Southampton surgeon to operate live on Channel 4

Paul Grundy (image courtesy of Daily Echo)

Southampton’s university hospitals are to take part in a groundbreaking TV series that gives viewers the chance to see live surgery in their living rooms.

The Operation: Surgery Live will broadcast live awake brain surgery from Southampton General Hospital’s Wessex Neurological Centre on the evening of Tuesday 26 May.

Consultant neurosurgeon Paul Grundy will carry out the operation, which is to be beamed to a studio audience at the Wellcome Collection in London, as well as viewers at home.

The series, which runs from May 25 to 28, will also take in visits to Papworth, Addenbrooke’s and King’s College hospitals for heart, tumour removal and stomach surgery. Krishnan Guru-Murthy will host the programmes.

Viewers will be able to interact with the operating theatre via microblogging site Twitter as well as phone and email - they will even be able to speak to surgeons by phone at appropriate points during some of the operations.

Mr Grundy, who has pioneered the widespread use of both awake and day-case surgery for brain tumours in the UK with Southampton’s neurosurgical team, said: “Having to undergo neurosurgery for a brain tumour is a frightening prospect for most people and the thought of undergoing such a procedure whilst awake is very daunting.

“However, the use of day-case and awake techniques, along with the improved understanding that comes with educational documentaries, will hopefully reassure many patients undergoing these procedures in the future.”

David Glover, Channel 4’s commissioning editor for science, added: “Surgeons routinely teach and talk observers through operations. Now, for the first time, viewers will be able to interact with surgeons as they carry out life-changing procedures.

“We hope that the series will de-mystify surgery, encourage discussion and help viewers to understand their own bodies, as well as showing the care, dedication and skill that goes into modern surgery.”

The Operation: Surgery Live will be shown on Channel 4 from May 25 to 28. More details about the series can be found at Tickets to be part of the studio audience are available from or 020 7611 2222. 

Photo courtesy of the Daily Echo.

Posted on Thursday 14 May 2009