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Published 5th Apr 2011

James cook University Hospital photo by Yaffa Phillips

Six patients from The James Cook University Hospital are being operated on by top international surgeons as part of a live theatre master class in key-hole surgery.

Video Conferencing systems have been installed into two seperate operating theatres in James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, to bring ground breaking high definition operations to over 70 surgeons from across the world.

Leading surgeons from the USA, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands have come to Teesside for the two-day laparoscopic (key-hole) urology master class. Monday 4th April saw the start of six ground-breaking operations being performed live over 1080P-HD video conferencing and follows six patients as they undergo kidney surgery and prostate operations using cutting edge technology.

Aftab Bhatti, consultant urologist specialist in key-hole surgery, said: “This is about promoting excellence throughout South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, moving services forward, introducing new procedures and maintaining links with the best institutions in the world.

“But it has also given six Teesside patients the unique opportunity to be operated on by international experts.”

The urology department at James Cook offers minimally-invasive treatments for urological diseases such as kidney and prostate cancer. Patients having key-hole surgery report a more rapid recovery and quicker return to normal activity.

Directorate manager Dawn Watson said: “Previously if patients had major open surgery they required a lengthy stay in hospital and recovery period. However keyhole surgery changes the patient’s view of the operation. It is now perceived as a short interruption in their life, rather than large scale disruption to their health. Length of stay is reduced and there is a much quicker recovery period and the procedure is cosmetically pleasing.”

Guests at the master class include Professor Pierre-Thierry Piechaud (Bordeaux, France), Professor Roland van Velthoven (Brussels, Belgium), Professor Jens Rassweiler (Heilbronn, Germany) and Professor Indy Gill (Los Angeles, USA), who have performed thousands of procedures between them and published excellent results.

The event, sponsored by the British Association of Urological Surgeons (BAUS), offers urologists from across the UK a unique opportunity to see complex key-hole procedures and take part in interactive discussions with international experts during live surgery, lectures and debates.

Useful links

NHS South Tees

British Association of Urological Surgeons






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