Riad Azar, MD
Division of Gastroenterology
Division Head, Gastroenterology
Dr. Riad Azar joined LAU Medical Center-Rizk Hospital in 2011 as Head of the Division of Gastroenterology. Prior to attaining this position, he was Associate Professor and Director of Endoscopic Ultrasound at Washington University in St. Louis, U.S.A., where he spent nine years as an attending physician focusing on all aspects of interventional endoscopy and general gastroenterology.
Dr. Azar graduated from St Joseph University Medical School, Beirut in 1994. He then completed an internship at the University of Connecticut in 1995, and a residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Gastroenterology at the University of Massachusetts in 1998 and 2001, respectively. Dr. Azar obtained a diploma in Advanced Endoscopy from Harvard Medical School, Boston in 2002.
Dr. Azar has a strong interest in all aspects of interventional endoscopy, including ERCP and EUS — focusing mainly on the pancreas, gallbladder, and bile ducts; treatment of gallstones; and cancer staging. He also specializes in colonoscopy and the resection of large polyps. He has extensive experience and expertise in endoscopic bariatric procedures and the management of complications resulting from bariatric surgery.
Dr. Azar is a diplomate of the American Board of Gastroenterology. He was promoted to Clinical Professor of Medicine at LAU in 2017. He has published a large number of articles in major gastroenterology journals, and several textbook chapters. He received recognition as one of the “Best Doctors in America” from 2009 through 2018. He remains an Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis.
- Kushnir VM, Wani SB, Fowler K, Menias C, Varma R, Narra V, Hovis C, Murad FM, Mullady DK, Jonnalagadda SS, Early DS, Edmundowicz SA, Azar RR. Sensitivity of endoscopic ultrasound, multidetector computed tomography, and magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography in the diagnosis of pancreas divisum: A tertiary center experience. Pancreas. 2013 Apr; 42(3):436-41.
- Coté GA, Mullady DK, Jonnalagadda SS, Keswani RN, Wani SB, Hovis CE, Ammar T, Al-Lehibi A, Edmundowicz SA, Komanduri S, Azar RR. Use of a pancreatic duct stent or guidewire facilitates bile duct access with low rates of precut sphincterotomy: A randomized clinical trial. Dig Dis Sci. 2012 Dec; 57(12):3271-8.
- Maple JT, Mansour L, Ammar T, Ansstas M, Cote GA, Azar RR. Physician-controlled wire-guided cannulation of the minor papilla. Diagnostic and Therapeutic Endoscopy. EPub Aug 2010. doi: 10.1155/2010/629308
- Ammar T, Cote GA, Creach KM, Kholmeier C, Parikh PJ, Azar RR. Fiducial placement for stereotactic radiation using EUS: Feasability when using a marker compatible with a 22-gauge needle. Gastrointest Endosc, 2010 Mar; 71(3):630-3.
- Cote GA; Ansstas M; Shah S; Keswani R; Alkade S; Jonnalagadda S; Edmundowicz S; Azar RR. Findings at ERCP after endoscopic treatment of post-cholecystectomy bile leaks. Surg Endosc. 2010 Jul; 24(7):1752-6. Epub 2009 Dec 30.
- Cote GA, Ansstas M, Pawa R, Edmundowicz SA, Jonnalagadda SS, Pleskow DK, Azar RR. Difficult biliary cannulation: Use of physician controlled wire-guided cannulation over a pancreatic duct stent to reduce the rate of precut sphincterotomy (with video). Gastrointest Endosc. 2010 Feb; 71(2):275-9. Epub 2009 Nov 18.
- Ringold DA, Shroff P, Sikka S, Jonnalagadda SS, Early DS, Edmundowicz SA, Azar RR. Pancreatitis is frequently associated with pancreatic side-branch intraductal mucinous neoplasia (SB-IPMN). Gastrointest Endosc. 2009 Sep; 70(3):488-94. Epub 2009 Jun 24.
- Nguyen Y, Maple J, Zheng Q, Ylagan LR, Zhai J, Kohlmeier C, Jonnalagadda SS, Early DS, Edmundowicz SA, Azar RR. The reliability of gross visual assessment of specimen adequacy during EUS-FNA of pancreatic masses. Gastrointest Endosc, 2009 Jun; 69(7):1264-70. Epub 2009 Feb 24.
- Maple J, Edmundowicz S, Jonnalagadda S, Azar R. Wire assisted access sphincterotomy of the minor papilla. Gastrointest Endosc. 2009 Jan; 69(1):47-54.
- Azar R, Oh Y, Janec E, Early D, Jonnalagadda S, Edmundowicz SA. Wire-guided pancreatic pseudocyst drainage using a modified needle knife and therapeutic echoendoscopes. Gastrointest Endosc. 2006; 63(4):688-692.
Professional and Research Interests
- Interventional Endoscopy
- Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio-Pancreatography (ERCP)
- Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)
- Resection of large colon polyps
- Disease of the pancreas and biliary tree
- Endoscopic management of bariatric complications
- Gastrointestinal malignancies: Staging and palliation
- General Gastroenterology
Education and Training
- M.D. degree, Saint Joseph University School of Medicine, Beirut, Lebanon, 1994
- Internship, University of Connecticut, U.S.A., 1995
- Residency in Internal Medicine, University of Massachusetts, U.S.A., 1998
- Fellowship in Gastroenterology, University of Massachusetts, 2001
- Diploma in Interventional Endoscopy, BI-Deaconess Medical Center/ Harvard University, U.S.A., 2002
Professional Memberships and Organizations
- Adjunct Associate Professor at Washington University, St. Louis, U.S.A.; Full-time practice there from 2002 through 2011
- Fellow of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
- “Best Doctors in America” award, 2011 to 2018