News posted 31 January, 2020

MREH surgeons perform the first UK live surgery to international conference

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SURGEONS at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital (MREH) are the first in the UK to perform live specialist surgery to an international surgical conference.

MREH Consultant Ophthalmologist and Vitreoretinal Surgeons Felipe Dhawahir-Scala and Niall Patton each performed a Vitreoretinal (VR) procedure on two MREH patients, livestreamed to approximately 100 trainee doctors at an Italian conference this week.

The first of the surgeries took place on Monday (January 27th), led by Consultant Surgeon Felipe Dhawahir-Scala who performed a VR technique that he introduced to the UK in 2011. His patient suffered sight-loss due to a dislocated intraocular lens which was caused by an unfortunate traumatic injury. Supported by a team of theatre nurses, Felipe successfully regained the patient’s vision by removing the dislocated lens and inserting a retro pupillary clipped lens.

This is a particularly tricky surgical technique and Felipe is the first to have performed this surgery live at an international conference – with approximately 1,000 doctors from around the world tuning in online to watch him perform the operation.

The five-day conference, E-Learning Ocular Surgery (ELOS), held in Milan and directed by Professor Mario Romano featured one live surgery from a different area of the globe each day – with two surgeries broadcast live from MREH. ELOS provides interactive learning for all levels of expertise and also gives attendees the opportunity to ask live questions whilst surgery is ongoing.

Both Felipe and Niall were able to comment on the technical aspects of their surgeries as well as sharing tips and best practice. The livestream which was broadcast worldwide online throughout the week provided a platform for thousands of surgeons to find simple solutions to complex problems.

Consultant Surgeon at MREH Felipe Dhawahir-Scala said: “I have performed live surgery at conferences internationally a number of times but this is first time that we have been able to showcase the brilliant technical, surgical procedures that we carry out on a daily basis at MREH.

“Participating in this conference has provided us with a fantastic opportunity to share our learning and techniques with hundreds of other retinal surgeons, highlighting MREH as a leading eye hospital and VR unit worldwide.”

The second surgery led by MREH Consultant Surgeon Niall Patton took place yesterday (January 30) and involved a complex retinal detachment which took more than two hours, in a 75-year-old patient.

Speaking about his involvement in the conference, Niall said: “Being able to represent MREH internationally by participating in conferences such as ELOS and sharing our leading expertise has been fantastic. It has been great to be able to do this from our hospital in Manchester, really putting MREH on the map and showcasing how we provide a service of excellence to all our patients.”

Last year MREH received an ‘Outstanding’ rating following an inspection from Care Quality Commission (CQC) and is the first eye hospital in the UK to receive this rating.

The educational conference, which closes today has been running for five days (from 27th – 31st January) and has featured a number key note speakers and surgeons from various hospitals across the globe, including; USA, Belgium, Scotland and Italy.