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Department of Surgery

Since our first class in 1893, the Department of Surgery has pioneered possibilities across the full spectrum of surgical illness. We're leading the way in surgical care, from minimally invasive techniques to transplant surgery.
Doctor and nurse working together during a surgery in Lowell General Hospital's Heart and Vascular Cath Lab.
Surgical innovation is our tradition

When we’re part of a health system that’s nearly as old as the United States itself, our Department of Surgery is bound to make some history along the way. Like, in 1964, when we performed the first-ever small bowel transplant on a person. Or, when researchers Robert Schwartz and William Dameshek discovered chemical 6-mercaptopurine and its immunosuppressive effects, coining the term "immunosuppression” in the 1950s.

We're proud of our history, and we're here to make more. Our case mix index is the highest in the city, so it's on us to innovate and over-deliver every day. That's why we have rapidly growing programs in groundbreaking techniques and research. 

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Department of Surgery
Dr. Hall with patient
Dr. Jason Hall shares vision for futuristic operating room, today
Dr. Jason Hall, Chair of the Department of Surgery, sits down with Benjamin Andrews, Chair of Surgery and a professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, to share his vision for the operating room of the future. His plan details a new kind of surgical space that uses the best technology and is more inclusive and accessible than ever before.

Our Divisions

The Department of Surgery is made up of 11 Divisions. Together, we collaborate with and provide support for nearly every medical specialty at Tufts Medicine.


Research by Division

We believe in the power of research to push the surgical field forward. Because when we work together, we can redefine what’s possible in patient care and innovation. We have several active and innovative research programs that strive to answer complex questions across specialties like pancreatic disease, childhood cancer and trauma. 

Acute care/trauma surgery

The Acute Care/Trauma Surgery Division is home to a Level I trauma center — one of only a handful in Massachusetts to earn this coveted designation. It recognizes not only our superbly skilled trauma surgeons, but a commitment to improving safety in the community and advancing trauma research. 

We maintain a trauma registry, where all patients are tracked from the moment they’re rushed through our doors to the day when they leave our hospital. This data helps us learn, improve and save more lives.

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Bariatric surgery

Our weight and wellness experts are investigating the chonic and acute health implications obesity has on our patients’ wellbeing as well as the effects weight loss surgery has gastroinestinal physiology. With the support of research programs and clinical trials, our research deep dives into:

  • Gastric bypass surgery 
  • Potential connections between obesity and breast cancer
  • Probiotic obesity

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Cardiac surgery

We put our heart into everything we do at the Division of Cardiac Surgery. Current research includes comprehensive studies of:

  • Evaluation of the HeartWare™ LVAD System for the treatment of advanced heart failure
  • Hemodynamic evaluation of TandemHeart® Ventricular Assist 
  • The Transmedic Organ Care System 

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Colon + rectal surgery

At the Division of Colon + Rectal Surgery, our research interests span the full range of gastrointestinal conditions. Our current projects seek to better understand:

  • Complications of ostomies
  • The role of myofibroblasts in colitis-associated cancer 
  • Use of platelet angiogenesis regulator proteins to predict colorectal cancer stage

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General surgery

The researchers in the Division of General Surgery are dedicated to finding new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat surgical disease.

From finding the best ways to treat common diseases to techniques for teaching minimally invasive surgery, our ultimate goal is to equip our surgeons with the tools and knowledge to save more lives.

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Pediatric surgery

For more information about pediatric research.

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Plastic surgery

Division of Plastic Surgery researchers conduct pioneering research that leads to better reconstruction procedures, skin grafts and implants. We’re currently investigating the impacts of:

  • Burned ear reconstruction using porous polyethylene implant
  • Continuous catheter infusion of local anesthetic for pain control in postoperative patients
  • Treatment of post-burn dyspigmentation with dermabrasion and thin split thickness grafting
  • Use of the prepuce as a skin graft donor site

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Surgical oncology

Research within the Division of Surgical Oncology focuses on ways to improve surgical care for patients with advanced cancers.

