About us Prof. Dr. med. Robert Schwab
If people in the "Middle Rhine" region are looking for a highly modern clinic of the highest level of care to which they can turn with confidence for chest-related ailments or those affecting the entire abdominal cavity - then the Clinic for General, Visceral and Thoracic Surgery at the Bundeswehr Central Hospital Koblenz is an institution in which the diagnosis and therapy of the entire general, visceral and thoracic surgical spectrum of diseases are fully taken care of. The clinic is run by a highly specialised but very versatile specialist: Colonel Prof. Dr. med. Robert Schwab.
Patients who tell of their positive experiences at the Bundeswehr Central Hospital Koblenz are sometimes still confronted with surprised facial expressions. But even though this renowned institution is known as the oldest and largest hospital of the German Armed Forces, the Bundeswehr Central Hospital Koblenz is also a first-class point of call for civilians when it comes to health. This is because it guarantees specialised medical care at the highest level - in the region and worldwide. This also includes serving medical students as a teaching hospital.
Every year, about 20,000 patients are treated as inpatients alone, in addition to about 220,000 outpatients. State-of-the-art computer-assisted and robotic surgical procedures are standard at the hospital. In addition to providing optimal regional and supra-regional medical care, the education and ongoing training of Bundeswehr military medical personnel is an important core task. The hospital not only offers the entire spectrum of modern conventional and minimally invasive general and visceral surgery, but also provides definitive care - as a special challenge - for soldiers who are wounded, injured or become ill on foreign missions.
A major contribution to the very good reputation that the hospital enjoys in both civilian and military circles has been made by an experienced specialist who can look back on decades of experience, especially in visceral surgery: Prof. Dr med. Robert Schwab is the Director of the Clinic for General, Visceral and Thoracic Surgery and of the Centre for Visceral Medicine at the hospital - and has a particularly high level of expertise in the surgical treatment of
complex hernias and of diseases of the thyroid and parathyroid glands.
Head of one of the few reference centres for hernia surgery
The Department of General, Visceral and Thoracic Surgery has been certified by the German Society for General and Visceral Surgery (DGAV) as one of the few German reference centres for hernia surgery since 2016. This certificate, which the clinic has also successfully obtained in two re-certifications, gives patients the assurance of high quality and quantity in treatment. This is because surgery is performed at the highest level of expertise in the clinic under the direction of Senior Physician Prof. Schwab - here all therapies are carried out according to guideline-oriented criteria and with the most modern surgical procedures.
A reference centre is characterised - to a certain extent as a step up from a centre of excellence - by higher numbers of interventions as well as degrees of difficulty of the operations. All laparoscopic, endoscopic and open hernia surgery techniques are available. In addition, Prof. Dr. med. Robert Schwab ensures high standards that go far beyond the requirements set with his intensive scientific activity, his lectures at congresses, the more than 130 publications in renowned medical journals and a textbook initiated by him.
High expertise in the treatment of complex hernias
Prof. Dr med. Robert Schwab worked for several years in Aachen as a surgeon and scientist at the Surgical University Clinic of RWTH Aachen under the direction of his late teacher, Prof. Dr med. Dr. h.c. Volker Schumpelick who passed away in 2022; while there, he also habilitated and obtained the university authorisation to teach surgery. His special scientific focus is on research into biomechanics in hernia surgery - and reconstruction of the abdominal wall in the context of open abdominal treatment (laparostama). His special expertise means that complicated hernias and their recurrences can also be treated at the Bundeswehr Central Hospital in Koblenz. Thanks to his expertise, the results are well above the guidelines of the German Society for General and Visceral Surgery and the Hernia Society.
Prof. Schwab is currently Chairman of the Surgical Working Group on Hernias (CAH) within the German Society for General and Visceral Surgery (DGAV), a position he has held since 2022. Among other things, the CAH is currently responsible for the certification processes in hernia surgery and the development of specific national guidelines. In addition to his expertise, experience and commitment, his experience in committees also contributed to his attainment of this position. Prof. Schwab already served as a member of the presidium of the DGAV from 2013 to 2019 and was chairman of the Surgical Working Group for Military and Emergency Surgery (CAMIN) within the DGAV, a body which he co-founded. It was and still is one of his greatest concerns to integrate the extensive knowledge and the accumulated experience of the Bundeswehr surgeons from operational surgery into the scientific professional society. Prof. Schwab considers this transfer of knowledge between civilian and military surgeons to be particularly important.
The experience gained by the German Armed Forces during missions abroad in the field of emergency surgical care in particular can positively complement the established civilian procedures in this country. Oberstarzt (Chief Medical Officer) Professor Dr. med. Robert Schwab benefits from the fact that he has actively participated in a large number of foreign missions in crisis areas around the world over the past decades - as a surgeon and medical officer.
Plenty of experience: Endocrinology, colo-proctology, visceral surgery
Prof. Schwab also has a very high level of expertise in endocrine surgery. Owing to his extensive practical experience, he is familiar with all diseases of the thyroid, parathyroid and adrenal glands - both benign and malignant. His range of services covers, for example, nodules and tumours in the thyroid gland and autoimmune diseases such as Graves' disease. The Centre for Thyroid and Parathyroid Surgery, which he also heads, has recently been re-certified.
The specialist is proficient in the entire gastrointestinal tract surgery - including complex operations on the pancreas. And he is also well versed in colo-proctological surgery: In the case of tumours of the gastrointestinal tract, his enormous knowledge of minimally invasive surgery also comes in handy.
As a highly specialised physician, Prof. Dr. med. Robert Schwab attaches great importance to interdisciplinary cooperation in the clinic he heads and pursues it with all the intensity it deserves. All his patients benefit from this interdisciplinary approach - because this is the only way, according to his conviction, one can regularly realise the best and truly individual course of action for each patient.