Tomaž Štupnik, MD, PhD

Dr. Tomaž Štupnik is a graduate of University of Ljubljana. He received training in General Surgery and Thoracic Surgery at the University Medical Centre Ljubljana where he completed his residency in 2008. He was also trained in Texas Heart Institute under Igor Gregoric, MD Anderson Cancer Center under Ara Vaporciyan and Reza Mehran, the Methodist Hospital, Houston TX under Harish Seethamraju and Mathias Loebe and Allgemeines Krankenhaus in Vienna under Walter Klepetko.

He was the first thoracic surgeon in South-East Europe to perform a VATS Lobectomy (2008) and the first to perform Uniportal VATS Lobectomy (2015). Between 2012 and 2014 he organized 12 International courses of VATS Lobectomies with wet-labs and Live Surgery, hosting many established thoracic surgeons from Europe, Middle East, and Africa. He performed two Worldwide Live VATS Lobectomy Video Transmissions in (2015 and 2017).

He has played a major role in spreading the VATS technique to the South-East Europe by performing Live VATS Lobectomies in Poland, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece and organizing 2016 and 2017 South- Eastern European Joint Meetings of Thoracic Surgeons and Anesthesiologists in Split and Ljubljana respectively. He was a member of the Organizing Committee at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the European Society of Thoracic Surgeons held in Ljubljana.

In 2018 he led the surgical team that established a very successful Lung Transplant program in Slovenia and was awarded a Levicnik’s prize of the Slovenian Respiratory Society for his contribution to the field. The team has performed 37 transplantations until september 2021 including a pediatric pulmonary transplantation and 4 transplantations for COVID-19 associated ARDS.

He authored a Textbook on Thoracentesis and chest tube drainage placement (2013). He was an invited speaker and member of the faculty at many international meetings such as 3rd International Uniportal VATS Course in Berlin, CEE Thoracic Symposiums, 1st CEE Uniportal VATS Wet-Lab in Istanbul, 1st International Course on non-intubated and advanced VATS Lobectomy technique in Guangzhou, China, ESTS VATS Lobectomy Beginner and Intermediate Course in Hamburg.

He has coauthored papers with Diego Gonzalez-Rivas on advanced uniportal VATS techniques published in EJCTS and JTD (2016).

Dr. Tomaž Štupnik finished his PhD in the field of Medical Statistics (2017) and was habilitated to a position of an Assistant Professor at Medical faculty of Ljubljana. Since 2016 he heads the Department of Thoracic Surgery of University Medical Centre Ljubljana.

In collaboration with Ethicon Dr. Tomaž Štupnik developed the ‘Ethicon Stupnik VATS Simulator’ targeted specifically to deliberate practice of VATS skills. Since 2017 more than 200 simulators were produced and deployed in Europe, North America, Japan, China, Middle East, Australia, and New Zealand. More than 3000 training opportunities were created worldwide and practice on this simulator is currently being incorporated into standard thoracic surgical training.

He is also an experienced glider pilot and instructor, former national vice champion and holder of several national gliding records.


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