MedUni Vienna: Walter Klepetko new Head of the Department of Surgery

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Thoracic surgeon Walter Klepetko, for many years head of the Division of Thoracic surgery at MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital, will take over management of the superordinate Department of Surgery at the Medical University of Vienna/Vienna General Hospital on 1 July 2019.

Walter Klepetko's academic goal in his new post will be to promote the leading position of Viennese university surgery in the development of new methods of treatment and in scientific output, both nationally and internationally.

Klepetko states one of his major objectives as being to create constructive conditions to promote productive working. This includes establishing new, contemporary structures for surgery, which, in particular, take account of the challenges of increasing specialisation while, at the same time, guaranteeing a broad base of training. Decisions must be made transparently and objectively and must be strictly performance-oriented.

Another important aspect will be to reduce administration to a minimum, so that surgeons can spend more time in the operating theatre, which will automatically lead to more experience that will then translate into even better quality of care.  

Until 2018, Walter Klepetko headed up the internationally acclaimed lung transplant programme at MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital, which he himself set up at the end of the 1980s and which went on to become one of the largest centres in the world, with more than 100 procedures being performed annually. The Viennese surgeon and his team were recently the focus of public attention when they performed a lung transplant operation on Niki Lauda in the summer of 2018. His division is regarded as a national and international centre of reference for complex thoracic procedures. 

About Walter Klepetko 

Walter Klepetko was born in Vienna in 1955, graduating to become a medical doctor in 1978. He is a Professor of Thoracic Surgery and, since 2010, has been Head of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at the Department of Surgery, MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital. His special areas of expertise are surgery for bronchial carcinoma, functional liver diseases, pulmonary hypertension plus lung transplantation and tracheal surgery. The father of two is a former president of the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (EACTS) and was the European representative on the board of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS). In 2014, he received the Grand Decoration of Honour for services to the Austrian Republic, in recognition of his medical and scientific achievements. In 2015, he was awarded the City of Vienna Prize for Medical Sciences. 

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