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26 Feb 2024

Future Surgery’s Top 10 Sessions of 2023

Future Surgery’s Top 10 Sessions of 2023

This past November, Future Surgery 2023 saw 2500+ attendees engaging with our world-class speaker lineup delivering our event programme.

Our cutting-edge programme was meticulously researched and shaped by an advisory board of experts, including the Royal College of Surgeons of England. Tailored to explore the ever-evolving world of surgery, the programme aimed to provide attendees with updated skills and knowledge essential for navigating the future of surgery and advancing within the profession.

Let’s take a look at our top 10 most well attended sessions from 2023…

No.1: Sexual misconduct in surgery


  • Laura Hamilton, RCS England Council Member


  • Tamzin Cuming, Consultant Surgeon, Women in Surgery Chair, RCSEng - Royal College of Surgeons England

An update on the recently published paper and report by Exploring the findings of survey data over the past 5 years, recommendations, and questions moving forward, the session highlighted a pressing need for improvement in accountability and support.

This session was our most attended talk of the entire show, with the theatre reaching capacity with almost 25% of all attendees sitting in (and more queuing up to get in).

The success of this session reflects how Future Surgery is not only the home of the UK’s most exciting technological innovations but also provides a truly holistic and in-depth examination of how surgical teams can drive positive change. Discussing new ways of working, teamworking, and the future workforce was equally as important to the show as its tech-centric discussions.

No.2: Robotics: Using them to full potential across specialties


  • Treasurer, Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh


  • Asit Arora, Robotic Head & Neck Consultant Surgeon - Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust London
  • Nuha Yassin, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon, Royal College of Surgeons of England Council Member, Future Surgery Lead
  • Kalpana Ragupathy, Gynae Cancer Lead - NHS Tayside
  • Tim Graham, Vice President - Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
  • Sritharan Kadirkamanathan, Consultant Upper GI Surgeon (Robotic and Laparoscopic) - Mid & South Essex NHS Foundation Trust

Future Surgery is all about bringing together the entire surgical community to explore the multi specialist future of surgery. This session exploring how robotics can be leveraged across specialities to improve outcomes perfectly exemplifies the benefits of being a nonspecialist event. By opening these discussions between specialities, lessons can be shared across professional boundaries, while common challenges can be explored and overcome through a collaborative showcasing of technological innovation across the surgical field. The session showcased unique and innovative applications of robotics in surgery and discussed how best to build on successful use cases.

With just 1 less attendee sitting in on this session than no.1, it was a close contest.

No.3: Anti-bullying: Fostering an inclusive culture to support wellbeing


  • Nuha Yassin, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon, Royal College of Surgeons of England Council Member, Future Surgery Lead


  • Omer Karim, Consultant Urologist, Royal Marsden Hospital, London - Royal College of Surgeons of England Council Member
  • Greta McLachlan, Higher General Surgical Trainee - Working Party on Sexual Misconduct In Surgery
  • Aditi Siddharth, DPhil student, Oxford Simulation, Teaching and Research Centre (OxSTaR) - University of Oxford

This panel explored inclusivity in the workplace and its impact on wellbeing. As evident by two of the most well attended sessions at the show, inclusivity, wellbeing, and workforce transformation were recurrent themes discussed at the show, placing the human and culture as foundational for the true innovation – alongside the more technical innovations. This clearly resonated with our audience who voted with their feet that the surgical workforce is at the heart of the future of surgery.

No.4: Surgical Fires: “Risk Factors and Prevention in the Surgical Environment”

Dorothy Kufeji, Consultant Neonatal & Paediatric Surgery Trust Guardian of Safe Working, Guys & St Thomas' NHS Foundation - Hon Senior Lecturer, King's College London Council, Royal College of Surgeons of England


  • Lindsay Keeley, Clinical Patient Safety & Quality Lead - The Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP)
  • Surgical fires are categorised as either airway or non-airway and occur most commonly on the head, face, neck, and upper chest during surgical procedures. This presentation explored current surgical fire safety guidance, and discussed recommendations and standards around best practice in reducing the likelihood of harm occurring.

Alongside workforce and technology, patient safety was a key theme of the event, with the focus of driving the surgical landscape forward ultimately serving to improve patient outcomes.

No.5: XR and Future Healthcare


  • Mohammed Yousef, Final Year Medical Student - Barts and The London
  • Dan Donovan, CTO - Mesmerise


  • Neil Ralph, Head of Technology - Enhanced Learning for NHS
  • Asit Arora, Robotic Head & Neck Consultant Surgeon - Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust London
  • Jonathan M. Morris, Professor of Radiology & Executive Medical Director for Immersive and Experiential Learning - Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science
  • Susan Kirsh, Acting Deputy Assistant USH - US Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Anne Lord Bailey, Executive Director, Strategic Initiatives Lab - U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Notes: XR (Extended Reality) promises to revolutionise global healthcare - from medical school to the operating room.  This session will explore the role of XR, encompassing virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Applications in medical education and clinical care will be presented by leaders in the field.

In this session we learnt how XR technology is shaping the future of surgery and healthcare.

