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Surgical Academic Clinical Programme

Surgical ACP

Comprising many specialties under the Division of Surgery, Surgery Academic Clinical Programme (Surgery ACP) was formed in March 2012 to advance Academic Medicine. Our driven clinician researchers collaborate with scientists to conduct groundbreaking research and passionate clinician educators mentor medical students and healthcare learners.

We aim to harness the strengths and resources across various departments to maximize the valuable contributions that our surgical faculty have made
and will continue to make in the field of research, scholarly work and education to enhance patient care and surgical outcomes.

RESEARCH

ULTRASOUND WAVES INSTEAD OF THE SCALPEL

At the Department of General Surgery, we deploy the most innovative technologies to provide you with a non-invasive and safer treatment for benign tumors such as thyroid nodules. “Echopulse” uses high intensity focused ultrasound waves to treat benign tumors without incision or scar. We aspire to establish the first Southeast Asia’s echotherapy centre in Singapore to deliver high-quality care that is better, safer and more available.

A NEW LIFE WITH A NEW TRANSPLANT

n June 2016, 54 people were on the waiting list for a liver transplant, more than double the 24 people in 2011. Infection and rejection remain the top
two causes of death in completed transplants. Our multi-disciplinary liver transplant programme strives to harness the collective skills of surgeons, physicians, allied health professionals and nurses, to improve patient care and graft survivals through research, and ultimately achieve a 90% enhancement and improvement outcomes.

GREATER SURVIVAL RATES WITH LOWER RISK OF REJECTION

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the third leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide and the fourth killer disease in Singapore. Its threat is expected
to continue growing in the coming years. Liver transplantation is one of the standard therapies for patients with HCC. As liver grafts from living donors come in different shapes and sizes, it is vital to have a bank of donated blood vessels to reconstruct the graft anatomies. Patients face risk of rejection using artificial blood vessels.

Our surgeons at the Department of Hepato-pancreato-biliary and Transplant Surgery seek to set up a Vascular Graft Bank that provides an invaluable source of blood vessels that give optimal surgical outcomes, leading to 100% improvement in viability of such liver grafts.

WHEN SLEEP POSES A DANGER

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a highly prevalent, serious and potentially life-threatening disorder. It is estimated that 3 in 10 middle aged males have OSA in Singapore. For patients with OSA, the conventional treatment of using continuous positive airway pressure can be bothersome, leading to poor patient adherence. Poor patient adherence or untreated OSA is strongly associated to heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes, stroke and obesity. Our surgeons at the Department of Otolaryngology have recently introduced a novel treatment for OSA called hypoglossal nerve stimulation (HGNS). We aim to establish Asia-Pacific’s first Sleep Apnea research centre to test the effectiveness and safety of HGNS therapy.

This can potentially benefit at least 50 patients each year, leading to greater healthcare savings from reduction in treatment of heart attacks, stroke and diabetes.

DETERMINING THE IDEAL CUT

Prostate cancer is the third most common cancer in Singaporean men and incidence increases substantially with age above 50 years old. Our urologists aim to develop a real time visual assessment of the surgical margins at prostatectomy to guide the extent of surgical excision. We also seek to visualize any advanced spread of cancerous cells at surgery, in order to provide you an accurate diagnosis and best treatment available.

DATA ANALYSIS TO DESIGN BETTER TREATMENT

Our vascular surgeons aim to make a research breakthrough by working on the data from SGH to understand deeply the characteristics of varicose aneurysm, effect of gender and age. Varicose veins are a common medical condition affecting 1 in 4 adults and in particular, women in their 20s to 40s. This unprecedented research aims to conduct follow-up investigations to track outcomes of varicose vein surgeries and create a database of the diagnosis, complications and management of venous aneurysm.

EDUCATION

Grooming the next generation of healthcare professionals

The quality of our education programmes and experience of our clinician educators attract the most promising students and trainees in Singapore. Our clinicians actively seek improvement in their skills and techniques to transfer leading edge technology into the operating theatres, for the benefit of our patients. 

DrChongTzeTec"Mycotic aortic aneurysm (MAA) occurs when bacteria attacks the aorta (which may be mildly diseased with atherosclerotic plaques) and weakens the aortic wall to become an aneurysm (localised swelling of blood vessel). It may be insidious or cause some back pain, due to the stretching of the nerves but when left untreated, this condition can be rapidly fatal. The aortic wall is so weakened that the blood pressure ruptures it just like a balloon, causing internal bleeding which leads to death.

Endovascular implantation of physician-modified stent graft is a minimally invasive surgical option for MAA. This requires a back table fenestration (modification) of an existing aortic stent graft. These techniques are complex and usually learnt in centres of worldwide excellence with high clinical volume. It is a necessary investment to send our surgeons and the operating support team overseas for short, dedicated training courses to acquire these
specialised skills. MAAs are life-threatening diseases when left untreated but with a trained surgical team, patients can be treated with minimally invasive options.

These newer endovascular techniques benefit older patients, mostly 65 and above, since they obviate the need for major open surgery with its associated mortality and morbidity to replace the aorta."
Dr Chong with patient, Mr Moo Dr Chong Tze Tec
Head and Senior Consultant, Vascular Surgery, SGH
Vice Chair (Undergraduate Education), Surgery ACP

"I’m eternally grateful to Dr Chong and his team for performing the procedure for me. I was discharged within a week and left with a tiny scar. Before I met Dr Chong, I was confined in bed and my life was in danger. My family did not want to put me through the open surgery at the abdomen when it was first mooted. We then met Dr Chong who recommended an implantation of a modified stent graft. He gave us hope and have added years to my life. Now, I enjoy the company of my grandchildren and I’m able to go anywhere, whenever I wish to."
Mr Moo Kwan Tziu