American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

International Café: Austria and Brazil


Stephan KriwanekStephan Kriwanek, MD, FACS
Governor, Austria Chapter

After my graduation from the University of Vienna, I started medical training in 1982. In 1991, I was certified as a general surgeon and was given a position as attending in a university-affiliated hospital in Vienna (the Rudolf Foundation). Surgical activity at this department focused on oncologic and bariatric surgery. As a young surgeon in the early 1990s, I was very interested in the rise of laparoscopic surgery and concentrated on this new technique.

The surgical treatment of severe intraabdominal infections was another important point of interest at the Rudolf Foundation, where many patients from the eastern part of Austria were treated. Open treatment regimens of severe peritonitis and infected pancreatic necrosis were developed and achieved good results. The publication of the department´s experience was the basis of my PhD, which I received in 1999.

In the late 1990s, I was engaged in the application of laparoscopic techniques in bariatric surgery (adjustable banding, Roux-Y bypass, and sleeve gastrectomy). Together with other bariatric surgeons, I set up a training program for surgeons in Austria and took an active position in the Austrian Association for Obesity Surgery. In 2010, I was appointed as head of the surgical department of one of Vienna´s big municipal university-affiliated hospitals, Danube Hospital, which has more than 1,000 beds. It is where I am working at the moment.

In 1991, I attended the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress in Chicago, IL, for the first time and was fascinated by the dimension of this conference. I decided to apply for Fellowship as soon as possible. I have been a Fellow of the ACS for 15 years and have served as Secretary of the Austrian Chapter, which was founded by my mentor and friend Albert Tuchmann, MD, FACS. Since 2014, I have had the honor to serve as Governor of the chapter.

From 2013 to 2016, our department participated in the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP). According to my experience, the practice of surgery has substantially changed in the last decades due to three innovations: (1) minimally invasive techniques, (2) evidence-based decisions made possible by randomized trials and analyses of large databases, and (3) individualized therapies based on molecular biological insights. However, this progress is counterbalanced by increasing costs, which challenge our health care systems.

I am convinced that the Austrian surgical community can benefit from the experiences shared by the ACS concerning the development of contemporary surgery.


Savino GaspariniSavino Gasparini, MD, FACS
Governor, Brazil Chapter

Since the Olympics were held in Rio this year, we would like to introduce you to Savino Gasparini, MD, FACS, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Governor in Brazil.

Dr. Gasparini is a general and vascular surgeon who has worked for more than 40 years at the Rio de Janeiro Municipality Cumunitario. He graduated with his medical degree in December 1974 from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro Faculdade de Medicina in Brazil.

Dr. Gasparini completed his medical residency at the Hospital da Casa de Portugal, specializing in general and peripheral vascular surgery. He was the head of general surgery for 23 years at the Hospital Municipal Miguel Couto (March 1987–2009). Earlier in his career he served as an official in the Brazilian Air Force.

He has been a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons since 2000 and currently serves as the Vice-President of the Brazil Chapter.