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Rima Fawaz

Patient type treated
Child
Accepting new patients
Yes
Referral required
Not Applicable
Board Certified in
Pediatric Gastroenterology and Pediatric Transplant Hepatology

Biography

Rima Fawaz, MD, is the medical director of the Pediatric Liver Transplant Program and says the best part of her job is giving patients a new lease on life. 

“It’s a happy field,” Dr. Fawaz says of transplant hepatology. “It’s truly the gift of life. In pediatric liver transplant, 60 to 70% of the causes are either inherited or something you are born with. Only a small fraction is something acquired, like from an infection. When we transplant, the outcomes are excellent with survival at 80% for patients 20 to 30 years later, which is astounding.” 

Thanks to advances in anti-rejection medications, children who receive liver transplants today are able to live normal, healthy lives, Dr. Fawaz says. “Whereas it used to be about keeping them alive, now we are focused on long-term outcomes and finding the perfect balance of giving them just enough medication to prevent rejection, but also not harming any other organs from the medications,” she says.

In children, the main reason for liver transplant is biliary atresia, a congenital condition in which the bile ducts inside or outside of the liver do not develop properly. “This accounts for 40 to 50% of all liver transplants in pediatrics. The child cannot grow and life is so unhappy,” Dr. Fawaz says. “Then you transplant them, and you turn back time. Life returns. The kids typically do so well that we see them once or twice a year. It’s amazing.” 

Dr. Fawaz is involved in several research efforts, including a study on acute liver failure funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Titles

  • Assistant Professor

Additional Information

Biography

Rima Fawaz, MD, is the medical director of the Pediatric Liver Transplant Program and says the best part of her job is giving patients a new lease on life. 

“It’s a happy field,” Dr. Fawaz says of transplant hepatology. “It’s truly the gift of life. In pediatric liver transplant, 60 to 70% of the causes are either inherited or something you are born with. Only a small fraction is something acquired, like from an infection. When we transplant, the outcomes are excellent with survival at 80% for patients 20 to 30 years later, which is astounding.” 

Thanks to advances in anti-rejection medications, children who receive liver transplants today are able to live normal, healthy lives, Dr. Fawaz says. “Whereas it used to be about keeping them alive, now we are focused on long-term outcomes and finding the perfect balance of giving them just enough medication to prevent rejection, but also not harming any other organs from the medications,” she says.

In children, the main reason for liver transplant is biliary atresia, a congenital condition in which the bile ducts inside or outside of the liver do not develop properly. “This accounts for 40 to 50% of all liver transplants in pediatrics. The child cannot grow and life is so unhappy,” Dr. Fawaz says. “Then you transplant them, and you turn back time. Life returns. The kids typically do so well that we see them once or twice a year. It’s amazing.” 

Dr. Fawaz is involved in several research efforts, including a study on acute liver failure funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Titles

  • Assistant Professor

Additional Information