Dr. Rainer Gruessner: A Preeminent Pancreas and Liver Surgeon

When it comes to medical experts, Dr. Rainer Gruessner is at the top of his field when it comes to transplantation and general surgery of the pancreas and liver. He is viewed as a progressive leader in these fields and has been recognized with developing pioneering techniques. He was the first to develop a standardized technique for living donor intestinal transplants; he was the first to perform a preemptive living donor liver transplant for oxalosis in a child; he was the first to perform a laparoscopic living donor distal pancreatectomy and nephrectomy; and he performed the first robot assisted total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplant in 2012. He was also involved in the first split pancreas transplant in 1988.

Dr. Rainer Gruessner’s contributions to his fields don’t end there. His findings and technical innovations are all documented in the scientific literature. He has edited two standard textbooks on transplant surgery; and he has authored or co-authored over 600 publications that include manuscripts, abstracts and book chapters.

During his tenure at the University of Arizona, Dr. Rainer Gruessner was largely responsible for expanding their hepatopancreaticobiliary program, as well as the Department of Surgery as a whole. He built one of the nation’s largest programs for the treatment of chronic pancreatitis through total pancreatectomy and islet auto-transplantation. He not only introduced minimally invasive and robotic procedures in hepatopancreaticobiliary surgery but throughout all the subspecialty divisions, pushing some of them to become nationally-recognized leading centers for robotic surgical procedures.


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