HPB Fellowship Registry - Europe, Africa & Middle East

I. Fellowship Name
Fellowship Name Southampton University Hospital HPB Fellowship
Center Name Southampton University Hospital
Fellowship City Southampton
Fellowship Country United Kingdom
II. Fellowship Faculty
Fellowship Program Director Arjun Takhar
Fellowship Faculty Address 1 Tremona Rd
Fellowship Faculty Address 2 Southampton
Fellowship Faculty Address 3 Hampshire
Fellowship Faculty Address 4 SO16 6YD
Fellowship Faculty Phone +44 (0) 2381 20 (6977)
Fellowship Faculty Fax
Fellowship Faculty Email arjun.takhar@uhs.nhs.uk
Fellowship Programme Website
Fellowship Other Faculty
III. Fellowship Duration/Benefits
Fellowship Duration - Clinical Yrs 2
Fellowship Duration - Clinical Rsrch Optional
Fellowship Duration - Basic Rsrch Optional
Fellowship Total No. Fellows 2
Fellowship Total No. Fellows/Yr 2
Fellowship Salary Provided Yes
Fellowship Benefits Provided Yes
Fellowship Next Available October 2024
IV. Fellowship Contents
A. Required
HPB Surgery
B. Optional
Surgical Oncology (Not HPB)
Minimally Invasive (Not HPB)
General Surgery (Not HPB) Elective
Interventional Radiology
Research Clinical
V. Fellowship History
Year Fellowship Began
Total Fellows Trained
Liver Resection/Ablation 51 - 75
Pancreas Surgery 51 - 75
Biliary Surgery (Complex)
Liver Transplantation
Pancreas Transplantation
Organ Procurement
VI. Additional Comments
Additional Comments

Fellowships usually start in April or October each year, but this is often flexible to accommodate suitable candidates

Reports by current and previous fellows:

The Senior Fellow HPB Surgery role at UHS provides an invaluable opportunity to expand on and perfect your skills in all areas of the management of HPB patients. This is achieved in clinic by seeing patients pre- and post-operatively, participating in MDT and MoM meetings, performing clinical research and attending scientific conferences, completing daily rounds for inpatients as well as managing the junior team of doctors including their rota. The main task, however, is operative with 6-7 lists per week with all major HPB resections represented including a clear laparoscopic profile of both major and minor liver resections as well as distal pancreatectomies.  The UHS is also a Centre of Excellence for the management of NET patients, and I have learned a great deal about surveillance, the operative management and IR options for this patient group.

There is no mandatory General Surgery commitment with the Senior Fellow role, which means that every week is “HPB” adding to the intensity and deep learning that comes with a pure HPB focus, continuity and repetition. There is a well-developed multidisciplinary approach to the care of the HPB patients at UHS with daily contacts with Hepatology and IR to help advance our inpatients and Oncology and Pathology mainly on an outpatient basis. The unit also have two dedicated HPB ANP and CNS nurses.

During my year as Senior Fellow the entire team of Consultants have been very supportive, challenging me to develop and improve in all aspects of my practice. I have been involved in clinical research and performed or assisted in 170 elective/emergency HPB operations (excluding lap choles) and been exposed to a range of operative strategies and techniques and I am particularly pleased having gained experience and skill in performing lap livers and PJs. My fellowship year has been highly rewarding and I have had the opportunity to work with close knit group of great junior and senior colleagues.


(April 2021 – April 2022)


      Richard Fristedt

The fellowship at University Hospital Southampton was one of the most valuable facets of my training towards becoming a consultant hepatobiliary surgeon. In 2020 and 2021, I worked as a senior fellow in hepatobiliary surgery with the fantastic team in Southampton. I arrived as a qualified hepatobiliary and general surgeon having completed the Australia and New Zealand Hepatic, Pancreatic and Biliary Association Post Graduate Fellowship Program. I was seeking operative volume and to develop my laparoscopic liver resectional skills. My main aim was to leave the UK more prepared to deal with the technical challenges of complex hepatobiliary practice.

During my 16 month fellowship, I was involved in over 100 liver resections and 60 pancreas resections with an overall greater than 50% primary operator rate. The most noteworthy improvements in my skills were in liver parenchymal preservation, laparoscopic liver resection and vascular dissection and or resection during pancreaticoduodenectomy.

The team of six consultants are both skillful and generous teachers whose techniques I consistently apply in my consultant practice in Australia. This fellowship was far more valuable to my development than I had ever expected. I enjoyed my time with the team very much and made some wonderful friends in the process.


(August 2020 – December 2021)


    Claire Stevens

I joined the esteemed hepatobiliary team in Dec 2018 for a period  of 2 years as a senior clinical fellow in Minimally Invasive HPB surgery. During this period I got to develop and refine my hepatobiliary skills in both open and minimally invasive surgery. I was part of a team known for their collegial  and friendly approach.

