Special Clinical Focus

  • Diagnosis of genetic (congenital) metabolic diseases
  • Therapy of metabolic diseases
  • Reference center for metabolic medicine
  • Enzyme replacement therapies

About us

The significant focus areas of metabolic medicine are the clarification and treatment of orphan diseases.

Metabolic diseases are mostly hereditary (genetic) diseases. It can basically occur at any age and affect every organ. Individual diseases are very rare but there are several thousand of such diseases. Approximately, one person in one thousand of the population suffers from a metabolic disorder. Since these diseases are also hardly known by physicians the diagnoses are often missed and patients often experience long diagnostic odysseys.

We are a recognized reference center for metabolic diseases in highly specialized medicine in Switzerland and can offer sustainable excellent services in medical care and we have earned a top position in Switzerland. We enjoy national and international recognition in research and science.

As a university maximum care hospital we offer all established diagnostic and therapeutic options.  The focus areas are the clarification of energy-dependent metabolic diseases (mitochondrial medicine) and hyperammonemia (urea cycle disorders). However, clarifications are basically offered for all metabolic diseases in collaboration with other national and international centers.

Our administrative unification in one metabolic team with the university hospital for endocrinology, diabetology and metabolism, the department for clinical metabolism and congenital metabolic diseases in the center for laboratory medicine, the university children's hospital as well as nutrition counseling allows us to provide holistic and multidisciplinary care for children and adults with metabolic diseases. Other specialists are also consulted as needed. Multidisciplinary clarification is given to patients during our metabolic and neurometabolic office hours and possible diagnostic or therapeutic measures are mutually planned. Regular patient discussions in the "mitochondria interest group" with geneticists and neuroradiologists are further established multidisciplinary points of contact upon which decisions can be quickly made. We shall organize in-patient diagnostic clarifications or assessments as needed.

The Inselspital has set a goal to emerge as a reliable partner in all medical issues. It is our goal to achieve the best possible quality of life for our patients via individual and continuous care. The Inselspital cares for over 220,000 patients a year in 37 hospitals with a total of over 7,000 employees. Patients come from approximately 120 countries.

Foreign patients can contact the Insel International Center (IIC). Numerous languages are spoken here. The following services are available for you:

  • appointment coordination with hospitals in consultation with administration, patient disposition, etc.
  • Organize all administrative tasks prior to the patients arrival in order to organize the visit as trouble-free as possible and without unnecessary waiting times
  • Organization of external translation and interpreting services
  • Hotel reservations for patients and relatives at lined up Bern hotels and boarding houses in comfortable proximity to the Inselspital
  • Support for banking questions to the best of our judgment
  • Assistance with travel planning in Switzerland and the organization of transport from the Zürich, Kloten, Genf Cointrin, Bern Belp airports as well as the EuroAirport near Basel to the Bern University Hospital Inselspital

The Insel International Center (IIC) creates a customized cost estimate for foreign patients for outpatient consultation or also for scheduled in-patient treatment at the Inselspital. The individual treatment contract then contains all costs to be expected based on the available information including consultations, medical treatments, technical services, hospital services and fees. According to hospital guidelines cost assurance, thus the financing of treatment, must be guaranteed prior to the commencement of treatment. The corresponding confirmation of coverage from a recognized insurer shall be sufficient or the patient shall render an advance payment (deposit) as a direct payer via a bank transfer or by credit card. The advance payment is equivalent to the total of the cost estimate. After the completion of treatment the actual services rendered shall be invoiced. If the final invoice falls below the deposit made, the remaining amount shall be refunded. An additional payment can also be required, for instance, due to unexpected complications or additional services which increase the costs of treatment.

Diagnostic Services

  • Metabolic profile in the blood and urine with the aid of the determination of:
  • Amino acids
  • Organic acids
  • Homocysteine
  • Acylcarnitine profile
  • Vitamins
  • Lactate/pyruvate
  • Diagnosis of mitochondrial diseases
  • Oximetric examinations in the muscle and skin biopsy
  • Determination of mitochondrial respiratory chain enzymes (in the muscle, the liver and skin biopsy)
  • Lysosomal enzymes
  • Urea cycle enzymes
  • Moleculargenetic clarifications of congenital metabolic diseases
  • Modern imaging procedures such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with magnetic resonance spectrography (MRS)
  • Moleculargenetic diagnostic panel for mitochondrial diseases (collaboration with genetics, Inselspital)
  • Numerous additional services in collaboration with additional national and international centers.

Therapeutic Services

  • Dietetic treatment for congenital metabolic diseases
  • Enzyme replacement therapies
  • Metabolic profile

Special Offers / Arrangements / Rooms

  • Insel International Center
  • Overnight stay options:
    One parent can stay overnight in the room with the child or at the Ronald McDonald House (for parents and families with children); Jennerweg 5a, 3008 Bern
  • Various patient restaurants
  • Multidisciplinary treatment team with nutrition counseling and metabolic specialists for children and adults
Leading Medicine Guide

Selected expert in the specialist field Metabolic diseases

Other services

  • Mitochondrial diseases and lactic acidosis (Leigh's disease)
  • Mitochondrial myopathies
  • Amino acid metabolism (hyperammonemia, organic aciduria)
  • Fatty acid oxidation disorders
  • Lysosomal storage diseases (mucopolysaccharidosis)
  • Glycogenosis


Airports near

  • Bern Airport10 km
  • Euroairport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg106 km
  • Zürich Airport International AG129 km

Additional staff

Matthias Gautschi

Senior physician / metabolism