Juan M. Sarmiento, MD, FACS


Dr. Sarmiento's innovative treatments include a minimally-invasive approach to liver surgery (the only one in the state and one of very few in the country) and laparoscopic surgery of the pancreas.

Titles and Roles

Associate Professor, Division of General and GI Surgery, Department of Surgery
Emory University School of Medicine
Director of Hepatopancreatic Biliary Surgery
Emory University Hospital
Gallbladder Cancer
Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor
Liver Cancer
Neuroendocrine Tumors
Pancreatic Cancer
Stomach Cancer
Research Program
Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics


Dr. Sarmiento, who started practicing at Emory in 2003, is Associate Professor of Surgery in the Division of General and Gastrointestinal Surgery, the Department of Surgery at Emory University School of Medicine, and Director of Hepatopancreatic Biliary Surgery (HPB) at Emory University Hospital.

Dr. Sarmiento, an expert in liver, biliary tract and pancreas surgery, is one of only a handful of surgeons with such a commitment to HPB surgery. He is unique because of his exclusive dedication to the field for the past seven years. He received intensive training in HPB surgery for two years at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. The operations performed on these organs are technically demanding and the process to evaluate a patient has been streamlined as a product of a tight interaction with radiology and pathology.

Dr. Sarmiento is originally from Colombia, South America. He came to the U.S. in 1995 for further surgical training in Rochester, MN, at the Mayo Clinic. He was on the faculty of the Department of Surgery at Mayo after finishing his training until his move to Emory in Atlanta.


Dr. Sarmiento received his medical degree from the University of Valle in Cali, Colombia. He completed his residency and fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.


Dr. Sarmiento has earned the following awards and honors:

  • Distinguished video: Laparoscopic resection of a hilar cholangiocarcinoma (including major hepatectomy, bile duct resection and biliary reconstruction), Joint American and International Congress on HPB Surgery, Buenos Aires, Argentina, May 2010
  • President Elect, Mayo Clinic Alumni Association, 2010
  • Distinguished Poster: Laparoscopic Resection of the Liver, SAGES 2005 Annual Meeting
  • History of Medicine Fellowship, Southern Surgical Association, December 2005
  • Surgical Fellow Teacher of the Year, Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, June 2001
  • Karee D. Nygaard Award, Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Sciences Research, Department of Surgery. Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, 1999


He is conducting clinical research related to several aspects of the HPB field. His team studies the coagulation consequences of major liver resection using innovative studies, both clinical and bench tests, with the support from the Anesthesia Department.

He is currently studying the endocrine implications of partial pancreatic resection in nondiabetic patients and he evaluates and tests extremely simplified clinical pathways for complex pancreatic resections (the Whipple procedure) with very good results.

He is part of an international collaboration on pathology and prognosis of gallbladder cancer; and is studying the long-term prognosis of an aggressive approach for surgical management of patients with hilar holangiocarcinoma (Klatskin's tumor). His patients are also included with liver cancer (either primary or metastatic) and pancreatic cancer in adjuvant therapy trials.

With Dr. Edward Lin, Dr. Sarmiento has developed unique techniques for laparoscopic-assisted formal liver resections, such as the performance of laparoscopic hepatectomy through incisions that are much smaller than those of a standard open procedure. He has also developed innovative methods of doing laparoscopic surgery of the pancreas.


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