About us PD Dr. med. Daniel Steinemann
Although PD Dr. med. Daniel Steinemann is very familiar with modern techniques for surgery of the entire gastrointestinal tract, there are still two special areas to which he has dedicated himself: As a senior consultant of visceral surgery, he took over management of the renowned pelvic floor centre at Clarunis University Abdominal Centre in Basel. In addition, he is considered a specialist in hernia surgery for inguinal and abdominal wall hernias.
Those who suffer from pelvic floor and rectal diseases, meaning those who have problems in the region of the anus or in the genital area, want to be able to rely on several factors when choosing the right specialist: In addition to a high level of technical expertise, the specialist should also have an appropriate degree of empathy – and be sensitive to his patients during the diagnostic workup.
PD Dr. med. Daniel Steinemann is just such a doctor. In Dr Steinemann, the Clarunis University Abdominal Centre in Basel has a recognised expert who, as a highly specialised physician, knows his way around all diseases of pelvic floor very well. As head of the pelvic floor centre, he heads a likewise highly specialised team, one that has as much experience in all benign and malignant diseases of the rectum and the anus as it does in treating symptoms of pelvic floor prolapse. This interdisciplinary team includes specialists from all relevant disciplines – such as visceral surgery, gastroenterology, urology, urogynaecology, wound and stoma therapy, and physiotherapy.
Pelvic floor centre with special consultation hours
The pelvic floor has numerous tasks: Because abdominal organs such as the pelvic organs exert pressure by gravity alone, the pelvic floor initially provides adequate support. Anyone who lifts heavy loads, or even who only exerts themselves athletically, increases the pressure in the abdomen – which the pelvic floor counteracts as long as it is healthy. But even beyond the function of supporting and securing the position of the organs in the lesser pelvis, the pelvic floor is constantly in use. It is responsible for holding in and passing urine, keeping in the stool and evacuating the bowels, and it plays an important role in sexuality and pleasurable sensation.
To perform all these duties, the pelvic floor has a complex anatomical structure consisting of muscles, connective tissue and nerves. If this interaction is disrupted, then consequences – namely continence disorders – quickly ensue, which can lead to social problems and psychological stress. As they age, men and women suffer due to pelvic floor dysfunction, especially from stool and urinary incontinence. And the legend still holds that such problems are a normal part of aging – and that it therefore makes littles sense to treat them. Unfortunately, the fact that pelvic floor surgery is increasingly becoming a viable option, allowing many people achieve a good quality of life even at an advanced age, is still not widely known. Such misperceptions can easily be cleared up, for example, in the doctor’s popular consultation hours.
Since strong pressure is exerted on the pelvic floor during pregnancy, and especially during a vaginal delivery, pelvic floor problems affect more women than men – and often at a young age. Therefore, many women of all ages suffering from uncontrolled and involuntary urine leakage find treatment at the Clarunis pelvic floor centre. Bladder emptying disorders and overactive bladder are also among the problems with which the team working with PD Dr. Steinemann has considerable experience. It is not for nothing that the Clarunis pelvic floor centre is the official consultant to the German Continence Society.
Problems with prolapse: State-of-the-art treatments
Dysfunction of the female pelvic floor can also become evident with prolapse of the vagina and uterus. Because all forms of prolapse problems have an extremely negative impact on quality of life and can therefore be very stressful, patients are glad to feel that they are in good hands with a specialist who, together with his team, is both empathetic and experienced in equal measure. This also contributes to the fact that the individual pressure the patient is suffering from is an important factor in deciding on the course of therapy, and consequently why the treatment options at the Basel Pelvic Floor Centre are correspondingly versatile.
In the Pelvic Floor Centre’s consultation hours, the team led by PD Dr Steinemann clarifies all questions that may arise and wins over patients with the high quality of their advice, which meets the high standards of the Basel University Abdominal Centre as a competence centre of the Claraspital and the Basel University Hospital in all respects. State-of-the-art equipment is available for comprehensive diagnosis of pelvic floor and rectal problems, including, for example, high-resolution manometry and 3D ultrasound examinations. In this way, it can also be investigated whether impairments at the pelvic floor are caused by neurological diseases or diabetic neuropathy.
Of course, men with continence problems can also benefit from the enormous range of services offered by the Pelvic Floor Centre and the consultation hours. Here you can also find tips for preventing problems and for pelvic floor training exercises – because regular training sessions have an effect on all pelvic floor functions. This also applies to the subject of erectile dysfunction.
There are a wide variety of problems for which patients from the entire region in the border area between Germany and France seek help at the consultation hours in Basel. In addition to the mentioned prolapse symptoms and continence problems, other reasons patients visit the Clarinus University Abdominal Centre Basel include itching or skin changes in the anal or genital region, chronic constipation, wetness in the anal cleft, blood in the stool, or feeling like there is a foreign body in the anus. Chronic bladder problems or bladder inflammation are also among the conditions which make many people turn to the Clarunis Pelvic Floor Centre.
PD Dr. med. Daniel Steinemann usually operates using the most modern minimally invasive procedures – he is regarded as a top expert in so-called keyhole surgery. And because surgery on the pelvic floor and rectum is all about restoring as much as possible of the body’s normal functions, surgical precision is critical to success. So it’s good if a highly specialized physician such as PD Dr Steinemann performs the procedure, for example in the case of complex reconstructions of the pelvic floor or targeted incontinence operations.
Hernia specialist: Focus on abdominal wall and inguinal hernias
The second area, which is PD Dr. med. Daniel Steinemann’s primary focus, are abdominal wall and inguinal hernias. Operations for inguinal and abdominal wall hernias are among the most common surgical interventions generally – the Clarunis University Abdominal Centre in Basel alone treats more than a thousand such hernias each year. Even if hernia treatment is often regarded as a routine procedure: The quality of the surgery – and this means the surgeon's experience, expertise and craftsmanship - is also critical for the success of these treatments.
PD Dr Steinemann, together with his hand-picked, highly specialized hernia team, always operates according to the latest international guidelines and scientific evidence. This ensures that patients recover quickly – and the evidence shows a very low rate of recurrence.
PD Dr Steinemann is familiar with the most innovative surgical methods for abdominal wall and inguinal hernia. Therefore, he always takes into account the individual situation when deciding which minimally invasive hernia treatment to use. And sometimes it can also make sense to perform an open operation instead a short incision in the groin – though this is of course determined after extensive consultation. The following is also important at the Clarunis Hernia Centre in Basel: From the first conversation, to a detailed explanation of the respective surgical technique, to the follow-up examinations, all members of the team attach great importance to making sure that patients are looked after by the same team of people.
PD Dr. med. Daniel Steinemann has long been closely associated with the city and University of Basel. He grew up in the Basel area and studied at the University of Basel. He completed his surgical training and held senior consultant positions at the Zurich University Hospital, the Triemli City Hospital, the Baselland Cantonal Hospital and the University Hospital in Heidelberg. His scientific work earned him his habilitation at the University of Basel in 2018. As a specialist in surgery (Swiss board certified/FMH), special visceral
surgery and coloproctology (EBSQ), he was considered the ideal choice to manage the Pelvic Floor Centre in 2016, where his immense experience in hernia surgery and his certified knowledge of keyhole surgery served him well. As a senior physician in visceral surgery, his contribution to the reputation of the University Abdominal Centre is critical. His numerous publications, for example on innovations in endoscopic and laparoscopic surgery, have earned him renown in international specialist societies – and may also be considered as proof that, at Clarunis, PD Dr. med. Daniel Steinemann is in exactly the right place.