Syed Nabeel Zafar, MD, MPH

  • Surgical Oncology
Syed Nabeel Zafar, MD


Syed Nabeel Zafar, MD, is a UW Health surgical oncologist (cancer surgeon). He serves as a assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in the Department of Surgery.

Dr. Zafar treats people with cancers of the gastrointestinal (GI) system. These digestive system cancers involve the stomach, liver, pancreas, bile ducts and gallbladder, small intestine, appendix and large intestine. He also treats cancer in the tissue that lines the abdomen (peritoneal surface malignancy) and various other GI cancers, including neuroendocrine cancers and sarcomas in the abdomen.

Dr. Zafar’s clinical interests include laparoscopic surgery (accessing the body through small incisions) and robotic cancer surgery.

Knowing that cancer is stressful, Dr. Zafar takes time to listen to his patients’ concerns and answer questions. He outlines their surgical options and talks about life after surgery and potential future treatments. Dr. Zafar believes it’s important to give patients detailed information so they can make good decisions about their treatment. He creates personalized care plans that fit the unique medical needs and desires of each individual.

When not directly caring for patients, Dr. Zafar researches ways to improve cancer care here and around the world.

During his free time, Dr. Zafar enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking and reading.

It’s rewarding to remove our patients’ cancer during complex operations, help them safely navigate their recovery and give them hope.

Languages spoken
  • English
University affiliation

Education & credentials

Board certifications
  • Surgery
Medical School
  • Aga Khan University Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan

Surgical Oncology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Minimally Invasive Surgery, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD

  • Howard University Hospital, Washington, D.C.


Additional conditions and treatments
  • Benign Problems of the Liver, Pancreas or Bile Duct
  • Bile Duct Cancer
  • Bile Duct Resection
  • Cholecystectomy (Gallbladder Removal)
  • Cytoreductive Surgery with Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC)
  • Gastric Resection
  • Gastrointestinal Cancer
  • Hepatopancreaticobiliary (HPB) Surgery
  • Laparoscopic Gallbladder Surgery for Gallstones
  • Liver Cryoablation
  • Liver Resection
  • Pancreatectomy
  • Pancreatic Resection
  • Peritoneal Malignancies
  • Radiofrequency Ablation of the Liver
  • Sarcoma Resection