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Professor Sir Ara Darzi
Professor Sir Ara Darzi

Press Release - 03 October 2005

Days of surgery are numbered, says top surgeon

The days when medics need to cut open a patient in order to carry out surgery are numbered, a leading surgeon will tell a free public lecture at the University of Bath next week (Friday 7 October 2005).

Minimally invasive techniques, such as laparoscopies where “keyhole” instruments are used to carry out complex abdominal surgery, are being used on increasing numbers of patients and help cut down on the need for major surgery, Professor Sir Ara Darzi will say.

These kinds of procedures are part of a transition to completely non-invasive surgery where operations are carried out without having to cut the body at all.

Professor Darzi, Head of the Division of Surgery, Anaesthetics and Intensive Care at Imperial College, will describe some of the new technologies that will make this possible, at the Bath Institute of Medical Engineering’s 37th Annual Lecture.

He will describe how laparoscopic surgery, telepresence, virtual reality, digital imaging and networking are coming together to deliver the non-invasive surgical techniques of the future.

“The golden age of surgery is waning, and conventional surgery is being replaced by a host of minimally invasive therapies and non-invasive procedures,” said Professor Darzi.

“Trends in the emerging technology are toward low power, miniaturised, low cost yet highly ‘intelligent’ systems that eventually will transform surgery from minimally invasive to non-invasive procedures.

“Laparoscopic surgery is not an end-point in itself, rather it is a transitional phase between the radical approach of open surgery and the emerging forms of non-invasive image-guided procedures.”

The lecture will take place at 7.00pm on Friday 7 October 2005 in Lecture Theatre 8 West 1.1. Tickets for the lecture and hot supper are available from Stephanie Marshall on: 01225 383 659.

Tickets for the lecture are free, but tickets for the hot supper cost £18.75. Send cheques payable to University of Bath to Stephanie Marshall, Wessex House 8.16, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY.

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