologne
  • 2016 – 2020 Head, Section of Thoracic and Esophageal Cancer Surgery Agaplesion Markus Hospital Frankfurt am Main
  • since 2018 Head, Contilia Center for Esophageal Diseases Elisabeth Hospital Essen
  • since 2020 Head, Esophageal and Gastric Cancer Surgery Elisabethen Hospital Frankfurt am Main

Awards, memberships, publications

  • International Society for Diseases of the Esophagus (ISDE) 
  • International Gastro-Surgical Club
  • President of the Association of Surgeons of North-Rhine Westfalia
  • European Surgical Association (ESA)
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