Obituary—Prof André Gächter, MD

13. April 2018

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of AO Senior Trustee Prof André Gächter, MD

Written by Prof. Pietro Regazzoni

Reme​mbering Prof André Gächter, MD, Swiss orthopedic surgery leader

André GächterProf André Gächter, MD, a leader in orthopedic surgery in Switzerland, passed away on March 18, 2018.

Born in St. Gallen in eastern Switzerland, he studied medicine in Bern. His orthopedic training took him to the Prof Erwin Morscher’s department at Universitätsspital Basel. The multitalented Gächter was quickly recognized as a skilled surgeon and as an open-minded, critical thinker.

Very important for Gächter’s academic curriculum was a research and clinical year in Chicago (US) with Prof. Jorge Galante before he became staff member in the department in Basel. His clinical contributions covered a broad spectrum: He was a pioneer of gas arthroscopy, impressing everyone with exceptionally sharp images. He was a founding—and later, honorary—member of the AGA (arthroscopy working group) and the Arosa arthroscopy courses. Furthermore, he was an AO Foundation Senior Trustee and made relevant contributions to the field of infection treatment in orthopedics and paved the way to a broad use of the mechanical stabilizer.  

After his Basel period, Gächter returned to his native St. Gallen for 10 years as chief of the renowned department of orthopedic surgery at the Kantonspital St. Gallen, aligning himself with world famous names like Maurice E Müller, Hardy Weber and Fritz Magerl. His surgical activity did not stop with retirement from the government hospital and continued until last year. 

Gächter represented a unique combination of a sharp mind, intellectual integrity, a fine ironic communication style and broad cultural interests, along with a strong commitment to his family. 

He will be missed by his wife, Monique, his three children, his friends at the AO Foundation, and all those who had the privilege of knowing him.