Southampton HPB unit is a busy unit covering both elective and emergency HPB cases,  running daily theatres, with a wide variety of cases. As a fellow the experience was not only limited to surgical skills, each fellow runs a full team with various members of all grades, they participate in multidisciplinary team meetings, journal clubs and Morbidity and Mortality meetings. The experience also carries a substantial opportunity for research and publications.

This fellowship contributed enormously to my return to my home country, the United Arab Emirates, where now I am an established HPB consultant and the  head of the HPB department. I have started introducing advanced HPB resections in my unit and working on developing it further. 

(December 2018 – December 2020)


      Amal Suhool

It is my great pleasure to express my gratitude for the opportunity to undertake the HPB fellowship at University Hospital Southampton. I can still clearly recollect my entry into the unit at as a general surgeon with little prior HPB training, and how, by the conclusion of the two-year fellowship, I was a skilled HPB surgeon handling challenging cases.

I want to express my gratitude to the amazing consultants for their dedication to serving as clinical instructors and spending so much time assisting my education. They gave me a secure, supportive learning atmosphere, allow me to be independent, but step in and give me advice when I run into trouble or was unsure how to proceed. I was able to develop my hands-on skills and was provided with tips and techniques to improve my mechanics. I appreciated the motivation to establish great connections and relationships with the patients. There is a strong multi-disciplinary atmosphere and I would also like to recognise the other junior doctors, nurses, administrative staff and consultants from other specialties such as gastroenterology and radiology who all work together to achieve excellent care for HPB patients.

I returned to Jordan, where I was born, with new knowledge and abilities. Currently, I operate independently at Jordan University Hospital in Jordan, but I remain in touch with my Southampton consultants, who are committed to offering guidance as needed. Since leaving the UK, I have visited Southampton multiple times and directed a number of my colleagues to undertake their fellowships there too. Given that Southampton University Hospital is a high-volume tertiary referral centre with knowledgeable consultants, I do highly suggest it for trainees. Additionally, it offers a rich setting for all kinds of research.

I am really pleased to have completed my training in Southampton.

(September 2017 – September 2019)


   Mohammad Alzoubi

I commenced my fellowship just four months ago and I can already say that I have achieved great results. In the professional field my main expectation is to get a specific training in hepatobiliary surgery and about this my skills have already improved significantly. I am constantly followed by my mentor during the clinical activity, so that I can increase my autonomy in the management of patients, both pre and postoperatively. Also my technical ability is rapidly improving, as I am guided in the performance of surgical procedures of gradually increasing difficulty. Last, but not least, I am coming to develop a great respect for the medical literature. I'm getting more and more accustomed to regard it as a reference in daily clinical practice and as a field to which it is appropriate that each physician to provide its scientific contribution. I am very satisfied with this unique work experience that promises to be of valuable worth in my professional career.

(September 2014)

Miss Federica Cipriani 

Miss Frederica Cipriani

I have completed 2 years of advanced laparoscopic HPB fellowship training at Southampton University Hospital NHS Trust during the period November 2011 till November 2013 under supervision of Mr Mohammad Abu Hilal.

During the period of my training I have been exposed to a variety of complex HPB cases. The training was a structured program covering the clinical parts (inpatients, outpatient clinics, MDT and Operating Rooms) and academic parts (Publications, conferences as speakers, videos and posters). We were working in a friendly and cooperative environment. 

Currently I have returned to Bahrain and started the HPB services from the scratch with a confidence to deal with most complex HPB conditions and I am on my way with the ongoing plans to expand the service to an independent UNIT from general surgery.

(September 2014)

Mr Hani Alsaati

I had the chance to work as a honorary fellow at the HPB Department of Southampton University with Mr. Abu Hilal.  During my stay, I was able to observe many cases and be involved during the process.  I was able to improve myself in laparoscopic techniques since I have been involved in many cases, which were treated laparoscopically at this center. These laparoscopic interventions were especially important for me because mostly advanced techniques were utilized at these operations. Besides, I have adapted many tips and tricks that I have witnessed during my work. I would like to thank Dr. Abu Hilal and his team for their kind hospitality.

(September 2014)


Mr Kursat Serin


In 2012, during a period of 8 months, I was a fellow for laparsocopic hepato-pancreato-biliary (HPB) surgery in Southampton. During this period I was exposed to over 50 major laparoscopic HPB procedures including over 20 laparoscopic hemi-hepatectomies and 10 laparoscopic distal pancreatectomies. I performed ward rounds and attended clinics as well as multidisciplinary meetings. Throughout the 8 months I expanded my level of expertise with this challenging type of surgery. After my return to Amsterdam I have started performing the procedures learned supported by the team from Southampton. In my first year back in Amsterdam I performed 4 laparoscopic hemi-hepatectomies, 10 other laparoscopic liver resections and 10 laparoscopic distal pancreatectomies.

