Professor Waldemar Lech Olszewski

My name is Waldemar L. Olszewski. I am a polish lymphologist.

I was born in Piastów/Warsaw, Poland in a family of landowners in Central Poland with father a linguist and banking specialist.

 have been working for over 50 years to bring the light into the human lymphatic system.

I discovered fundamental processes in human tissues connected with function of the lymphatic system. My basic discoveries are in detail described in hundreds of my publications. Clinical and research interests comprise vascular surgery, transplantation, physiology and surgery of the lymphatic system and immunology. Main scientific contributions include designing and introducing into clinical practice the surgical lympho-venous shunts (1966), discovery of spontaneous rhythmic lymphatic contractility in humans (1980), proving that bacterial factor is responsible for development of human limb lymphedema (1994), introducing low-dose, long-term penicillin administration for prevention of chronic dermatitis and lymphangitis in Asian countries (1996), detecting the phenomenon of non-specific elimination of cell grafts (1990), preservation of tissues for transplantation in dehydrating sodium chloride (2003).


Professor Waldemar Lech Olszewski

I received General Certificate of Education in 1948 in Warsaw and started university studies first at Faculty of Law, Warsaw University in 1948 (through 1950) to change for Faculty of Medicine in 1949.

I graduated in 1954, passed Board in Surgery exams in 1962, received degree of PhD in 19962 and D.Science in 1968. Since 1970 I am associate professor at the Dept. of Surgery, Medical Academy and Medical Research Center, Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw and since 1978 until now full professor at the same centers including

(since 1997) chairman of Clinical Department of Surgery, Ministry of Internal Affaires/Polish Academy of Science Hospital, Warsaw.

I received postgraduate training and carried out research studies at Hammersmith Hospital, London during the period 1962-63, then at Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA, between 1968 and 1970.

 I worked at City Hospital, Warsaw, then Dept. of Surgery, Medical Academy, and Medical Research Center, Warsaw as head of Dept. of Surgical Research & Transplantation and since 1997 as Chief of Clinical Department of Surgery, Ministry of Internal Affaires/Polish Academy of Sciences Hospital, Warsaw.

Served as President of:

- European Society for Surgical Research (1977-78)

- President of International Society of Lymphology, USA (1987-89)

- President of International Society of Lymphology (1989-91)

- President of Polish Society of Immunology (1995-98)

- President of Polish Society of Immunology ,Warsaw (1996-99)

- Honorary Membership of the Polish Surgical Society, Warsaw (2000)

- Board Member of European Lymphological Society, Italy (2006)

- Honorary Membership of Polish Transplantation Society, Warsaw (2007)

- Honorary Professorship Shanghai University, Szanghai China (2007)


Other professional positions include:

- Visiting Professor at Radiumhospitalet, Oslo (since 1976- )

- St.Bartholomew's Medical School, London (since 1994- )

- Research Officer World Health Organization, Madras-Pondicherry-Benares, India (since 1992- )

- President of Section Fundamental Problems in Surgery, Polish Surgical Society (since 1978- )

- Founder of the Poland-Japan Society for Exchange in Surgery (since 1985- )

- Founding W.L.Olszewski Institute of Lymphology, Bhairahawa, Nepal (2009)


1967 Award for the first kidney transplantation in Poland

(Minister of Health)


1973, 1985,1989 Award of the Polish Academy of Sciences


1973 International Award of The Society of Lymphology

(Tuscon, USA)


1975 Award of the International Society of Lymphology (USA)


1987 Award for best poster presentation,

Polish Surgical Society Poznań


1997 Award of the Polish Society of Transplantology


2001 Award for best poster presentation XXXVI Congress of the European Society for Surgical Research Santiago di Compostella


2003 The best poster


2004 J. Sniadecki Award Polish Academy of Sciences


2005 Doctor Honoris Causa Universita di Genova, Italy

2006 National Lymphedema Network Award, USA


2006 Best Career Investigator Award, NIH Bethesda, USA

(Lymphatic Research Foundation)


2006 Award of the Polish Academy of Sciences


2007 Award of the National Lymphedema Network,

San Francisco, USA


2007 Award of the American Society of Lymphology USA


2012 Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Phlebologie Ratschow Medal


2013 Bene Merito Medal -

Polish Foreign Ministry contribution to world medicine


1979 Purkynie Medal, Czech Medical Society


Carlo Erba medal, Italian Surgical Society


2013 Theodor Bilharz Research Institute




Olszewski WL. Atlas of the lymphatics of the lower limbs.

France: Les Laboratories Servier; 2006.


1991 W.L. Olszewski. Lymph Stasis: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis and Treatment.

CRC Press, Inc. Boca Raton, Florida, USA, ISBN 0-8493-6499-X


1987 W.L. Olszewski. In Vivo Migration of Immune Cells.

CRC Press, Inc. Boca Raton, Florida, USA


1985 W.L. Olszewski. Peripheral Lymph Formation and Immune Function.

CRC Press, Inc. Boca Raton, Florida, USA, ISBN 0-8493-6137-0


1985 "Kompendium postepowania przed- i pooperacyjnego w chirurgii ogolnej"


1984 W.L. Olszewski. CRC Handbook of Microsurgery

Vol 1 CRC Press, Inc. Boca Raton, Florida,

USA, ISBN 0-8493-3920 (vol.1) (vol.2 )


1976 "Doswiadczalne przeszczepianie narzadow"


"Metody badan doswiadczalnych w chirurgii"


Member of editorial boards of many international medical journals among them:


Lymphology (USA)


International Angiology (GB)


Central European Journal of Immunology (Poland)


Phlebolinfologia (Spain)


Cell Transplantation (USA)


Lymphatic Research and Biology (USA)


US-Chinese Journal of Lymphology and Oncology (China)


Indian Medical Research (India)


Annals of Transplantation (Poland)