Welcome to the website of the Association of Laparoscopic Surgeons of GB and Ireland, incorporating Robotic and Technology Enhanced Surgery (RATES).

Last year’s alteration to 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 individuals 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.

Mr Simon Dexter - President, ALSGBI

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, as is the case this year. A dedicated microsite can be accessed by navigating to the “Events” tab at the top of this webpage.

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, 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 Manchester, the theme of the meeting was training and avoidance of complications along with their obvious interdependence. The live operating showcased the new focus of the Association by incorporating robotic and technology-enhanced surgery. Our 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting will take place as follows:

Training Day – Wednesday 13 November 2019 in Leeds
ASM – Thursday 14th & Friday 15th November 2019 at the Royal Armouries, Leeds

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.