Hospital hosts Singapore surgeons on fact-finding mission
A world-leading team at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, assisted a group of Singapore clinicians on a two week factfinding mission about cutting-edge surgery.
The seven surgeons and physicians, from Singapore General Hospital, visited Cambridge to learn about multi-visceral transplantation - the term used when replacing the stomach, duodenum, pancreas, small intestine and liver.
Addenbrooke’s, which has carried out more than 100 such complex operations since 2007, is the most active multi-visceral transplant centre in Europe and one of the busiest in the world.
The hospital, part of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust which also runs the Rosie maternity hospital, regularly undertakes life-saving transplants that last 12 to 18 hours - with the record being 24 hours.
The Singapore team was hosted by surgeons Andrew Butler, Neil Russell and Irum Amin and physicians Lisa Sharkey, Dunecan Massey, Jeremy Woodward and Stephen Middleton.
They also met the Trust’s Transplant Coordination Team, led by Stephen Bond, which plays a highly pressurised behind-the-scenes role co-ordinating multiple aspects of a transplant, from locating and retrieving donated organs to getting patients and surgical teams into the hospital.
During their stay, the Singapore team, who want to start their own multi-visceral transplant programme so patients can have access to these life-saving procedures, watched one of these transplants, a 12 hour operation by Mr Russell, Mr Butler and Miss Amin.
They spent many hours discussing procedures, processes and protocols and shadowed team members during consultations and ward rounds. They joined the Cambridge team when members gave a presentation at the UK’s Annual Intestinal Transplant Symposium in Birmingham, which was an opportunity to network with other top clinicians from across the country. And they joined the National Adult Small Intestinal Transplant Forum at CUH, which was attended by experts from as far afield at Scotland and Southampton.
Dr Sharkey, who organised the visit, said: “Having undertaken our 100th multi-visceral transplant last year, it felt like an appropriate time to reflect on what we have achieved and what we can share with others.
“It has been an absolute pleasure working colleagues from Singapore and, as always, when physicians and surgeons get together it is a great opportunity to swap ideas and learn from each other.”
Singapore surgeon, Prema Raj, added: “Addenbrooke’s is noted for being a leader in this field and we were delighted when they accepted our request to visit. Not only have we learnt a great deal, but we have made new friends and contacts as well.”