(September 2014)


Mr Marc Besselink


My name is Tiago Basseres, I am a Brazilian physician who lived in Portugal for many years and specialized there in General Surgery. During the last years of my surgical training my interest grew towards HPB surgery. When I completed my training, I felt it would be good to extend my knowledge in that specific area.  A Fellowship in a highly differentiated centre in the UK would be perfect. Thanks to Mr. Abu Hilal, who kindly accepted me in the department of HPB Surgery at the Southampton General Hospital (SGH), it became a reality. I stayed there for one year (Aug 2013 – Jul 2014).

The HPB department is busy.  With the exception of transplants, all major HPB interventions are performed at SGH, many laparoscopically. Patients are often complex, and diagnosis and follow up are not always straight forward.  However, the hospital has many departments that constantly assist the HPB department such as Radiology, Interventional Radiology, Endoscopy, Microbiology etc. Together all departments contribute to the success of the treatment of such complicated cases.

A fellow’s life is not easy.  Hard work and dedication are expected, as well as compliance to hospital rules. A senior fellow will lead ward rounds every morning, and a fellow is expected to help the consultants with some of their clinics in some afternoons and to study and to do research work. A fellow can expect early mornings, long hours and late evenings of work.

Nevertheless, if a fellow succeeds in proving his worth, he is repaid. If research is well done the department will get it published in respected international journals. If clinical work is properly done, the fellow will get to assist many highly interesting surgical interventions and if the fellow proves himself in the operatory field, he will get to perform operations (within a range of complexities) assisted by one of the consultant surgeons. All surgeons and surgical trainees know that this is the way Surgery is learned, anywhere in the world.

I learned a great deal in Southampton, I have grown both as a surgeon and as a person. If I went back in time, I would do it all over again.

(September 2014)


Mr Tiago Basseres

My name is Dr Di Gioia and I work in HPB and Liver Transplant Unit at University of Bologna (Italy). At the moment, laparoscopic liver surgery indications are increasing and the HPB team at Southampton General Hospital is one of the leading Centres who performs this kind of surgery. The aim of my experience was to improve my skills in laparoscopic liver surgery and post operative management. During my experience, I was able to assist and cooperate in various laparoscopic liver resections, pancreatic surgery and clinical studies. In conclusion, this fellowship has been very important for my growth as a surgeon and gave me the opportunity to meet and work with great colleagues. 

(January 2015)


Dr Di Gioia

Having completed my general surgical training with a focus on HPB training, I was hunting for a senior fellowship position which provides opportunity both for operative and non-operative skills essential prior to assuming a Consultant position. Southampton Laparoscopic Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery Fellowship provide unique multifaceted training opportunities at all training levels. There is a substantial case load of both open and laparoscopic HPB procedures suitable to satisfy appetite of senior trainees. The weekly MDT meetings, thematic neuroendocrine and sarcoma meetings are all very good learning opportunities. The most admirable aspect of this fellowship is the warmth and friendliness of HPB team which integrates a foreign trainee into the unit from day 1. With the highest number of laparoscopic HPB procedures performed in the UK this fellowship provides good opportunities to acquire operative skills and shorten the learning curve for both laparoscopic liver and pancreas surgery. The effect of centralization of pancreatic services and abundance of both benign and malignant pancreatic problems enables to consolidate both operative and non-operative skills in pancreatic pathologies. For an enthusiastic Fellow, looking for a few high quality papers, there are more than enough opportunities for research. Mr Hilal, the Fellowship Director, works very closely with Fellows both as a friend and a mentor. It is but natural that the culmination of this Fellowship results in a lifelong collaborative friendship.

(January 2015)


I’m Elisa Francone, resident in General Surgery at Genoa. In order to improve my skills in such a demanding field as HPB laparoscopic surgery is, I desired to spend a six-months period in a hepato-biliary referral center, and I had the stimulating opportunity to attend at Southampton University Hospital, one of the most renowned in Europe. With the great chance to work side by side with Mr. Abu Hilal, during this period I grew my knowledge, being part of both operative and non-operative activities. He also pushed me in enhancing a scientific disposition, actually opening my mind in respect of this skill, essential to become a complete surgeon. Last but not least, in this period I met colleagues who became friends, growing up not only from a scientific point of view. I’m totally satisfied of this Fellowship and I can’t do anything different that enthusiastically suggest it!

(June 2015)

 Elisa Francone

My name is Mahmoud Abuawwad, I'm a general surgery resident of Pavia University (Italy) I have Just completed my 6 months of fellowship in HPB Unit at Southampton University Hospital NHS. I was a fellow for laparoscopic hepato-pancreatobiliary, I believe that to be lucky to have had the possibility to work and to make part of this team with Mr Abu Hilal Mohammad. During these 6 months I had the opportunity to participate in a different laparoscopic major surgery liver and pancreatic resections, it was a new experience to me (laparoscopic major liver surgery) it was really interesting to see this special type of surgery. Working with this team gave me the possibility to improve my scientific research view by weekly multidisciplinary meeting and scientific paper writing and discussion.

