One of the most respected phlebologist of his time Dr. Robert Stemmer

Born on November 12, 1925 in Strasbourg, France, Dr. Robert Stemmer studied medicine in Clermont-Ferrand and earned his medical degree in Strasbourg in 1950. 

He was a general practitioner until 1960 while progressively moving towards angiology. From then on, he exclusively dedicated his practice to angiology in Strasbourg. In 1962, he became a member of the French Society of Phlebology, and was also member of the French College of Vascular Disease from its foundation in 1966.

He was chairman of the Phlebological Polyclinic of the Surgical Clinic of the University of Strasbourg from 1970 until 1985. Robert Stemmer was especially dedicated to compression therapy and sclerotherapy, but he also spent time on lymphology. 

In 1976, he described the so-called ‘Stemmer Sign (588)’, named after him, in VASA. It was not only this sign who made him a world-famous phlebologist, but also his never-ending dedication to phlebology.

His proverbial presence at medical congresses and events in the area of phlebology and lymphology was legendary in the world. With a never fading activity, motivation, creativity and drive powered by his intentions for phlebology, he traveled all over the world. He organized many major congresses and events, including the 10th world congress of the International Union of Phlebology in 1989 in Strasbourg. He also organized top level conferences in angiology. His events, such as the ‘Obersteigener Angiologischen Gespräche’ in Alsace, were always characterized by a family atmosphere. 

Dr. Robert Stemmer had also intensive and personal contacts with phlebologists in Eastern Germany, Czechoslovakia and Russia. His efforts culminated with the agreement from the political authorities in East Berlin to allow the organization of a bilateral phlebology symposium between France and East Germany in Potsdam in 1988.Through his wise and clever negotiations, the participation of an extraordinarily large group of East German phlebologists at the congress of the IUP in 1989 in Strasburg became possible. 

He earned high tributes for his work. In 1996, he received the "Ernst-von-Bergmann-Award" by the German Physician's Chamber. His well-known kindness, commitment and always fun-loving character made him a highly appreciated personality in the world of phlebology. Like no one else, Robert Stemmer became a bridge-builder for international phlebology. He was a member of honor and correspondent member in numerous societies. From 1990 until 1993, he was president of the French Society of Phlebology and became Honorary President in 1994. 

In 1992, he was member of the European Committee of Normalisation of Medical Stockings.
In 1998, he became the General Secretary of the IUP. In this function, he had the perspective of the reorganization of the ‘World Union of Phlebology’.

Dr. Robert Stemmer died unexpectedly on June 8, 2000, leaving the following bibliography:

  • Contribution à l'étude des tumeurs inflammatoires non spécifiques du caecum, R. Stemmer, M. A. G. Weiss, 1950 
  • La sclérose des varices, R. Tournay et col., Expansion Scientifique Française, 1972
  • Probleme des geschwollenen Beines, herausgegeben von U. Brunner, A. Bollinger und R. Stemmer, H. Huber, 1973 
  • Probleme phlebologischer Therapie, herausgegeben von U. Brunner, A. Bolliger und R. Stemmer, H. Huber,1973
  • Ein klinisches Zeichen zur Früh- und Differentialdiagnose des Lymphödems, R. Stemmer, VASA 1976, 5:261-262
  • Histopathologie et aspects cliniques de la maladie veineuse 2, Aspects cliniques de la maladie veineuse, R. Stemmer, Laboratoires Martinet, 1982
  • Traitements Mécaniques fonctionnels en phlébologie, G. Bassi, R. Stemmer, Piccin, 1983
  • Compendio di terapia flebologica, G. Bassi, R. Stemmer, Minerva Medica, 1985
  • La sclérose des varices, R. Stemmer, Ganzoni, 1988
  • Phlébologie 89 - Actes du 10e Congrès mondial, Union internationale de Phlébologie, Strasbourg 25-29 septembre 1989, A. Davy, R. Stemmer, John Libbey Eurotext, 1989 
  • Postoperative Kompressionstherapie in der Venenchirurgie, R. Stemmer, Med Welt, 1989, 40:59-60
  • Compression et mobilisation : Stratégies de traitement, R. Stemmer, Ganzoni, 1995
  • Traitement Compressif des Membres Inférieurs, R. Stemmer, H. Partsch, E. Rabe, Editions Phlébologiques Françaises, 1999

Additional literature on Dr. Robert Stemmer:

  • Fischer H., Robert Stemmer zum 60. Geburtstag, Phlebol. U. Proktol., 1986, 15:37
  • Holzegel K., Phlebologie: Entwicklungen, Erkenntnisse, Wahrheiten und Irrtümer. Zu den 20. Angiologischen Gesprächen, Der Deutsche Dermatologe, 2000, 48:102-106
  • Klüken N., Robert Stemmer zum 70. Geburtstag, Phlebologie 1996, 25:46-47
  • Rabe E., Gerlach H., Nachruf auf Dr. med. Robert Stemmer, Vasomed, 2000, 12:125
  • R. Stemmer Geleitwort in: Rabe E. Grundlagen der Phlebologie, 2. Auflage, Viavital, 2000