About the Diaphragm CenterĀ©

In 2010, the Surgical Expertise Center was founded by Dr. W.N. Welvaart. He initially treated patients with a paralyzed diaphragm at the Rivierenland Hospital in Tiel and then at the Meander Medical Center in Amersfoort. Since April 2022, the Diaphragm Center has been an independent center of expertise.

Surgical Technique

Dr. Welvaart employs a surgical technique that corrects a paralyzed diaphragm from the abdomen, rather than the more common approach through the chest cavity. This surgery is much less burdensome for the patient: they experience virtually no pain post-operation and can usually go home the next day.

Origins of the Diaphragm Center

Dr. Welvaart has been operating on patients with paralyzed diaphragms for years, but he saw the waiting lists growing and figured out a way to change that. “I want to help many patients, but due to other medical procedures, there is insufficient operating room and capacity available in my current hospital to perform surgery on all patients within an acceptable time. The waiting list for this procedure keeps getting longer, and it frustrates me enormously. So, I started the Diaphragm Center to turn the tide!”


The Diaphragm Center aims to treat patients with severe shortness of breath as soon as possible. Our goal is to significantly improve the quality of life for these patients.

“Restoring the quality of life as quickly as possible to patients who are severely short of breath is the most beautiful thing I can do,” says Dr. Welvaart.

To treat even more patients in the long term, Dr. Welvaart hopes to train young, talented surgeons in this unique technique in the near future, so they too can apply this method of surgery at the Diaphragm Center.


The Diaphragm Expertise Center had already gained international recognition, receiving referrals from all over the country and abroad. Now, the Diaphragm Center has taken over this role and will provide appropriate care to diaphragm patients, both nationally and internationally.

Read more:

What is diaphragmatic paralysis >

Unfamiliarity with diaphragmatic paralysis >

Treatment information >

Diaphragm CenterĀ©

For treatment of paralyzed diaphragm