Healthcare Belgium



Onze-Lieve-Vrouwziekenhuis Aalst - OLV

General Surgery

Information about the Centre

The OLV Hospital's Department of General Surgery has enjoyed an excellent reputation for more than a century and countless general surgeons from all over Belgium have trained here over the years.

The Department is one of the leading centres of its kind in Europe, having performed approximately 2,000 laparoscopic colorectal resections (including 430 cases of colorectal cancer) to date.

Over 100 colorectal surgeons from Belgium and across Europe have attended live demonstrations within our Department; we also have considerable experience in performing laparoscopic upper gastrointestinal (GI) surgery (gastrectomy, antireflux surgery, splenectomy and adrenalectomy).

Operation theatre OLV Hospital

Procedures Performed

Laparoscopic Colectomy Surgery (for benign diseases and cancer): 200 to 250 cases a year

With a 4 or 5 trocard approach the 'bad' part of the colon is mobilised laparoscopically after having controlled the vascular supply and then removed trough a mini-incision. Then, depending on the site of the lesion, a transanal or extracorporal anastomosis is performed. The obvious advantages are less pain, less woundproblems, less complications, faster recovery, shorter hospital stay and very probably there are also oncological benefits. The average hospital stay is 5 to 7 days.

Laparoscopic Antireflux Surgery

Trough 5 small trocards an eventual hiatal hernia is reduced and a wrap of stomach is constructed around the oesophagus to resolve gastro-esophageal reflux (Nissen fundoplication). The hospital stay is 24 to 48 hours 

Thyroid Surgery: 150 a year

Through a small and cosmetic 'necklace – incision' the procedure is performed using 'neuro-monitoring' to avoid lesions to the recurrent nerves which could lead to hoarseness. The average stay is 24 hours

Laparoscopic Cholecystectomie: more than 250 cases a year

With a 3 or 4 trocard approach the gallbladder, containing gallstones, is freed and removed. Hardly any pain or discomfort are present postoperatively.
The average stay is 24 hours

The Medical Team

Front row, from left to right: Koen Vermeiren MD and Yves Van Molhem MD 
Back row, from left to right: Philip Hofman MD, Steven De Gendt MD and Jean-Pierre Gillardin MD
Also part of the General Surgery team: Marc Krick MD

Jean-Pierre Gillardin, MD, has been a general surgeon at the OLV Hospital since 1977 and replaced Dr Jean Cuvelier as Head of Department in 1991. In 1990 he performed the first laparoscopic cholecystectomy and since then the Aalst hospital has built up a respected reputation in this field. Dr Gillardin now focuses on oncological, breast and hernia surgery but primarily on thyroid and parathyroid surgery, a field in which he is one of Belgium's main authorities. Read more about Dr. Gillardin

Philip Hofman, MD, joined our team in 1983 after completing additional training
in hepatobiliary surgery.

Yves Van Molhem, MD, joined the Department in 1996 and has since developed its laparoscopic surgery techniques substantially; he is considered an authority on laparoscopic colorectal procedures in particular. Read more about Dr. Van Molhem

More than a hundred Belgian and other European colorectal surgeons have been visiting his life demonstrations. He is also an expert in laparoscopic upper GI surgery (gastrectomy, anti-reflux surgery, splenectomy, adrenalectomy, and bariatric surgery).

Fellowships are offered in this centre. Read more under "Fellowships".

Contact Details

OLV Hospital Aalst
Moorselbaan 164
B-9300 Aalst