Contact Information

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center 

395 W. 12th Ave., Room 192 
Columbus, OH 43210-1250

Ken Washburn, MD
Executive Director, Comprehensive Transplant Center


About this program

The Abdominal Transplant Surgery Fellowship at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is a two-year program, focused on clinical aspects of abdominal transplantation. There are two positions, with one new fellow starting every year (i.e., there is always a first-year fellow and a second-year fellow). The program is divided into five clinical segments:
  • Renal
  • Liver and pancreas
  • Vascular access
  • Living donor nephrectomies
  • Deceased donor nephrectomies
Each fellow spends an equivalent amount of time on each service. The first-year fellow starts on renal transplant service and rotates every three months. At times, the fellow may cover two segments within the same rotation. 

In addition, the fellow will play a role in more than 60 liver transplants during his or her two-year term, and have plenty of opportunities to perform basic and clinical research.

Program highlights

Each transplant surgery fellow:
  • Is involved in all phases of transplantation, including donor offers, patient preparation, working with the HLA (human leukocyte antigen) lab and pre- and postoperative clinics
  • Participates in simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplants, as well as isolated and sequential pancreas transplants and total pancreatectomy and auto islet transplantation
  • Trains in the evaluation of both living and deceased donors
  • Learns techniques in the management and recovery of the donor organs from the multi-organ donor
  • Receives extensive experience in vascular access procedures, including creating arteriovenous fistulas, establishing vascular access with prosthetic graft materials and rescuing the thrombosed access
  • Gains experience in the use of current preservation technology, including both cold storage and hypothermic pulsatile perfusion of the deceased donor kidneys
  • Learns back table preparation of kidney, pancreas and liver grafts

A note from the fellowship director

Thank you for your interest in our program! This fellowship was initiated in 1984. We graduate an average of one surgeon per year. Our fellows are located nationally and internationally, and many of them are in leadership roles. 

We are one of the largest renal and pancreatic transplantation programs in the world. Our liver transplant service is growing fast — we performed 58 liver transplants in 2016, up from 36 in 2015. We are expanding into living donor liver transplantation in children and adults. We are also expanding our hepatobiliary surgery activities. 

Our faculty is dedicated to graduating transplant surgeons who can serve as productive team members from day one.

If you have any questions about our program, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Elmahdi Elkhammas, MD
Director, Transplant Surgery Fellowship
Professor, Clinical Surgery

Application Process

Application process

If you are interested in applying for the Transplant Surgery Fellowship, please provide:
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation on business letterhead, to include one from current program director
  • ECFMG certification
  • Photograph
For consideration, please send the above application materials via email to:

Dr. Elmahdi Elkhammas
Fellowship Program Director
Professor of Clinical Surgery
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

We will review your application and if we decide you are a potential candidate, you will be invited for an interview. 

Note: Our program utilizes the NRMP match process.



Each fellow will rotate among these services – liver, pancreas, renal and vascular access. During the rotation, the fellow is supported by physician assistants, an advanced practice provider resident and an intern. Experiences for the fellow include all aspects of surgical care and patient management.

Surgical Experience

Surgical Experience

The fellow evaluates recipients of both living and deceased donor organs and prepares patients for transplantation. Operating room responsibilities include performing both deceased donor and living donor renal transplantation, open and laparoscopic living donor nephrectomy, kidney-pancreas transplantation, liver transplantation and hepatobiliary surgery. 

Additionally, the fellow participates in all surgical complications and emergencies in post-transplant recipients. During the second year of training, the fellow assumes the role of teacher, training general surgery residents in the operative techniques of vascular access and transplantation.



All transplant patients (both preoperative and postoperative, up to a year following transplant date) are admitted to the Transplant Renal Service or Extra-Renal Service. The fellow is responsible for day-to-day management of these patients as well as for the other medical parts of the patients’ plan of care. The fellow rounds with the attending on a daily basis to streamline immunosuppression.

Intensive care unit

Our surgical intensive care unit (SICU) is an open unit. When our patients are admitted to the SICU, our fellows, along with the attending, continue to be the team lead. The fellows communicate closely with the SICU team to make combined decisions regarding general medical care and immunosuppression.

Outpatient care

In their second year, fellows are expected to evaluate outpatients as candidates for transplantation and manage them post-transplant. The fellow will become adept in the longterm follow-up of transplant patients and in dealing with the sequelae developing from longterm immunosuppression in this select patient population.



There are plenty of opportunities to participate in clinical and basic science research, including:

Basic, translational and clinical research for transplantation and immunology
Normothermic organ preservation and ischemia reperfusion injury research

Significant opportunities exist for Health Services Research in the Department of Surgery and Transplant Outcomes within the Division of Transplant Surgery.

Additional Learning Opportunities

Additional learning opportunities

The fellow is required to complete the Academic Universe modules. He or she attends all general surgery conferences (weekly grand rounds and the weekly Morbidity and Mortality update). 

Training-specific conferences include: 
  • Renal and pancreas care
  • Renal and pancreas quality
  • Liver care
  • Liver quality
  • Weekly education conference organized by one of the attendings
  • Weekly transplant/pathology biopsy conference - Albert Lloyd
  • Transplant Center grand rounds every Tuesday
Once a month, the fellow will present at the Transplant Center Morbidity and Mortality update, preparing a case presentation and review of similar cases. In addition, the fellow presents at a journal club alternatively every month.

Summary of the conferences

8 a.m. - 9 a.m. Liver Selection Committee Meeting

8 a.m. - 9 a.m. CTC Grand Rounds (once a month discussion of Morbidity and Morality and cases of interest)

7:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Renal and Pancreas Selection Committee
1 p.m. - 2 p.m. Transplant Education
2 p.m. - 3 p.m. Transplant Pathology Conference

6:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. General Surgery Grand Rounds and Morbidity and Mortality update
Noon - 1 p.m. Liver Care, Liver Quality or Fellows Conference

Our Fellows

Loay Haj Naser, MD
Transplant Surgery fellow, clinical instructor 

Latifa Sage-Silski, MD
Transplant Surgery fellow, clinical instructor 

Abdominal Fellowship Team