Inderbir S. Gill, M.D., focuses on urologic oncologic surgery and kidney transplantation. Photo by Don Milici.
An internationally recognized innovator in the field of minimally invasive surgery for urologic cancers, Inderbir S. Gill, M.D., recently arrived at USC from the Cleveland Clinic, where he led one of the country’s premier urologic programs.
At the Keck School of Medicine, Gill heads the Catherine and Joseph Aresty Department of Urology, and is the founding executive director of the newly created USC Institute of Urology. He also was named associate dean for clinical innovation.
“USC is a world-class institution with a world-class urology department,” Gill says. “I am excited to be joining the team and creating the USC Institute of Urology with strong sub-specialized expertise and regional outreach programs.”
Gill has many innovative “firsts” to his credit. His primary areas of focus are minimally invasive urologic oncologic surgery and kidney transplantation. Among the most experienced laparoscopic and robotic surgeons in the field, he is widely acknowledged as the world leader in minimally invasive kidney-preserving surgery for renal cancer, having performed this in over 1,000 patients.
With a national and international reputation, he attracts patients from around the world seeking his expertise.
“Patients come from all over the country and even internationally for these innovative procedures,” Gill says. “A majority of my patients are from out of state.”
Gill recently developed a new minimally invasive surgical procedure that performs the entire surgery for removing a donor kidney for transplantation exclusively through the belly button. Through a four-centimeter incision largely hidden within the belly button, Gill and his surgical team are able to perform this major surgery with minimal visible scarring on the abdomen.
“Developing single-port belly-button surgery is part of our ongoing quest to treat patients while minimizing their pain,” he says. “We are now able to perform major surgeries while greatly reducing the recovery time of our patients.”
Following this procedure, patients on average have a 17-day recovery period. This is significantly shorter than the average 51-day recovery period of standard laparoscopic kidney donor surgery, which requires four to six small incisions in the abdomen. This innovative procedure can allow patients to donate a kidney, yet quickly resume their daily activities.
In addition to his clinical expertise, Gill is known by patients and colleagues alike for his energetic personality and outstanding bedside manner. He stays in contact with his patients and considers it a “true privilege” to be able to take care of them.
“I want my patients to feel comfortable that all their questions have been answered and that they are well taken care of,” Gill says.
To ensure this, Gill makes himself and his team accessible to his patients by cell phone and e-mail.
As a world-class surgeon, Gill’s days are long. But entering his new office on USC’s Health Sciences Campus, it is easy to recognize what is most important in his life. His office is filled with many personal items and family photographs. One picture that stands out is that of his young son giving a thumbs up, which hangs prominently over his desk.
“I make sure this picture stays near my desk at all times,” Gill says. “Every time I look at it, I am inspired. For me, it provides great energy, great motivation and great balance.”
When he isn’t working, Gill enjoys spending time with his wife, who is a child psychiatrist, and two children, ages 19 and 12. A one-time passionate cricket player, these days he enjoys jogging, working out and, whenever he can find the time, a game of tennis.
Gill succeeds Donald Skinner, M.D., who served as chair of the Department of Urology for 28 years.