Dr. Assem Al Hajj is a Consultant General Surgeon and one of the foremost internationally sought Breast Surgeons in the region.
Dr. Hajj is an internationally honored expert in a multitude of surgical techniques, he introduced new techniques to breast surgical oncology to improve surgical outcomes in breast cancer patients.
Dr. Hajj evaluates over 2500 clinical cases and performs 900 plus surgical cases a year. He is well known for his compassionate care and multidisciplinary approach.
Dr. Hajj completed his MD in June 1989, his internship in June 1990 and his residency in General Surgery in June 1994 at the American University of Beirut – Medical Center. He later pursued his fellowship in General and Gastro Intestinal Surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital – Harvard Medical School from February 1996 until June 1997.
Dr. Hajj established a private practice in General Surgery in 1997. In 2004, Dr. Hajj was appointed as a full-time General Surgeon and as the Medical Director at Clemenceau Medical Center, located in Beirut, Lebanon and affiliated with Johns Hopkins International. His expertise extends from several surgical cases into advanced thyroid surgeries, breast surgeries, and laparoscopic surgeries including morbid obesity.
Dr. Hajj has been certified by the Arab Board of General Surgery and is licensed to practice in Lebanon as a member of the Lebanese Order of Physicians. He served as President of the American College of Surgery – Lebanon Chapter for a term of two years.
Dr. Hajj is specialized in breast surgeries and practiced it during his work at CMC, including all types of mastectomies with reconstruction and sentinal lymph node dissection. He leads a team of breast center including specialized radiologist, pathologist and oncologist to provide excellent patient care. He is also specialized in endocrine surgeries and masters all procedures concerning thyroidectomies with neck dissection and parathyroidectomies. He is leading the team of vascular access surgeries and Herina Surgeries at Clemenceau Medical Center as well.
Sentinal lymph node dissection
Tyroidectomies with neck dissection
1982-1985 Bachelor of Science – Chemistry American University of Beirut, Lebanon
1985-1989 Doctor of Medicine (MD) American University of Beirut, Lebanon
1989-1990 Intern, General Surgery American University of Beirut Medical Center Beirut, Lebanon
1990-1994 Resident, General Surgery American University of Beirut Medical Center Beirut Lebanon
1996-1997 Fellow, General and Gastrointestinal Surgery Brigham and Women’s Hospital West Roxbury VA Hospital Boston, Massachusetts, USA
The number of patients has been steadily increasing over the past few years which demonstrate that Clemenceau Medical Center has grown into an attractive medical facility in Lebanon and in the region. As the result of higher volumes and the increased patient case mix, we have started to organize our overall research activities. More specifically regarding my own area of expertise, I have started organizing and prospectively collecting information from the medical records on CMC patients with breast and endocrine conditions.
Within the coming few years, I’m expecting to have published on multiple topics in breast surgery including our rates of re-excision in partial mastectomies, the prevalence of breast cancer in young patients in the Lebanese society and time-to-surgery for patients presenting from regional areas for treatment at our institution. As for my thyroid practice, we have been noting an increase in the prevalence of papillary carcinoma in younger patients that we will be reporting on in the near future.
One ongoing computational pathology study involves the collaboration among the Johns Hopkins Bayview Breast cancer, Johns Hopkins School of Engineering and CMC. I am involved directly in the study, working both with the Hopkins team and my colleague, Dr. Selim Nasser, Chair of CMC pathology department. For the study we have selected 260 cases from the CMC database.
Research Program Building / Leadership
To help build our research program and facilitate our future endocrinology projects and publications, we encouraged and supported one of our young and enthusiastic faculty, Dr. Maya Barake, to complete a Master of Science in Health Research at the American University of Beirut in 2016. Dr. Barake initially joined CMC in 2013 after completing a fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Plans are in place to analyze our thyroid and parathyroid database. Dr. Barake has a very busy practice and is well versed in biostatistics and principles of performing clinical research.
I have started establishing the necessary infrastructure and scientific teams after we identified our clinical research interests and strengths now that we have the clinical load and momentum to publish our data.