Wolfgang Draf – Obituary

Written by Shahzada Ahmed

Born on the 29th November 1940 in Bonn, Germany, Wolfgang Draf studied Medicine. In 1975 he became Professor and Deputy Head of the Mainz University Otorhinolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery Department and in 1979 he was appointed Director of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head & Neck and Plastic Facial Surgery at Fulda, Germany, which was to become his home base until his retirement in 2005. Even after retirement Wolfgang Draf continued to be very active as a surgeon at the Hannover International Neuroscience Institute as well as teacher and much sought after lecturer at numerous conferences,  workshops and courses worldwide.  He was one of the pioneers of Skull Base Surgery and President of the European Skull Base Society from 2005-2007.

Though best known for his microscope-based approaches to the sinuses and skull base, Professor Draf was a true “allrounder”, equally active and talented in Otology and oncologic Head and Neck surgery. His interest in the nose and sinuses started early on in his career; he was, in fact, one of the first to publish on endoscopy of the maxillary sinus in 1975. His endonasal techniques to drain frontal sinuses have become the mainstay of our surgical spectrum over the last 20 years, and will be passed on to the next generation as the Draf I – III frontal sinus “drill-out” procedures.