Marissa Shafei is a certified Physician Assistant at MD Anderson Cancer Center in the Department of Urology. She has 12 years of experience working as a Surgical PA, during which time she has first assisted in the operating room, performed minor procedures independently in the clinic, and provided both inpatient and outpatient care. She has experience in Urology, Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery, General Surgery, Surgical Oncology, and Colorectal Surgery. Marissa is proficient in minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery, plastic and reconstructive micro-surgery, hand surgery, and robotic surgery (Da Vinci Si, Xi, and Single-Port systems), as well as open surgery.
She values her patients and strives to provide them with the highest quality of healthcare. Her true passion is surgery, which is both an art and a science. At MD Anderson, she first-assists in a variety of urologic surgical cases, with a primary focus on robotic radical prostatectomy, partial and radical nephrectomy, and radical cystectomy. She recognizes the importance of working as a team in the operating room to maximize efficiency and safety. She also performs cystoscopy procedures in the clinic setting, including the placement of ureteral stents.
She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology at the University of Illinois where she received the Bronze Tablet Award for ranking in the top 3 percent of her graduating class. She was a Division I Varsity athlete for the University of Illinois’s Swimming team where she set 4 school records and qualified for and competed at the US Open and USA Nationals. She then completed a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies at Baylor College of Medicine and graduated with Honors. Her Master’s Thesis was entitled Outcomes of Trans-cutaneous Closure of Central Defects (TCCD) in Laparoscopic Ventral Hernia Repair (LVHR).
Marissa enjoys academic research and understands that it is only through research that we can continue to improve and implement best practices. She has had 4 full papers accepted and published in World Journal of Surgery and Journal of Surgical Research with a research focus in Laparoscopic Ventral Hernia Repair. She has also had 10 abstracts accepted to the Academic Surgical Congress and the Association of Veterans Affairs Surgeons.
She attended NARUS in 2018 and 2019, virtually in 2021 to gain further knowledge on robotic urologic surgery, and she served as faculty presenting at the 4th Annual North American Robotic Urology Symposium in 2020. She educated other professionals on Robotic Surgery in April, 2023 as a presenter and instructor for the Robotic Surgery Workshop offered at the SOAP conference that was hosted by MD Anderson.
In her free time, Marissa continues to swim with US Masters Swimming and FINA World Masters. At her last major competition, she took home 2 championships in the 100 and 200 Breaststroke in 2017 at FINA World Masters Championship in Budapest, Hungary.