The Medical Society series of talks for 2019-20 began with a fascinating talk from thoracic surgeon Dr Joel Dunning. “Disruptive Technology in Modern Surgery” was a comprehensive look at how endoscopic surgery has changed the field of cardiothoracic surgery and improved patient recovery times from a matter of weeks to days.

It was incredible to see video footage of the procedures being carried out within the body. Surgeons no longer need to cut open a large hole in the middle of the chest resulting in great pain to the patient and weeks of recovery. Now, just three 5mm diameter holes in the chest is standard, while other surgeons are pioneering advances in robotics that only require a tiny incision. This has resulted in a faster and more painless recovery for the patient, who can now usually return home the same day.

Dr Dunning also looked ahead to robotics could further developments in laparoscopic surgery in different areas of the body. It is clear that there are many opportunities for bio-engineers to develop disruptive new technology at the cutting-edge of medicine. 

Timothy Leung (C)