Vahudin Zugor’s life story seems to have been written in Hollywood. He came to Germany from his native Banja Luka: without money or acquaintances. Today he is the leading robotic surgeon in Germany. Using robots, he operated on 4,000 people.
The Zugor family from Banja Luka lived a completely normal life until the beginning of the 90s and the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Father Sacir was a magistrate, and mother Nazifa was a senior nurse. Their son Vahudin attended school and played football in Borac, Prijedor and Footbal ClubNaprijed. His youthful plans were changed by the war.
He quit medical school and came to Germany: no money and no knowledge of the German language. Arriving in Germany was a great psychological pressure. Today, 30 years later, he says that his main goal was to survive and provide financial resources for his studies and for his parents who lived as refugees in Croatia.
“I worked day and night. First I worked as a carer. When I worked during the day, I studied the language at night and vice versa. After three years, I enrolled at the renowned medical faculty in Erlangen”, recalls Zugor, who today is the director of the Urology Clinic in Bamberg. The clinic is one of 35 in the Clinical Center, which employs 5,500 workers.
Prof. Ph.D. Vahudin Zugor is a pioneer of robotic surgery in Germany. He is considered by many to be the leading robotic surgeon in Germany and Europe. In the urology clinic in Bamberg, he recently performed 1,000th surgical procedures with the da Vinci robotic system. It was also his 4,000th since he started performing operations with robots. Most often, these are cancers of the prostate and kidneys, bladder or adrenal glands.
German hospitals are increasingly recognizing the importance of robotics primarily because of the good results. About 200 robotic systems are in use in Germany. Prof. Ph.D. Zugor completed professional training at nine clinics in Germany and Cambridge.
Xaver Frauenknech, president of the Board of Directors of the Clinical Center in Bamberg, says that Zugor’s expertise is one of the main reasons why they hired him, as he is an internationally recognized expert. “In the past four and a half years, he has written the history of our clinical center with his work. We bought another Da Vinci robot in order to apply it in other areas, as well as to train new specialists,” says Frauenknecht.
“Robotic technology enables the stability and precision of performing small movements in the patient’s body, and the additional stability of the robotic arm with a high-quality camera enables high magnification and excellent visualization of tissue structures”, says Prof. Dr. Zugor and notes that the combination of technology with an experienced operator and the selection of suitable features diseases in the patient guarantee the best results of the surgical procedure.
In addition to being an associate professor at the University of Cologne, Vahudin is a tutor and mentor to numerous students and urological doctors. He is the winner of numerous awards and recognitions.
Many patients from BiH and neighboring countries come to Bamberg for treatment and seek help and advice from Zugor. Many serious urological diseases, which cannot be technically treated in BiH, are the domain of Prof. Ph.D. Zugor, who is also the only robotic urologist from BiH in Europe.
“My goal and wish in life is that one day robotic surgery will come to my BiH as well. Such a project requires a special infrastructure, enormous motivation and education of the complete robotic team and medical team. Currently there is no such robotics and surgery in BiH, but I hope that one day our knowledge and experience that we gained abroad will be used in our home country as well”, says Prof. Dr. Vahudin Zugor for Deutsche Welle.