More than two hundred surgeons from the UK and Ireland will gather at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) this month to see live keyhole operations performed at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI) in 3D and in high definition.


For the first time Aberdeen is hosting the Annual Scientific Meeting of the UK Association of Laparoscopic Surgeons (ALSGBI) during 27th and 28th November.


Laparoscopic or “keyhole” surgery to the abdomen and pelvis is performed through a number of ports inserted through small incisions, allowing surgeons to perform procedures while avoiding long incisions.


Delegates will watch a range of complex operations extending from the stomach to large bowel, including operations for hiatus hernia, stones in the bile duct, liver tumours and colitis. Surgical teams from Aberdeen Royal Infirmary will be joined with consultants from Dundee and Belfast. International speakers from France, South Africa and India will make keynote lectures on the second day when the younger members of the association have the opportunity to present their research and DVDs of interesting operations.


“This is the first time our national Conference has been held in Scotland and we are looking forward to exchanging ideas with experts across the country and demonstrating the high quality of laparoscopic surgery provided in Aberdeen, ” said NHS Grampian surgeon Professor Zyg Krukowski, organiser of the 2014 event at AECC.


This branch of surgery involves specialist equipment, including high definition (HD) and now 3D laparoscopic cameras the size of a thick pen. Surgeons can view HD images from inside the patient using 3D screens during the procedure. Advantages include a quicker recovery and less pain for the patient, tiny or invisible scars, and reduced risk of infection.


“The annual meeting is an excellent opportunity to showcase the outstanding skills of our surgical teams in the North East, and the quality of surgery available to patients in Grampian, ” said Prof. Krukowski.


“We are very grateful to the patients who have agreed to have their procedures shown to this audience of leading surgeons, so that we can share and expand knowledge of this important technique across the UK. Highlights of the procedures will be recorded and available internationally through the Association’s website.”


Surgeons at ARI have performed thousands of keyhole procedures since it was introduced by the late Mr Stanley S Miller and Prof Krukowski in 1991. ARI has been at the forefront of laparoscopic surgery and pioneered operations, including  the adrenal glands, hiatus hernia, spleen, liver, kidneys  and bowel.


A major fund raising exercise led by the UCAN charity is nearing its target to procure the first surgical robot in Scotland for ARI.


Brian Horsburgh, Managing Director of AECC, commented: “We are delighted that the ALSGBI Conference will be coming to AECC and Aberdeen for their first visit to Scotland. This is testament to the quality of work of the Professors in Aberdeen and the strong Team Aberdeen approach. The Conference is expected to attract around 280 visitors to the Region, bringing an economic impact of over £400, 000.”


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