Mr Mike Parker, President of ALSGBI

Presidential Introduction

Message from the President, Mr Mike Parker

It is now only a few weeks until the Annual Scientific Meeting of the ALS to be held in Tonbridge, Kent, at the prestigious River Centre and time to plan your stay over the two or three days of the academic and social programme.  

There will be the ALS Laparoscopic Hernia Training Day on the Wednesday which will take place at Darent Valley Hospital, Dartford, with lectures and live operating linked through to the post-graduate centre.  The Thursday promises to be a really fascinating day of live operating, with two internationally renowned surgeons operating out of two Kent hospitals involved in the day’s work and a live link also coming from the Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital in Hong Kong provided by the Surgical Unit under the supervision of Mr Michael Li.  Michael will actually be with us in Tonbridge and will be delivering a keynote lecture on the Thursday evening.

During the day Dr Barry Salky from New York will be operating out of Darent Valley Hospital, Dartford, on a complex Crohn’s problem.  Barry has huge experience of surgery for Crohn’s disease having operated on over 1000 cases already and will therefore be bringing a wealth of knowledge to our meeting in operative skills for IBD.  Mr Seshadri Sriprasad, Consultant Urologist at Darent Valley Hospital, will be performing a laparoscopic cryosurgery ablation of a renal tumour in which he has significant experience.

Professor Heine van der Walt from Pretoria, South Africa is our second overseas guest operator.  Heine has more experience than most in primary and revision surgery for upper gastro-intestinal problems as well as bariatric surgery and will be providing a selection of really interesting and difficult surgical procedures from Benenden Hospital, including a fundoplication, a redo-fundoplication, repair of a giant rolling hiatus hernia and a gastric bypass operation.
Meanwhile Mr Amir Nisar will be operating from the third Kent Hospital in Maidstone to demonstrate supine laparoscopic oesophagectomy, an operation in which he has developed significant experience during the last few years.  There may also be the potential to show a live radical pelvic lymphadenectomy if there is sufficient time from the same unit.

We hope to have a significant heavyweight political speaker on the Thursday evening who will doubtless enthral the audience with the challenges of the provision of the health service over the next few years depending, of course, on the results of the next election which can never be presumed!

On Friday we have some guest lecturers in the form of Mr Simon Paterson-Brown, President of AUGIS and Dr Barry Salky, previously mentioned above and there will be ample opportunity for those who wish to meet all of our overseas guest operators in the morning at a special “Meet the Experts” session before the main programme begins.  There will be invited papers submitted by trainees in the early afternoon and the day’s proceedings will culminate with another session on medico-legal business much along the lines of the hugely successful courtroom drama enacted in Newcastle two years ago.  On this occasion, however, the scene will be depicting a confrontation at the GMC with Mr Abhi Mukerjee and Miss Eleanor Davison, our two renowned barristers once again causing severe anal retention to an unsuspecting “expert witness”!  This will be as close as possible to a real case scenario of a GMC type situation and for those who have never been there, either as a witness or, heaven forbid, as a defendant, this will be illuminating to say the least. Both of the barristers have had significant experience of working at the GMC both as defence and prosecution lawyers and the session promises to be fascinating.  The jury, as per Newcastle, will be YOU!  Judge Kennedy will once again be presiding unless he has been called up to the Court of Appeal by then.  However, as one ‘wag’ remarked – “there is nothing appealing about Judge Kennedy!”

I have noticed over the years that some of the delegates to this meeting (as well as many others) tend to book for the two days and then drift away on the afternoon of the second day.  Perhaps I could suggest that on this occasion you make a conscious decision to stay till the end as to miss this session would be foolish.  There is little that cannot wait a few hours or overnight and so I do hope that you will commit to the entire programme so as to make the final session truly enjoyable and meaningful.

You will all be most welcome to the Conference Dinner which will be taking place at David Salomon’s House in Royal Tunbridge-Wells on the Thursday evening.  This promises to be a spectacular black-tie evening and we have a couple of little surprises lined up for your entertainment on the night.  Do not miss this!

Looking forward to seeing you all in Tonbridge.

Mike Parker

Mike Parker
Association of Laparoscopic Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland