Portrait Henrik Petrowsky

Henrik Petrowsky
Prof. Dr. med.

Senior Attending Physician, Department of Visceral Surgery and Transplantation

Other functions at USZ

  • Head of Liver and Pancreatic Tumor Center Comprehensive Cancer Center Zurich
  • Manager Center for Obesity and Metabolic Surgery
  • Program Director HPB & Liver Transplant Fellowship Department of Visceral Surgery and Transplantation


  • Hepatobiliary & pancreatic surgery (HPB surgery)
  • Liver transplant
  • Robotic Surgery


Tel. +41 44 255 97 05

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The most important facts in brief

Professor Petrowsky took over as head of the surgical team at the Swiss HPB Center Zurich in January 2013. He is an internationally renowned surgeon who began his training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and subsequently received his specialization in HPB surgery and liver transplantation at the Swiss HPB Center. He then became a consultant at one of the largest liver transplant centers in the world, the University of California Los Angeles in the USA. In addition to managing the HBP team, he also supports the liver transplant team.

Key skills

  • Complex hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery
  • Minimally invasive liver and pancreas surgery (laparoscopic and robotic)
  • Adult and pediatric liver transplantation
  • Living-related and split liver transplantation
  • Surgical oncology
  • General surgery


Clinical and Academic Appointments

  • Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Visceral Surgery and Transplantation, University Hospital Zurich, 2005-2007
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, UCLA Transplant Center, Department of Surgery, University of California, Los Angeles, 2007-2009
  • Attending Faculty Surgeon and Assistant Professor-in-Residence (tenured), UCLA Transplant Center, Department of Surgery, University of California, Los Angeles, 2009-2012
  • Vice Chair and Professor of Surgery, Department of Visceral and Transplant Surgery, University Hospital Zurich, since 2013

Postdoctoral Fellowship

  • Research Fellowship, Rockefeller Research Laboratories, Memorial SloanKettering Cancer Center, New York, 1999-2001
  • Novartis Clinical Fellowship in Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Surgery and Liver Transplantation, Swiss HPB and Transplant Center, University Hospital Zurich, 2005-2007
  • UCLA/ASTS Multi-Organ Transplant Fellow, UCLA Transplant Center, Department of Surgery, University of California, Los Angeles, 2007-2009

Board Certifications

  • FMH Qualification in Specialized Visceral Surgery, 2015
  • European Board of Surgery Qualification in Hepato-Biliaro-Pancreatic Surgery, 2010
  • American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS) Certification in Kidney and Liver Transplantation, 2009
  • German Board of Surgery Qualification in General Surgery, 2005
  • ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates) certification, 2004

United States Medical Licensure Examinations

  • USMLE 1 (1992, recertified 2009)
  • USMLE 2 (1995, recertified 2009)
  • ECFMG Clinical Skill Assessment (2004)
  • UCMLE 3 (2009)

Academic Degrees

  • M.D., Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt, 1995
  • Doctor of Medicine, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt, 1997
  • Habilitation, University of Zurich, 2006
  • Titularprofessorship, University of Zurich, 2013


  • Approbation (#A970093), Hessisches Landesprüfungsamt, Germany
  • License as Physician and Surgeon (#A111369), Medical Board of California

Administrative Training

  • ASTS (American Society of Transplant Surgeons) Leadership Development Program, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Chicago, 2013
  • Program in Leadership & Human Resources Management, St. Galler Business School, St. Gallen

Honors, Awards, and Recognitions

  • Grant Award, Roche Organ Transplantation Research Foundation, 2006
  • Award for Academic Achievements, 2006
  • Swiss Surgical Society Award for the Best Clinical Paper, 2007
  • Swiss Transplant Award, 2011
  • Senate Faculty Research Award, UC Los Angeles, 2011
  • Award Challenge in Highly Specialized Medicine, 2013
  • Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, 2013
  • Honorary Diploma in Transplant Surgery, European Board of Surgery, 2015
  • Publons Peer Review Award for Top 1% of Reviewers in Clinical Medicine, 2018

Professional Memberships

  • American College of Surgeons (ACS), Fellow (FACS)
  • American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS)
  • German Society for Surgery (DGCH)
  • European-African Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association (E-AHPBA)
  • European Surgical Association (ESA)
  • International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association (IHPBA)
  • International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS)
  • Swiss Society for Visceral Surgery (SGVC)

Publications (5 Key Papers)

  1. Petrowsky H, Wildbrett P, Husarik DB, Hany TF, Tam S, Jochum W, Clavien PA. Impact of integrated positron emission tomography and computed tomography for staging and management of gallbladder cancer and cholangiocarcinoma. J Hepatol 2006;45:43-50
  2. Clavien PA, Petrowsky H, de Olivera M, Graf R. Strategies for safer liver surgery and transplantation of partial liver grafts. New Engl J Med 2007;356:545-559
  3. Petrowsky H, Breitenstein S, Slancamenac K, Vetter D, Lehmann K, Heinrich S, DeOlivera ML, Jochum W, Weishaupt D, Frauenfelder T, Graf R, Clavien PA. Effects of pentoxifylline on liver regeneration and ischemia/reperfusion injury: a double-blinded randomized controlled trial. Ann Surg 2010;252:813-822
  4. Petrowsky H, Rana A, Kaldas FM, Sharma AJ, Hong JC, Agopian V, Durazo F, Honda HH, Gornbein J, Wu V, Farmer DG, Hiatt JR, Busuttil RW. Liver transplantation in highest acuity recipients: identifying factors to avoid futility. Ann Surg 2014;259:1186-1194
  5. Linecker M, Krones T, Berg T, Niemann CU, Steadman RH, Dutkowski P, Clavien PA, Busuttil RW, Truog RD, Petrowsky H. Potentially inappropriate liver transplantation in the era of the “sickest-first” policy – A search for the upper limits. J Hepatol 2018;68:798-813
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Textbook Contributions

  • Atlas of Upper Abdominal Surgery (ed1,2), Springer
  • Current Surgical Therapy (ed10), Elsevier Saunders
  • Disease of the Gallbladder and Bile Ducts (ed2), Blackwell Science
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma (ed1), World Scientific Publishing Comp.
  • Hepatobiliary Cancer (ed1), People’s Medical Publishing House-USA
  • Image-guided Cancer Therapy (ed1), Springer
  • Malignant Liver Tumors (ed2,3), Wiley-Blackwell
  • Mastery of Surgery (ed6,7), Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
  • Shackelford’s Surgery of the Alimentary Tract (ed8), Elsevier
  • Transplantation of the Liver (ed3), Elsevier Saunders

Key Areas of Research

  • Clinical outcome research in hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery
  • Two-stage hepatectomy, ALPPS
  • Vascular-related outcome research in liver transplantation
  • Bioethics in liver transplantation
  • Translational research
  • Experimental cancer treatment