Thavam Thambi-Pillai, MD

location phone (605) 328-9290
Thavam Thambi-Pillai, MD - Surgery



Accepting New Patients


Undergraduate School
National University of Ireland (Galway, Republic of Ireland)
Graduate School
Drexel University College of Medicine (Philadelphia, PA)
Medical School
University College Galway, National University of Ireland (Galway, Republic of Ireland)
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (Dublin, Republic of Ireland)
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, University of Pennsylvania Health System (Philadelphia, PA)
Graduate Hospital, Drexel University College of Medicine (Philadelphia, PA)
Human Islet Cell Transplantation: University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
Transplantation Surgery: University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH)
University College Hospital (Galway, Republic of Ireland)
American Board of Surgery

Areas of Expertise

Transplant Surgery, Hepato-Biliary and pancreatic (HBP) Surgery, Laparoscopic Liver Resections, Laparoscopic Radio Frequency (RFA) and Microwave Ablations, Laparoscopic Pancreatic resections, Laparoscopic Nephrectomy (partial and radical) & Cryo ablations, Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery, Comprehensive Surgical Care for Renal Failure Patients, Endocrine (Parathyroid, Adrenal) Surgery and General and Trauma/Acute Care Surgery

Unique Medical Experience and Research

  • American College of Surgeons (ACS)
  • American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS)
  • American Society of Transplantation (AST)
  • The Transplantation Society (TTS)
  • Association for Academic Surgery (AAS)
  • International College of Surgeons (ICS)
  • Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES)
  • American Medical Association (AMA)

Casserly I, Thambipillai T, Macken M, FitzGerald, MJ: Innervation of the tylotrich-touchdome complexes in rat skin: changing patterns during postnatal development. Journal of Anatomy 185(3):553-563, 1994.

O'Hanlon DM, Thambipillai T, Colbert ST, Keane PW, Given HF: Timing of pre-emptive tenoxicam is important for postoperative analgesia. Canadian Journal of Anaesthesiology 48(2):162-166, 2001.

Frank A, Deng S, Huang X., Velidedeoglu E, Bae Y, Liu C, Abt P, Stephenson R, Mohuiddin M, Thambipillai T, Markmann E, Palanjian M, Sellers M, Naji A, Barker C.F, Markmann JF: Transplantation for Type 1 Diabetes: Comparison of Vascularized Whole Organ Pancreas with Isolated Pancreatic Islets. Annals of Surgery, 240 (4):631-643, 2004.

Tevar AD, Succop P, Schneider CR, Thambi-Pillai, T, Thomas MJ, Neff G, Weber F, Rudich SM, Woodle ES, Buell JF: Liver transplantation for primary and metastatic hepatic malignancy: a single center experience. Surgery 139 (4):535-541, 2006.

Jafri MA, Tevar AD, Lucia, M, Thambi-Pillai T, Karachristos A, Trumbull L, Buell JF, Thomas, MJ, Hanaway MJ, Woodle ES, Rudich SM: Temporary silastic mesh closure for adult liver transplantation – a safe alternative for the difficult abdomen. Liver Transplantation 13:258-265, 2007.

Languages Spoken



  • Subject prize in Physiology in the first Medical year in the Medical School.
  • Subject prize in Biochemistry in the first Medical year in the Medical School.
  • Class prize in the first Medical year in the Medical School.
  • Health Research Board (H.R.B.) Scholarship to complete an intercalated B.Sc. (Hons) degree in Anatomy (only four such scholarships are awarded annually in Ireland).
  • Best Teaching Resident during Surgical residency Program at the Graduate hospital, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Distinguished Guth Award to recognize as an exemplary House Officer who displays humanistic qualities towards patients and colleagues awarded by the attendings of the Graduate Hospital, Philadelphia, PA.


Primary Practice Location

Sanford Transplant Program

1205 S Grange Avenue
Suite 201
Sioux Falls, SD 57105
Get Directions


M–F: 8:00 AM–5:00 PM



(605) 328-9290
(800) 949-0670


(605) 328-9291
Additional Practice Locations

Sanford Transplant Center

101 East Minnesota Street
Suite 200
Rapid City, SD 57701
Get Directions


(605) 721-7234

Sanford Center for Digestive Health

1205 S Grange Avenue
Suite 104
Sioux Falls, SD 57105
Get Directions


(605) 328-8500

Sanford Surgical Associates

1508 W 22nd Street
Suite 101
Sioux Falls, SD 57105
Get Directions


(605) 328-3840


(605) 328-3841