International Cutting-Edge Medicine
For us, international cutting-edge medicine means offering our patients the most modern and internationally accepted diagnoses and treatments. The Neurosurgery Department of the Inselspital, Bern University Hospital takes pride in offering international cutting-edge medicine in our areas of specialization.
The Inselspital is a prestigious hospital, which for decades has offered the highest quality medical care. The continual, intensive work in research at the Inselspital has made possible a large number of surgical and medical innovations.
The name of the Inselspital is closely associated with global medical advances. For example: the aseptic treatment of wounds, the removal of the thyroid gland (which led to a Nobel prize for Theodor Kocher in 1909), the implantation of artificial hips (Maurice E. Müller), the development of transcranial ultrasound diagnostics (Rune Aaslid) and many other technical or surgical innovations.
Modern neurosurgery is highly specialized. In keeping with our philosophy, we operate using techniques that are as minimally invasive as possible, with optimal effectiveness and greatest possible safety for our patients. The testing and further development of intraoperative techniques also follow these principles; minimal invasiveness, maximal efficacy and safety are the most important goals in our clinic. Part of our research is concentrated on the development of minimally invasive surgery on brain and spinal cord, and we work to use new methods such as functional monitoring, navigation, endoscopy, and intraoperative imaging.
Neurosurgery and the Inselspital Bern: historical information
Theodor Kocher, the first surgeon in Switzerland, was a pioneer in the surgery of the hypophysis (pituitary gland). This tiny but very important gland deep in the center of the brain was thought by René Decartes (1596-1650) to be the "Seat of the Soul" – and was for many decades considered to be inaccessible for surgery. Kocher was instrumental in the development of neurosurgery in Bern. The american surgeon Harvey Cushing travelled to Bern to pursue his interest in neurosurgery research, and after intensive work with Kocher he was considered the world’s first neurosurgeon. After Cushing returned to the USA, many breakthroughs followed and Cushing was considered by many to be the greatest neurosurgeon of the 20th century. These are only historical milestones in a relatively young field, but they are part of a tradition that the Inselspital is proud to be associated with.
Building upon tradition
Our surgeons and the researchers who support them are constantly searching for new and better methods for treating diseases or disorders related to the brain and spinal cord. A small success in the laboratory today may lead to a significant development in the clinic in the future. We support pioneering research that has the potential to lead to more effective or safer surgeries. In keeping with the very high expectations of our surgeons, our colleagues in research maintain the highest standards of innovative research.