Worldwide expert in robotic and telesurgery to lecture in Essex

Published: 16 January 2007 at 10:35

A pioneer leader in robotic and telerobotic surgery - who staged the first major trans-Atlantic telesurgical operation (in 2001) – is set to give his inaugural lecture as Professor at Anglia Ruskin University’s Institute of Health and Social Care (IHSC) on 22 February.

Professor Jacques Marescaux will be welcomed by Anglia Ruskin University’s new Vice Chancellor, Professor Michael Thorne, for the lecture entitled Information Age and Minimally Invasive Surgery which will cover the subjects of robotics and telesurgery (the practice of remotely operating using a surgical robot arm), tele-education and other aspects of virtual surgery.

During his visit to the UK, Professor Marescaux, who set up the European Institute of TeleSurgery in Strasbourg, will address an audience of academics, healthcare professionals, and university students on the uses and limitations of this emerging technology in surgical practice and training.  He is an expert in the systems used for guiding laparoscopic surgery and the various surgical robots and telerobotic surgical systems available, and is passionate about increasing the use of telementoring in surgical training.

Professor Michael Thorne said:

“We are truly honoured to have Professor Marescaux with us for this incredibly important lecture on the growing use of surgical robotics and telesurgery. Many top medical teams are now performing this ground-breaking surgery linked simply by video camera and high-speed fibre-optic lines.”

“This revolution in the field of surgery is something that medical professionals within the UK want to learn more about and this lecture will give those attending a much greater insight into the subject.”

“Professor Marescaux and other leaders in his field have introduced a major innovation in terms of worldwide patient care, and are helping to create the latest surgical tools for tomorrow’s routine surgery.”

The prestigious journal Nature published an article about the first trans-Atlantic surgery known as the ‘Lindbergh Operation’ which took place with the support of a partnership team from France Telecom.  Professor Marescaux described the operation as ‘a strong symbol, leading to the concept of worldwide sharing of the surgical gesture, so that in time any surgeon would be able to take part in surgical intervention taking place anywhere in the world.’

It was through his lead in this important work that Professor Marescaux realised the need for appropriate training and he created the European Institute of TeleSurgery complete with its fully equipped experimental laboratories. Today, the Institute ranks as the top centre for new surgical technology training in the world. Furthermore, its place on the international training scene is unique since there is no other academic structure of this size in the world.

3000 surgeons are now trained each year at the Institute by an international team of over 800 experts.

Due to the outstanding success of the Institute, Professor Marescaux and his team wanted to take the training opportunity for surgeons even further and so create WebSurg, a free access virtual university, on the Internet which focuses on minimally invasive surgery. It provided the first worldwide on-line multimedia-based surgical training and information on surgical innovations. With translations in French, English, Japanese and now Chinese, this virtual university is reaching out to millions of surgeons worldwide; and since its access is free of charge it is helping surgeons in developing countries, which are not technologically advanced, to keep up with the latest progress.

The lecture will take place at the Auditorium of the Ashcroft International Business School at Anglia Ruskin University’s Rivermead Campus in Chelmsford.

Anglia Ruskin University’s Institute of Health and Social Care is working in partnership with leading surgeons from hospitals within the East of England to bring rapid progress to surgery nursing care practice. The Faculty has developed a number of leading Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Acute Care courses for nursing staff, including, most recently, Diplomas and BSc (Hons) Degrees in Burns and Plastic Surgery Care.