(October 2017) 


Mahmoud Abuawwad

My name is Salvatore Barbaro, I am a general surgeon graduated at Milano-Bicocca University and I spent the last 18 months of my residency at the University Hospital Southampton. I decided to do this period of training in Southampton because I wanted to acquire specific skills in HPB surgery. I started my fellowship as a research fellow and I started working as a clinical fellow in April 2016; since then I have constantly improved.

The HPB unit is often busy and there are plenty of opportunities to learn and to gain experience either in the clinical field or in the academic one. The fellow is expected to attend different activities, ranging from the daily theatre operations to the outpatient clinic, passing through the ward round and also the emergencies.
During these months I had many opportunities to assist in complex operations, especially in laparoscopic major liver surgery and also in complex laparoscopic pancreatic resections. I had the opportunity to perform specific HPB procedures, always tutored by a consultant. The fellow is expected to work hard but he is well repaid by the skills he can learn daily, with the great chance to work in a tertiary referral center for HPB surgery in a crowded hospital.

Moreover each fellow is actively involved in research activities; he usually leads at least two different academic projects and is also involved in different studies with the other fellows.

I am really satisfied of this experience especially because it gave me a lot not only as a surgeon but also as a man, with the unique opportunity to work with a panel of experts in a friendly environment, in the context of a very high volume Center with a very active academic unit.

(October 2017) 


Salvatore Barbaro

I have completed my two-month fellowship in the HBP team of the University Hospital Southampton (UHS) in May 2016. During my stay, I observed many pancreatic operations and laparoscopic liver resections. I also attended the daily ward round and weekly multidisciplinary meetings (MDT). Mr. Abu Hilal and his team are very willing to share their experience and tips in successful management of patients with complex HBP problems. Moreover, I had the chance to learn how efficient is the Enhanced Recovery Program (ERAS) for HBP disease in the UHS. Every member of the HBP team and the nurses contribute tremendously to the success of the ERAS program. I will definitely share this experience with my fellow colleagues in Hong Kong. Last but not least, I would like to thank Mr. Hilal and his team for the warm welcome and sharing.

(October 2017) 


Carmen Ho 

My name is Bashar Jaber, a surgeon from Palestine, I have completed a 2 year fellowship in GI surgery and advanced laparoscopy at University Hospital Southampton in July 2016, part of the fellowship was a 6 month rotation in the laparoscopic HPB surgery unit, which had been a very rich experience in such busy unit, I have had an excellent exposure to complex and challenging HPB cases, I have had the chance to attend theatres regularly as an assistant and surgeon, run outpatient clinics and manage patients postoperatively, I believe that I have expanded my knowledge and acquired new technical operative skills including laparoscopic skills which have been certainly of great benefit when I moved to colorectal surgery.

It was an opportunity to expand my knowledge in the HPB and GI radiology by attending MDTs when possible and by discussing different scans with radiology colleagues.
I have been part of some research projects under the supervision of my direct fellowship mentor, Mr Mohammed Abu Hilal, who has been always supportive and helpful.
Although I am currently specialising in colorectal surgery, I think those 6 months in HPB surgery were very essential to develop and consolidate both knowledge and skills.

I think laparoscopic HPB unit at Southampton university hospital represents one of the most busy and advanced units in UK and Europe, it presents a unique postgraduate training opportunities to enthusiastic surgeons from everywhere.

Last but not least, thanks to Mr Abu Hilal for making it possible to join this fellowship and for his commitment and continuous support throughout the training period.

(October 2017) 

Bashar Jaber

IHPB Fellowship - University Hospital Southampton

I have worked as a senior fellow in HPB surgery with Professor Abu Hilal in Southampton for 9 months (January to October 2017). The main aim of this fellowship was to increase my experience in laparoscopic liver and pancreatic surgery. The University Hospital Southampton is one of the leading centers worldwide for this type of surgery.

During this period I was exposed to more than 30 laparoscopic liver resections and more than 20 laparoscopic pancreatic resections including laparoscopic Whipples. By this way I have been able to improve my laparoscopic surgical skills. Furthermore I was involved in ward rounds, outpatient clinics and multidisciplinary meetings which has improved my knowledge in the pre- and postoperative management of these complex patients. From an academic point of view, I contributed to multiple publications and attended different international HPB conferences and courses.

Overall, this fellowship has been of great educational value in my development as a future HPB surgeon. And not incidentally, I have met some great new colleagues and friends!

Mr Dennis Wicherts
(October 2017)


Dennis Wicherts








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