Joseph Africa, MD
Surgical Director, Adult Kidney Program
I am an abdominal transplant surgeon at Memorial Transplant Institute. I treat adult patients with end-stage kidney disease, which can be caused by myriad conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, congenital anomalies and intrinsic kidney conditions.
I always wanted to be a doctor and have the privilege of healing and comforting people who suffer from illnesses. I was drawn to kidney transplantation after witnessing one of my aunts undergo the procedure many years ago. I also witnessed the sadness of undergoing dialysis and the "miracle" of how the transplant transformed her life. At that time, even though immunosuppression was still in its infancy, her transplant was considered successful to the point that she was able to eventually conceive and have a baby.
With other members of my team at Memorial Transplant Institute, we strive to make kidney transplant a viable option for patients with advanced chronic and end-stage kidney disease.
I spend time listening to my patients to understand how kidney disease is affecting their lives and communicate clearly about the treatment options.
I am also experienced in the practice of utilizing marginal (or less than ideal) kidneys for appropriate recipients. I also developed and published a surgical technique – the Anterior Rectus Sheath Approach for kidney transplants – where the incisions are smaller, thereby minimizing wound complications and shortening the length of the operation.
A successful transplant is truly lifesaving for patients – and as a surgeon, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing the transformation. After transplant surgery, patients often comment, "I have never felt this good," and within a few days and weeks they remark that the transplant has given them a new chance at life. These powerful encouragements reignite my love and passion for kidney transplant even more.
In addition to caring for patients, I give talks about transplants and the transplant process to medical residents, nurses, other physicians and the public. I am also a member of the editorial board for Progress in Transplantation and am involved in clinical research to help further the field, improve our process and make transplantation available for more patients.
Meet Dr. Africa
- University of Santo Tomas Hospital, 1993
- Capitol Medical Center, Inc., 1994
- Albert Einstein College Of Medicine, 1998, Internal Medicine
- University of Santo Tomas Hospital, 2003, Surgery
- Washington Hospital Center, 2006, Transplant Surgery
- 32nd Castor Surla Memorial Lecture, University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Medicine and Surgery. July 16, 2021.
- American College of Physicians
- American College of Surgeons
- Philippine College of Surgeons
- Philippine Society of Transplant Surgeons
- American Society of Transplant Surgeons
- American Society of Transplantation
- Transplantation Society
- American College of Physicians
- Philippine Board of Surgery
- American Board of Internal Medicine
- American Medical Association
- University of Santo Tomas Medical Alum
Currently, I am interested in minimizing discard rates of kidney allografts as a means of mitigating the ongoing problem of the growing wait list, especially while addressing the changing demographic of older transplant candidates.