Dr. Rainer Gruessner is an innovative and highly skilled transplantsurgeon. He is a leading authority on minimally invasive and robotic techniques in general and transplantation surgery in an effort to maximize patient comfort and satisfaction, decrease wound sizes, and shorten hospital stays.
In 2007, he was appointed Chairman of the Department of Surgery,Chief of the Division of Transplantation and Director of the Surgical Hepatopancreaticobiliaryprogram at the University of Arizona. He obtained his medical degree from the Johannes Gutenberg University School of Medicine in Mainz, Germany, in 1983, and received a “summa cum laude” for his medical thesis from the same school. He went on to complete professorial thesis, (“Habilitation”, the German PhD equivalent) in 1991 at the Philipps University in Marburg, Germany, where he also gained additional experience in endocrine, vascular and general surgery.
Between 1987 and 1989, Rainer Gruessner completed a fellowship in transplantation at the University of Minnesota. At the same institution, and in his later years as a tenured faculty member, he developed a standardized technique for living donor intestinal transplants. In 1998, he performed the first-ever preemptive living donor liver transplant for oxalosis in a baby.
His contributions to the advancements of his field were backed with a long list of skills he gained from the unique work he has performed in a wide range of university settings. He was involved in the first split pancreas transplant in 1988 and performedthe first laparoscopic pancreas transplant biopsy in 1995, the first laparoscopic living donor distal pancreatectomy and nephrectomy in 2000, and the first robot assisted total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplant in 2012.