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

The ALSGBI is the UK’s primary laparoscopic surgical association established to promote laparoscopic surgery among surgeons and trainees in the UK. It was founded 25 years ago and has gone from a small group to a large professional Association that boasts members from around the globe.

We are a charitable organisation whose primary role is to support training and education in a broad range of minimal access surgeries among surgeons of all experience levels ranging from junior trainees through to long time established Consultants.

Two years ago, we expanded to include a section for Robotic and Technological Enhanced Surgery (RATES), an exponentially expanding modality of minimal access surgery. Links to the latest Robotic Training Courses can be found in the Courses section of the website.

We also incorporate the Association of Laparoscopic Theatre Staff (ALTS) with whom we have a close relationship,  housing their Annual Scientific Meeting within our own Annual Meeting. We believe there is something for every laparoscopic surgeon in our Association and Website.

Trainees have the opportunity to present their own and their unit’s work at our Annual Scientific Meeting (as can more senior surgeons!) There are a number of prizes given during the meeting all with a monetary value including the prestigious David Dunn Medal awarded to the best paper at the Annual Scientific Meeting established in memory of one of the founding members of our Association whose drive , enthusiasm and foresight helped establish minimal access surgery in the UK. The medal is presented at the following years Annual Scientific Meeting by Anne Dunn, David’s wife.

There are a number of generous awards and bursaries available to trainees and newly appointed Consultants to help them travel abroad to gain experience of international surgery and see expertise that can be brought back to their own practice. Details are within the Trainees  section. In the same section details of LapPass can be found. This is gaining traction among younger trainees as a mark of their laparoscopic ability. It is difficult to pass but allows trainers to quickly gauge a trainee’s ability.

For established Consultants there is much to be gained from our Association. This website houses information about upcoming events and meetings. There is an expanding library of operative videos and exerts from our Annual Scientific Meeting. The SWORD database is free to members and provides an audit and appraisal tool invaluable for revalidation. It gives personal and nationally comparable data for a surgeon to assess their own individual performance and allows them to compare this to their peers locally and nationally.

A new feature is a series of webinars from ALSGBI members on hot topics housed by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. Primarily aimed at trainees but we all continue to learn !  The Association and website are a rich resource for the laparoscopic surgeon. Membership of the ALSGBI opens access to a wide range of benefits and is testified to by our increasing membership numbers.

Join the Association and enjoy life more!

Mr Don Menzies - 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 (ASM) is the Association’s showcase event, and usually takes place in November/December. 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.

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.