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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

Department of Surgery


Rainer WG Gruessner, MD, FACS, FICS

Rainer WG Gruessner, MD, FACS, FICS

Professor of Surgery

Transplant, General and Hepatopancreaticobiliary (HPB) Surgery

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


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 Zürich (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 laparoscopic 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)


Patient Appointments

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

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)