The Surgical Imaging Lab, a federally funded translational research laboratory within the Disivion, uses innovative imaging techniques and combines them with artificial intelligence to identify cancer during an operation that otherwise would have been missed. This technology allows our team to evaluate what the most appropriate chemotherapy treatment would be.

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Thoracic surgery

Through our clinical trials, the Division of Thoracic Surgery gives patients a chance to try cutting-edge treatments that would otherwise be unavailable. Our most recent research efforts are exploring:

  • Establishing and characterizing lung cancer mouse models
  • Expression of PAR-1 receptors in lung cancers
  • Stromal factors influencing tumor growth in lung cancer patients

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Transplant surgery

As a national leader in kidney and heart transplantations, the Division of Transplant Surgery understands the power of research to make our patients’ lives better and our surgeons’ jobs easier. Our latest projects zero in on viral infections in transplantation and organ allocation in transplantation.

Fred Gordon, MD has joined Tufts Medical Center as co-lead of the brand new Abdominal Transplant Institute where he’ll revive a high-functioning and patient-focused liver transplant program. The re-launch of the liver program is bolstered by our reputation as leaders in heart transplants. 

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Vascular surgery

Our vascular surgeons combine clinical expertise with their research interests to break new ground in our field. We’re on the forefront of innovation across topics like:

  • Advanced wound care modalities
  • Cellular therapies for critical limb ischemia
  • Radiation safety during endovascular procedures

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Success stories

Breast cancer survivor, Susannah, poses on the beach.
Susannah reclaims her body after surviving breast cancer
Breast cancer survivor, Susannah, found new hope for breast reconstruction with Dr. Sarah Persing. The DIEP Flap procedure allowed Susannah to reclaim her body following a mastectomy. This Wellfleet resident underwent 10 previous surgeries, and expresses that she's never experienced such committed care like she has at Tufts Medicine.

Training + education

Our training and education programs take hands-on learning to the next level. Our department has the smallest university-based residencies in Boston. That means you’ll receive personalized mentorship and research opportunities that you won’t be able to find anywhere else in the region.

But we know that there’s more to life than what happens inside our doors. You’ll have a family in your fellow residents — the kind of people you’ll want by your side at everything from casual get-togethers to weddings and baby showers. And in Boston, you’ll find a walkable city with a rich history to call home.

Hear from residents and interns in the General Surgery Program to learn more about their experiences at Tufts Medical Center.
One of the reasons I came to Tufts Medicine was because, as a medical student, I felt a good connection with the attendings as well as the residents when I was on my surgery rotation, and that's continued throughout my training. It's been wonderful so far.
General Surgery Resident
Tufts Medicine | Tufts Medical Center
Doctors walking through the hallway

Our leadership

Our leadership team gives us the guidance and support we need to ensure that the clinical, research and training goals of the department are met.

  • Department Chair: Jason Hall, MD
  • Division Chief, Surgical Oncology: Martin Goodman, MD 
  • Division Chief, Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery, Director Surgical Quality: Sajani (Sunny) Shah, MD
  • Division Chief, Trauma Surgery: Horacio Hojman, MD
  • Interim Division Chief, Colorectal Surgery: Lillian Chen, MD
  • Division Chief, Plastic Surgery: Abhishek (Sunny) Chatterjee, MD
  • Division Chief, Transplant Surgery: Martin Hertl, MD
  • Division Chief, Vascular Surgery: Payam Salehi, MD
  • Director Surgical Research: Nicholay Bugaev, MD
Beth Phelan, RN comforting a pre surgery patient in stretcher in hallway in Lowell General Hospital's Heart and Vascular department.
Our locations

From regular office visits to inpatient stays, our specialists across Tufts Medicine offer the best in healthcare, when and where our patients need it.

Urulogy Associate Mariepet	Ask, MD starting a DaVinci urology surgery in the operating room at Tufts Medical Center.
Our doctors + care team

Our specialists and care team members across Tufts Medicine deliver unmatched healthcare with a personalized touch. 

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