Who is it?

Who is it?

Diego González Rivas


Dr. Diego González Rivas holds a degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Santiago de Compostela. He completed his training in Thoracic Surgery and Lung Transplantation at the University Hospital of A Coruña. After working for a year at the University Hospital of Santiago, he returned to the University Hospital of A Coruña, where he worked as a Thoracic Surgeon and was an active member of the lung transplant program (one of the most important at the national level, with around 50 cases per year) from 1999 to 2015. He is the creator of the Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery Unit (UCTMI), which currently operates at the Hospital Quirón and San Rafael in A Coruña. He is also the co-director of UMICS in Portugal (operating regularly in the Lusiadas group of Porto and Lisbon, HPA group of Algarve, and HIA of Azores) and in Madrid (Hospital Nisa Vithas Pardo Aravaca). He is an attending surgeon at the Ernst Von Bergmann Hospital in Potsdam (Germany) and the Chest Disease Hospital in Kuwait, where he performs complex surgeries for one week, three to four times a year. He is also the creator and current director of the Uniportal Video-assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery Program at the Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital in China (the largest thoracic center in the world, with over 20,000 major lung resections performed in 2020 alone). In addition, he is an associate professor at four other hospitals in China (Mudanjiang, Kunming, Taizhou, and Xian), as well as in other countries in Europe, Asia, and South America.
Dr. González Rivas is a member of multiple editorial boards, a reviewer for numerous scientific journals, and was the coordinator of the congress committee of the Spanish Society of Thoracic Surgery (SECT) from 2014 to 2017. He also collaborates with educational activities of the European Society (ESTS), EACTS, and the International Society of Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery (ISMICS). He holds the European board of Thoracic Surgery (FECTS) from the European Society of Thoracic Surgery (ESTS) since 2010. He is a member of numerous scientific societies, such as the prestigious American Association of Thoracic Surgery (AATS), where he was elected as the youngest member of the society in 2016.
Dr. González Rivas began performing minimally invasive surgery for anatomical resections (VATS) in 2007, after learning the technique at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles with Dr. Rob Mckenna. After performing over 100 lung resections with the three-incision technique, he visited Duke Medical Center in North Carolina to learn the double-port technique with Dr. Thomas Damico. Once he gained experience with this technique, he evolved the surgery to develop the single-incision approach for lung surgery.
He was a pioneering surgeon in the world to perform uniportal anatomical resections by VATS (first case in June 2010), major lung surgery by single port in patients without intubation and with spontaneous breathing (first case in April 2014), and also a pioneer in performing uniportal resections using an articulated robotic arm and surgical instruments with magnetic control, without the need for an assistant (first case in 2016). He is also an expert and pioneer in Europe in uniportal resections through the subxiphoid or subcostal space (without entering the intercostal space) and in bronchovascular and carina or trachea reconstructions by minimally invasive uniportal surgery. He was also a pioneer in the world in performing the first purely robotic uniportal lobectomies with the Da Vinci Xi system (first cases in September 2021, at San Rafael Hospital in A Coruña). He has published more than 100 scientific papers in the most important international journals that describe these procedures as well as the results and has been an editor of several scientific books and published numerous chapters for various treatises and atlases of thoracic surgery. He is also the surgeon who has operated in the most countries, cities, and hospitals in the history of surgery (to date, in over 110 countries). He was nominated for the Princess of Asturias Award in 2018, where he was a finalist, and has been awarded the Top Doctors Award for five consecutive years (from 2014 to 2018). Since 2018, he has been working on the development of the subxiphoid uniportal robotic system (Da Vinci robotic system) and performed the first lobectomies and thymectomies in the world in the United States in 2018 with this system on a cadaveric model (first international publication with this technique in a scientific journal).
More information is available on his website: https://diegogonzalezrivas.com

¿Qué es?


There is a great unmet need for surgical care worldwide. Often, surgical conditions and treatments are poorly recognized and lack the necessary resources as public health priorities. To address this issue, the field of Global Surgery has emerged, and in this area Dr. Diego González Rivas is a leading figure. For all these reasons, the first objective of the Diego González Rivas Foundation is to obtain a Mobile Surgery Unit in Africa and to perform, through its Uniportal VATS technique, those surgeries that cannot be addressed due to lack of resources in developing countries, that is, our goal is to provide equitable and improved surgical care in international health systems. In this project, the importance of involving a multidisciplinary variety of surgeons and healthcare personnel, at local, national and international levels, stands out in order to achieve global and quality surgery.


Carry out complex surgical operations.

Train other surgeons (mostly African)

Donations to local hospitals in the form of medical supplies

Solidarity medicine for developing countries