Ulrich Sigwart is a world-renowned German cardiologist celebrated for his pioneering role in several areas of internal medicine. His contributions to the medical field have been crucial to the advancement of patient health care; they include the conception and clinical use of vascular stents, and the introduction of a non-surgical technique — known as alcohol septal ablation or Sigwart-procedure — for the percutaneous treatment of patients suffering from hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy. The procedure allows symptomatic patients to avoid open-heart surgery. In 1986, after having performed a number of animal experiments and overcoming several regulatory hurdles in Switzerland, Dr. Sigwart was finally able to put stents into human coronary arteries, changing our lives substantially.
For over 50 years, Dr. Sigwart has garnered professional experience working and conducting research in the United States, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Germany. He embarked on what would become a distinguished career when he received a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Munster in 1967. That same year, he also obtained a Doctor of Science in medicine from the University of Dusseldorf. Pursuing his professional aspirations, Dr. Sigwart completed a residency at Framingham Union Hospital, as part of the VA Boston Healthcare System. He subsequently completed a fellowship in cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. In 1978, Dr. Sigwart supplemented his expertise in cardiology through the acquisition of another Doctor of Science in medicine, this time from the Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf. In 1999, the University of Lausanne in Switzerland acknowledged Dr. Sigwart’s achievements with an honorary Doctor of Science.
At the conclusion of his training in 1973, Dr. Sigwart took on the role of chief of the catheterization laboratory at the Gollwitzer-Meier Institute, which later became the “Heart Center North-Rhein-Westphalia” in Bad Oeynhausen, Germany, where he set up an invasive cardiology program. From 1979 to 1989, he served as chief of invasive cardiology at University Hospital in Lausanne, followed by 12 years as the director of the invasive cardiology department at Royal Brompton Hospital before returning to Switzerland in 2001 to serve as chair of cardiology at the University of Geneva. He retired from his post in 2006, and today he is recognized as an emeritus professor.
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