About Nahel Elias, MD

Dr. Nahel Elias is an abdominal transplant surgeon dedicated to kidney, liver, and pancreas transplant care. He completed his medical degree at the University of Damascus, Syria (1994), his transplant research fellowship at McGill, Canada, his general surgery residency at the University of Michigan (1997-2002), and his multi-organ abdominal transplant surgery fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital (2002-2004). He then joined the MGH transplant surgery staff in 2004 as an attending. Since then, Dr. Elias has developed protocols to support solutions to the nationwide organ shortage crisis, collaborating with ICUs, operating rooms, and the New England Organ Bank to advance donation programs at regional hospitals. He has evolved the transplant database through his work as a chair of the MGH Transplant Center Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement, a role that he has held since 2008.

In 2012, Dr. Elias became the MGH surgical director of kidney transplantation, and the program has progressed greatly under his leadership. Its volume and results have surpassed other regional programs, and it continues to prioritize patient needs and improve their satisfaction.

In addition to caring for liver and kidney transplant recipients, Dr. Elias also treats patients with liver cancer as part of the Mass General Cancer Center’s multidisciplinary liver clinic. He has been on staff as a transplant and hepatobiliary surgeon in the clinic since its inception. His skills in surgical care provide many options to patients with liver disease, including transplantation and other hepatobiliary and portal hypertension procedures.

Dr. Elias teaches medical students, residents, and fellows. He also directs a Harvard Medical School transplant surgery course, and speaks locally, nationally, and internationally about the transplantation research projects he leads on immunosuppression and utilization of hepatitis C and HIV organs for transplantation. He has won many awards, contributed to medical literature, and is a member of many surgical and transplant societies.

Clinical Interests:




Mass General Transplant Center
55 Fruit St.
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-726-2000

Mass General Vascular Center
55 Fruit St.
Gray Building
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-643-0765

Medical Education

  • MD, University of Damascus, School of Medicine
  • Residency, North Oakland Medical Center
  • Fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Fellowship, University of Michigan Health System

American Board Certifications

  • Surgery, American Board of Surgery

Accepted Insurance Plans

Note: This provider may accept more insurance plans than shown; please call the practice to find out if your plan is accepted.


Transplant patients are cared for by large multidisciplinary teams of providers managing different phases of transplant care. Communication within each team and between teams is a key driver of the patients' outcome. In his role as the MGH Transplant Center Quality Director, Dr. Elias is investigating tools to improve handoff and transition of care. A funded IPASS tool development project is currently ongoing at the MGH Abdominal Transplant Division under Dr. Elias' lead. He is also supervising multiple other quality improvement research projects.

Additionally, Dr. Elias conducts clinical trials to improve the care of the transplant patients, both facilitating earlier transplant utilizing Hepatitis C positive organs, and providing improved outcomes with novel immunosuppression agents. Dr. Elias is also the MGH Principal Investigator for the HOPE (HIV Organ Policy Equity) act multi-center trial funded by the National Institute of Health and overseeing transplantation of HIV positive organs into HIV positive recipients. MGH is the only center in New England performing these transplants, a potential opportunity to expedite transplantation of the HIV positive recipients as well as utilization of HIV positive donor organs which were discarded prior to the passage of the HOPE act.

Dr. Elias also performs research projects with organ allocation policies focus.


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