Top liver transplant surgeon immigrates to Israel

Top liver transplant surgeon immigrates to Israel

Daniel Azoulay, who once operated on former Mossad head Meir Dagan, leaves Paris to join staff of Sheba Medical Center

Dr Daniel Azoulay on August 15, 2018. (Screen capture: Channel 10)
Dr Daniel Azoulay on August 15, 2018. (Screen capture: Channel 10)

One of the world’s top liver transplant surgeons recently immigrated from France to Israel, where he has joined the staff of the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Channel 10 news reported Wednesday.

Dr. Daniel Azoulay served for 22 years as a senior surgeon at the Paul Brousse Hospital in Paris before moving to Israel.

In 2012 he flew from France to Belarus to perform a liver transplant on former Mossad chief Meir Dagan.

American and German doctors were asked to perform the operation, but “no one wanted to carry out a liver transplant operation on a former head of the Mossad,” Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said at the time.

Dagan was ineligible to have the surgery done in Israel, because at 67 he was two years over the maximum age set by Israeli health regulations for a liver transplant. He passed away in 2016, aged 71.

A 3D model of a liver, prepared to enable complicated surgical procedures. (Screen capture: Channel 10)

Azoulay told Channel 10 that empathy is essential for a doctor to do a good job. “If you are cold you don’t do a good job,” he said.

“Why Israel? Because I am Jewish, I love Israel,” Azoulay told the news program. “I think it was time to come and participate, to build a good liver unit in Israel.”

Azoulay has performed more than 1,500 liver transplants and thousands of liver-pancreatic-biliary surgeries.

Among other things, he is one of the few doctors in the world to uses a 3D printer to create precise models of the organs before surgery, to facilitate performing complex operations.

He is also the author of more than 400 medical articles.

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