Southampton clinicians lead development of first guidelines for safer keyhole liver surgery

Mohammed Abu HilalClinicians at Southampton’s teaching hospitals have led the development of the first guidelines on safer keyhole liver surgery which were unveiled at a prestigious event in the city.

Mohammad Abu Hilal, a consultant hepatobiliary, pancreatic and laparoscopic surgeon at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, chaired the first European Guidelines Meeting on Laparoscopic Liver Surgery (EGMLLS).

The meeting, which took place at the Hilton Hotel at the Ageas Bowl, saw international delegates given the opportunity to witness discussion and presentations by experienced surgeons and experts from across Europe, Japan and the US.

They covered topics which included indications for surgery, patient selection, surgical techniques, complex clinical scenarios, training and future implementation which tied in with the launch of the new guidelines.

Prior to the conference, Mr Hilal and his colleagues hosted a pre-event technical course at Southampton General Hospital which involved demonstrations and lectures on the latest innovations and techniques in liver surgery worldwide from international experts.

UHS is one of the country’s leading centres for laparoscopic liver and pancreatic surgery, with more than 250 major hepatobiliary and pancreatic procedures carried out every year alongside a pioneering research programme.

Mr Hilal was among the first surgeons to adopt the use of laparoscopic liver resection, which involves making several small openings through which a laparoscope – a thin tube with a camera – is passed into the abdomen.

The minimally invasive technique, used to remove secondary tumours that have spread to the liver, involves making a larger cut close to the pubic bone where the affected part of the organ is removed.

"We were extremely pleased to have played a key role in this historic and prestigious meeting and to have hosted a technical course at UHS which saw expert speakers from around the world present their surgical techniques, tips and tricks which they have developed over many years," said Mr Hilal, who is also an honorary associate professor at the University of Southampton.

"Following that, our two-day meeting saw the unveiling of future guidelines for a safe and continuous expansion of laparoscopic liver surgery in Europe and worldwide.

“The creation of these guidelines took more than a year and a half of scientific work and preparation by more than 35 experts from all over the world and it testament to the success of our service that such a significant development was led by our hospital.”

Posted on Tuesday 28 February 2017