Paolo Muiesan, Professor of Surgery, prematurely passed away on March 23rd, 2022, at the age of 61.
The world of liver transplantation has lost an extremely skilled liver transplant surgeon, a scientist and for most of us, a friend. He dedicated 30 years of his life to hepato-pancreatic-biliary surgery and liver transplantation for both adult and paediatric patients, working for 25 years at two of the largest European liver units, King’s College Hospital in London and Queen Elizabeth and Birmingham Childrens’ Hospital in Birmingham, UK.
Some years ago, Paolo returned to his home country, Italy, where he was appointed as Director of the hepato-pancreatic-biliary surgical programme at Careggi University Hospital in Florence. Recently, he was appointed as Director of the General Surgery and Liver Transplant Unit at the Ospedale Maggiore University Hospital in Milan.
Paolo Muiesan started the first liver transplant programme to use donation after circulatory death grafts in the UK, further developing his interest in clinical research, with a particular focus on organ preservation by machine perfusion. His areas of clinical research also included paediatric liver transplantation, living donor liver transplant and transplant oncology, including the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma and metastatic liver disease. He was an extremely clever surgeon capable of performing complex hepato-pancreatic-biliary surgical procedures.
He performed liver surgery and liver transplantation in many different countries around the world, developing international relationships and friendships with several surgeons and hepatologists.
He served as Chair of the European Liver and Intestine Transplant Association (ELITA), providing insights on the multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of liver diseases and liver transplantation. He also served as Councillor of the International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS) where he was previously the Chair of the Paediatric Committee.
He served as an Associate Editor for Liver Transplantation and Transplant International and he organized several international meetings on transplantation from donors after circulatory death.
Paolo Muiesan was an intelligent, likeable, often ironic man, always ready to make fun of himself, combining a mixture of English humour and Italian joviality. A man who showed his passion for surgery at all times, he was able to recognise the ability of his colleagues, to believe in the growth of new transplant centres, and to help and collaborate with dozens of centres around the world.
Every time you met him, in different parts of the world, at conferences, courses, meetings, or perhaps in the waiting rooms of an airport, his thoughts always returned to his children, Matteo and Andrea, of whom he spoke with paternal pride.
Dear Paolo, yours was a terrible fate, a disease that too quickly took you away from us. You fought in every way, aware of what you had, which for us medical doctors is always a challenge. The pain of your loss was evident on the day of your funeral in Milan, where many friends and colleagues gathered around you, your family and Maria, in a last farewell that was moving, but peaceful.
Your memory will remain forever with all those who knew you and worked with you, your colleagues and friends, who learned with dismay of your passing, incredulous that someone like you, with your energy in and out of hospital, your crazy descents on skis, your reckless exploits with the kitesurf, should yield to such a fate.
Stay with us forever Paolo.
Published online: May 11, 2022