Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Postgraduate surgical students

There are many surgeons and surgical trainees undertaking higher academic degrees across the Monash Campuses.  In this edition we are listing the students undertaking a Surgical higher degree as well as highlight the work of a General Surgical Trainee Dr Geraldine Ooi and a vascular surgeon Mr Charlie Milne.  We will aim to highlight the work of two students in each edition of the Cutting Edge.

New insights into NASH

Dr Geraldine Ooi is a General Surgical trainee undertaking a PhD in the Central Clinical School in Monash University and with the Bariatric Surgical Unit, looking at non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in obesity.  She is supported by an NHMRC scholarship.

Her prospective study will examine both clinical and pathophysiological aspects of NAFLD, which has an 80-90% prevalence in those with a BMI>30kg/m2. A liver biopsy, which is the current gold standard for diagnosing NAFLD, will be collected during bariatric surgical procedures and one year after surgery, when patients have typically lost 40-50% of their excess weight. This will be used to examine the effects of substantial weight loss on NAFLD, and determine if this improves the disease. The project will also assess non-invasive tests such as Fibroscan and novel MRI techniques, and the cellular and molecular changes in the liver associated with NAFLD and obesity.

This study ultimately aims to increase our understanding of NAFLD, its interactions with obesity, and how we can better diagnose and treat this increasingly prevalent disease.

Improving vascular stenting

Mr Charles Milne is a vascular and endovascular surgeon based at the Alfred Hospital and Cabrini Hospital, Melbourne. Charles successfully sat the vascular surgery examinations for fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (R.A.C.S.) in 2013. During 2014, he completed a 12 month fellowship at the Alfred under the supervision of Mr Geoffrey Cox. Charles has a special interest in the minimally-invasive endovascular treatment of aortic aneurysms. During 2015, he undertook a 6 month fellowship at the Aortic Centre, CHRU de Lille, France, under the supervision of Professor Stéphan Haulon. This centre is a world leader in the minimally invasive endovascular treatment of complex aortic aneurysmal disease using fenestrated and branched endografts. Whilst in Europe, Charles successfully sat the examinations for fellowship of the European Board of Vascular Surgery (E.B.V.S.), finishing the exam with honours, and receiving the award for the top-scoring candidate.

In 2015, Charles commenced a Master of Surgery (by publication) under the supervision of Professor Wendy Brown. The first part of his research is based on work undertaken whilst in France with Professor Haulon. This is looking at the suitability of inner-branched endografts for the treatment of aortic ach aneurysms in patients following ascending aortic replacement for acute type A dissection. This new technology is evolving as a treatment option for patients in this cohort who are at high-risk for conventional open surgical treatment. The second part of his research is based on work performed by the vascular unit at the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne. This is looking at the long-term follow up of patients following thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) for traumatic aortic transection, with a particular focus on graft durability and aortic remodelling.

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