Meet the Expert: Dr. Tayyab Diwan
Meet Dr. Diwan, a liver and kidney transplant surgeon at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
Why did you choose transplant surgery as your area of expertise? How did you get into transplant medicine?
I chose transplant surgery because it has a profound effect on patients’ lives. It positively transforms patients from pre-op to post-op time frame. Seeing that transformation is what drew me to this field.
Describe your specialty and areas of expertise/primary interest.
Within transplant surgery, my specialty is liver and kidney transplant. I am particularly focused on obesity in transplant patients. I have recently launched a program at Mayo Clinic with my colleagues for patients who undergo bariatric surgery so they can qualify for kidney transplantation.
If you weren’t doing this job, what would you be doing?
In high school, I dabbled in the Navy ROTC, so back in those days my pathway may have been the military. If you asked me today, my interest would be construction. I like to work with my hands, even outside of the operating room. I enjoy building and hope to continue that hobby in my free time.
What are some things you wish patients would ask you?
The answer is “anything”. I hope that during my visit with each patient I have created an environment where they feel comfortable asking me about anything.
Describe one of your most rewarding clinical experiences.
The first transplant which I was involved in at Mayo Clinic Arizona was one of the most rewarding. The patient was a gentleman who needed a kidney transplant. The day before surgery he was acting a bit aggressive and not was not entirely nice to me or the staff. The next day when I walked into the room after surgery, he started to cry because he was so thankful for his gift of life. He was a different person that day. That’s how I realized the incredible impact this field of surgery has on the patients, and I was hooked.
What research have you been involved in?
Obesity and transplant has been my focus. Using bariatric surgery to assist patients in being eligible for transplant is my main interest. As part of that, I want to improve graft outcomes after transplant by promoting health in that post-operative period.
What do you think are some influential trends in transplantation?
The trend that is focused on organ recovery and the best ways to stabilize the organ so we have the most amount of time to use it. Research is also on the cusp of getting organs from unique places such as growing them in the lab or using organs from animals. Using different methods to create a framework for getting new organs is the future. Ten years ago I would have told you that this was 50-100 years in our future – now we know it’s relatively close.
In your opinion, what sets Mayo apart from other transplant centers?
Mayo culture focuses on the needs of each patient. That’s the reason I came to Mayo Clinic. It crosses over into how Mayo treats their employees as well. It sounds like a commercial, but it’s so true. There’s an overall sense of doing what’s best for the patient and for each other- a promotion of good will. That, combined with the ability of the clinic to streamline the patient experience, sets them apart from anywhere else in the world. There’s no other place you can be evaluated and potentially listed for transplant within the same week.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
The same thing that is most rewarding is also most challenging – care of the patient. I feel so fortunate and privileged to do what I do. The challenge comes when you do what you are supposed to do, and you don’t get the outcome you wanted for the patient. It was hard when I first started and still hard today.
What are your interests or passions outside of work?
My family is #1. Spending time with them is my first passion. Hanging out with friends is great, but typically happens at 2a.m. in the operating room. I also enjoy gym workouts to maintain a healthy lifestyle. My wife and I started a small farm with sheep, goats, chickens and ducks. Working with my hands and building things while being in the great outdoors is my outlet.
- Learn about kidney transplant at Mayo Clinic.
- Explore Mayo’s Transplant Center.
- Request an appointment.
- Connect with others in the transplant discussion group on Mayo Clinic Connect
- View our transplant toolkits on Mayo Clinic Connect