Kamal A. Mansour, MD, professor of cardiothoracic surgery in Emory University School of Medicine, along with his wife, Cleo, has made a substantial gift to Emory, enabling the establishment of the Kamal A. Mansour Professorship of Thoracic Surgery. Dr. Mansour, who will retire from Emory this year, is affectionately known to thousands of residents as "The Professor," because of his devotion to teaching and training and his unselfish regard for his students and patients. During his 36-year tenure with the School of Medicine, Dr. Mansour has pioneered lifesaving techniques in thoracic surgery, and has shared his knowledge and experience not only with Emory residents but also with physicians and surgeons in his native Egypt.
Dr. Mansour attended medical school in Cairo, Egypt, then completed his residency training at Emory University School of Medicine in 1968. Dr. Charles Hatcher, former chair of surgery and later director of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center, immediately invited Dr. Mansour to join Emory's three-member section on cardiothoracic surgery. Dr. Mansour has never forgotten this gesture of support that launched his career as a successful surgeon and dedicated teacher. He has been instrumental in helping establish the section on general thoracic surgery, which is now part of the cardiothoracic division. The techniques in thoracic surgery that he has perfected and taught have transformed surgeons' ability to reconstruct esophageal, tracheal and chest-wall deformities caused by disease and trauma. He has published more than 145 articles in medical journals, 15 chapters in textbooks, and has made five instructional movies.
"I am deeply indebted to Emory for my many years of association here, including the freedom to practice surgery, teach residents, and help establish the section of general thoracic surgery, in addition to training residents and assisting physicians in Egypt," Dr. Mansour said. "I wanted to express my gratitude to Emory, and I am proud to have my name associated with the general thoracic surgery section. I hope this professorship will encourage young surgeons who are interested in working in this field."
In addition to his busy surgical practice at Emory and his leading role in residency training, Dr. Mansour has trained surgeons at Cairo University Faculty of Medicine, the National Institute for Cancer of Cairo University, Tanta University Faculty of Medicine, El Galaa Military Hospital of Cairo, and many other Egyptian hospitals in the techniques of difficult thoracic surgical procedures.
"Egypt has a great need for training and education in general thoracic surgery," says Dr. Mansour. "Egyptian surgeons ask me to assist with challenging cases, including tracheal and chest-wall resections and reconstructions."
Dr. Mansour is called upon as an expert because Emory thoracic surgeons have the largest series of cases (129) in replacing the esophagus with a section of bowel, a technique he and his colleagues have perfected over the past 25 years. He also treats cases of mesothelioma, a common condition in Egypt caused by asbestos exposure from quarrying.
When he returns to Egypt several times each year, Dr. Mansour is quite a celebrity both in out of the operating room, often appearing on television and in newspapers. Egyptian surgeons read his textbooks and articles and frequently ask for his assistance.
"It is a unique and rewarding experience to be able to help people in need," Dr. Mansour explains. "I approach it with sincerity and kindness -- as a ministry. I believe that the human individual is created in the image of God and that I am touching his creation through my work."