Dr. Neil Ralph outlined the role of XR and future applications within the NHS for training and education. Asit Arora shared his experience of an integrated XR platform for undergraduate medical education incorporating immersive interactive 3D patient specific anatomical models for Transoral robotic surgery. Dr. Susan Kirsh and Anne Lord Bailey shared the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) experience of launching an XR clinical program including neurological risk assessment and chronic pain management. Dr. Jonathan Morris presented the Mayo Clinic experience of XR applications and explain how creating a ‘Digital twin’ promises to optimise team training, collaborative working and safety in the operating room.

No.6: Launch of the Green Surgery Report: A guide to how we can mitigate the carbon footprint of surgical practice


  • Mahmood Bhutta, Professor ENT Surgery and Sustainable Healthcare - Brighton & Sussex Medical School


  • Jasmine Winter-Beatty, Specialist Registrar in Colorectal Surgery and Clinical Research Fellow - NW London Deanery and Imperial College London; Sustainability Champion, RCS Edinburgh
  • Chantelle Rizan, Clinical Lecturer in Sustainable Healthcare - BSMS
  • Richard Smith, Chair - UK Health Alliance on Climate Change
  • Ingeborg Steinbach, finance director - Centre for Sustainable Healthcare

The Green Surgery Report is the first comprehensive synthesis of evidence regarding how surgery impacts the climate crisis. It provides initiatives and recommendations to reduce the adverse impact of surgical care on the environment, while maintaining high quality patient care and potentially saving the NHS money.

With the unique opportunity for a Q&A with the team that produced the report, the session allowed attendees to learn about the key aspects of the report and how the entire surgical team can use it to drive sustainability within your own clinical practice.

No.7: The future of surgery in the NHS


  • Richard Kerr, Council Member - RCS England


  • Stephen Powis, National Medical Director - NHS England

"Until the day I am speaking to a room full of robots, I don't believe the future of surgery is about robotics or AI ... it's about the people who innovate, adapt, train, analyse, who problem solve, who care." – Stephen Powis

We were honoured to welcome Stephen Powis the National Medical Director of NHS England to our stage, as he explored his perspective on what the future of surgery truly looks like, where we are and where we need to be. He brought together all the key themes of the show and highlighted how while robotics and technological innovation may be incredible developments, ultimately it is people whoa re driving forward the future of surgery.

No.8: Understanding the role of AI in surgery


  • Ben Challacombe, Consultant Urological Surgeon - Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
  • Jonathan Noël, Consultant Urological Surgeon - Guy's & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust

Notes: Robotic radical prostatectomy. Live surgery with the Hugo Medtronic system
First broadcast of a Hugo case in the UK via the Proximie system.

In our Surgical Simulation Theatre, medics from Guy's and St Thomas livestreamed a Robotic radical prostatectomy using the Hugo robot, in a groundbreaking first for the UK. This gained national attention, including being published in The Standard, highlighting Future Surgery as the heart of surgical innovation.

No.9: Understanding the role of AI in surgery


  • Helen Hughes, Chief Executive - Patient Safety Learning


  • Vipin Asopa, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon - South West London Elective Orthopaedic Centre
  • Keith Tucker, Orthopaedic Surgeon (Rtd.) - ODEP
  • Adnan Taib, Clinical Research Fellow - University of Nottingham
  • Jasmine Winter-Beatty, Specialist Registrar in Colorectal Surgery and Clinical Research Fellow - NW London Deanery and Imperial College London; Sustainability Champion, RCS Edinburgh

Unsurprisingly over 25% of Future Surgery explored technological innovations, with AI applications and best practices being a large component of these talks. This session garnered significant interest and attendance due to its timely exploration of cutting-edge advancements, aligning perfectly with this central theme of embracing innovation and technology in the surgical landscape.

No.10: Festival of Innovation: Lessons from F1 - Applying racing technology off of the track


  • Ryan Kerstein, Lead, Royal College of Surgeons of England Innovation Hub and Consultant Plastic Surgeon
  • Richard Kerr, Council Member - RCS England


  • Oscar Morgan, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder - Bo Mobility

The Royal College of Surgeons of England’s Festival of Innovation was a focal point for discussions on sustainability, data application, and cutting-edge technologies. With insights into enhancing surgical training, optimising patient care, and improving surgical outcomes, RCS England hosted a truly engaging celebration of innovation.

Having studied Automotive Design, Oscar was recruited to Williams F1 Advanced Engineering, a spin-off from The Williams Race team tasked with applying F1 hybrid powertrain technology to other sectors. This experience continues to this day, in which Oscar applies the principles and processes from the Automotive sector to improve the safety and desirability of electric scooters and e-bikes. The purpose of this talk was to discuss the relationship between feedback loops and innovation, and the basic methods Oscar has seen to accelerate that process.

If you’re interested in reading a further breakdown of the event programme’s key themes and highlights, we featured a post-show analysis last month here.

The feedback that we have had so far has been extremely positive and will be a huge help in ensuring we put together another relevant, useful, and up to date programme for Future Surgery 2024.

If you would be interested in supporting the creation of our 2024 programme, please click below/reach out to us here.

We look forward to seeing you in 2024 at Future Surgery and building an even more exciting programme.

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