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Rainer WG Gruessner, MD, FACS, FICS, Chairman, Department of Surgery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Rainer WG Gruessner, MD, FACS, FICS

Clarence & Mary Dennis Professor of Surgery

Chairman, Department of Surgery

SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Transplant, General and Hepatopancreaticobiliary (HPB) Surgery


Tel: (718) 270-1421 | Fax: (718) 270-2826

e-mail: rainer.gruessner@downstate.edu


Clinical Interests:

Organ transplantation and Hepatopancreaticobiliary Surgery (HPB) including:

  • Transplantation of all abdominal organs (kidney, liver, pancreas, bowel) in adult and pediatric recipients, from both living or deceased donors

  • Kidney, liver, pancreas and small bowel failure

  • Diseases of the pancreas, liver and bile ducts

  • Diabetes Mellitus

Research Interests:

Tolerance Induction, Tumor Immunobiology, Donor Cell Augmentation

Specific Diseases Treated

  • Brittle Diabetes mellitus with or without renal failure (Pancreas, Islet and Kidney transplantation)

  • Chronic pancreatitis (Total Pancreatectomy with simultaneous Islet Auto-transplant, TPIAT)

  • Pancreatic cancer

  • Benign pancreatic tumors (including IPMN, MCA, insulinoma and other endocrine tumors)

  • Chronic hepatitis (Liver transplantation)

  • Liver/Hepatocellular (HCC) cancer (Liver resection and transplantation)

  • Benign liver tumors (Adenoma, hemangioma, various cysts)

  • Diseases of the bile duct (Cholangiocarcinoma, Klatskin tumor, Choledochal cysts)

  • Renal failure/ End-stage renal disease, ESRD (Kidney transplantation)

  • Short bowel/gut syndrome (Intestinal and multivisceral transplantation)

  • Gastro-intestinal diseases requiring surgical intervention (Including, but not limited to, GI bleeding, inflammatory bowel diseases, stomach/duodenal cancer, desmoid tumors).


Medical Education/Residency/Doctoral Thesis: Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany

Professorial Thesis (German PhD-equivalent): Philipps University, Marburg, Germany

Fellowship: Transplant Surgery and Immunology, University of Minnesota

Previous Affiliations and Positions:

  • University of Minnesota (Vice Chairman)

  • University of Zurich (Chairman)

  • University of Arizona (Chairman)

Active Medical Licenses:

  • New York

  • Minnesota

  • Arizona

"Firsts" in Surgery by Dr. Gruessner:
Involvement in / performance of:

  • First split pancreas transplant (1998)

  • First pancreas transplant after total pancreatectomy for chronic pancreatitis (1998)

  • First laparoscopic pancreas graft biopsy (1996)

  • First standardized technique for living donor intestinal transplants (1997)

  • First preemptive living donor liver transplant for oxalosis (1998)

  • First laparosopic living donor distal pancreatectomy and nephrectomy (2000)

  • First robot-assisted total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplant (2012)

Membership in > 20 professional societies, including:

  • American Surgical Association (ASA)

  • American College of Surgeons (ACS)

  • Society of University Surgeons (SUS)

  • Association for Academic Surgery (AAS)

  • American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS)

  • The Transplantation Society (TTS)

  • International Pancreas and Islet Association (IPITA)

  • International College of Surgeons (ICS)


PubMed [link ]

  • > 300 peer-reviewed publications, >200 published abstracts, > 100 book chapters

  • Textbook: Transplantation of the Pancreas (2004),

  • Textbook: Living Donor Organ Transplantation (2008)

  • Textbook: Technological Advances in Surgery, Trauma, and Critical Care (2015)

Dr. Gruessner is a Fellow of the American and International Colleges of Surgery (FACS, FICS)

Patient Appointments

To make an appointment, please call (718) 270-1421