Welcome to the website of the Association of Laparoscopic Surgeons of GB and Ireland, incorporating Robotic and Technology Enhanced Surgery (RATES).
The recent alteration in the name of the Association (incorporating RATES) reflects the fundamental changes occurring in our core interest areas, with robotic, digital and other novel technologies impacting and changing minimal access surgical practice. As a dynamic Association we want to embrace these changes and have established a RATES subsection within council. We will initially be looking at training in particular and will seek appropriate representation from the group at the Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM).
The role of this Association is to promote the practice of minimal access surgery and to support training and education of those individual involved. This includes surgeons, trainees, theatre staff, and patients. I would encourage you to navigate the website for relevant sections, which include educational sections for trained and trainee surgeons, and information for patients. It acts as a resource for daily reference, newsletters and tricks and tips with multimedia content. Details on regional training meetings, and other appropriate ALSGBI endorsed meetings and seminars are also available.
Trainees are advised to explore the LapPass section, which introduces the concept of this “Laparoscopic Passport”, which aims to assess and certificate the acquisition of a range of practical laparoscopic skills. The section includes guidance and videos of what is required to pass the skills assessment. Most of the final assessments take place at the annual meeting, but despite the apparent simplicity of the tasks, the pass rate is quite low, as most trainees underestimate the amount of practice required to reach the necessary skill level. I would certainly encourage you to put the practice in beforehand!
Consultants should direct themselves to the SWORD database. This resource, which is free to members, provides user friendly and appraisal ready summaries of HES data by consultant. SWORD allows us to see these data and compare our own to our peers around the country. HES data are the default data collected on our practice by the NHS and will prove increasingly important as surgeon-specific data becomes increasingly available publicly.
The SWORD team are very active at updating and improving the product and are keen to have feedback, particularly from anyone who feels that their data are inaccurate.
Our Annual Scientific Meeting is the Association’s showcase event, and usually takes place in November. A dedicated microsite will appear on this website nearer the time of the meeting.
The ASM includes a hands-on training day for juniors with a high trainer to delegate ratio, which is invariably well received and attended.
The meeting proper includes a day of live surgery by experts, transmitted in high definition formats including 3D and 4K, with 2 way audience participation. This is followed on day 2 by a day of keynote lectures from prestigious invited speakers, short papers, fellowship presentations and numerous prizes, as well as a parallel programme for theatre teams. Our excellent relationship with industry enables us to showcase the full range of leading edge technologies at the industry exhibition.
Bursaries are available to support trainees, theatre teams and procurement personnel to attend.
The most recent ASM was held in Cardiff and included some fascinating insights into Artificial Intelligence, and laparoscopy in exotic animals amongst others! Watch out for the full report in the Spring Newsletter.
Looking forward, we are fortunate to be hosting the 2018 EAES Congress in London from 30th May to 1st June. We urge all our members to make special effort to attend this meeting and to showcase the UK’s talents to our European colleagues.
Our 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting will be somewhat later than usual as a result of the EAES and will take place as follows:
Training Day – Tuesday 4 December 2018
ASM – 5 & 6 December 2018 at Manchester Central
Laparoscopic surgeons are particularly technology dependent and we work closely with our industry partners, who support us generously and to whom we express our ongoing thanks for their continued innovation, support and interaction.
Should there be questions or queries about our work please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Mr Simon Dexter