An educational laparoscopic colorectal cancer workshop which involved live procedures to demonstrate the latest in surgical techniques, was held on 6 June 2018 at Netcare Pretoria East Hospital.

Minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures are increasingly being used to excise and treat colorectal cancers

A total of 55 surgeons and intervention specialists from the private and public sectors in South Africa attended the workshop hosted by the hospital and highly experienced local laparoscopic surgeon, Dr Michael Heyns. The specialists were provided with the opportunity to participate in an interactive discussion during two live procedures.

According to Dr Heyns, who has participated in a number of advanced laparoscopic training courses in Europe and locally, minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures are increasingly being used to excise and treat colorectal cancers, and new approaches and imaging technologies are continuously being introduced to assist in improving outcomes.

He said the workshop, which was CPD (Continuing Professional Development) accredited, largely aimed to demonstrate how advanced new imaging and visualisation techniques and technologies assist in the diagnosis and guidance of laparoscopic colorectal procedures.

It focused in particular on the clinical applications of indocyanine green (ICG) enhanced fluorescence in this type of surgery. Specialists had the opportunity to ask questions and share their knowledge and expertise during this interactive forum.

“The ICG fluorescence imaging system is proving safe and adding significant value in diagnosis, planning and decision-making in colorectal laparoscopic procedures, and is increasingly being used in appropriate cases internationally.

“As a result of the advantages it offers, including enhanced visualisation of blood supply, this approach may well become a standard for appropriate cases in the near future,” added Dr Heyns.

Dr Heyns, who offers regular laparoscopic colorectal cancer workshops at Netcare Pretoria East Hospital for specialists across South Africa, said that such workshops were a way for him to “give something back” to his profession, by imparting skills he had learned during his many years as a laparoscopic surgeon.