First published in The Standard, 19 August 2016
Surgeon Philip Gan is using a new model of mini-laparoscopic instruments. He’s holding one of the new instruments in his right hand, compared to the larger, older equipment in his left.
Surgeon Dr Philip Gan was performing laparoscopic gastric banding surgery in 2009 when he noticed the liver adhered to the diaphragm due to the surface tension associated with the moist surface. It occurred to him that vacuum forces could mimic the surface tension effect.
Any technological advances which reduce the amount of trauma caused by surgical procedures can enhance patient recovery and help to minimise complications. Laparoscopic, or ‘keyhole’ surgery, has allowed many procedures to be performed without the need for major incisions (laparotomy). Although this has proved a major advancement, surgeons are constantly trying to improve their techniques, such as by reducing the number and size of incisions required for a particular operation. Dr Philip Gan is a general surgeon based in Australia, who has made such an advancement through the invention of an innovative piece of technology called the LiVac™ Retractor.
A Warrnambool surgeon has gained a $250,000 federal government grant to help develop a medical invention which could be a top-seller around the world.
Philip Gan will soon start testing his laparoscopic liver retractor on humans after it was successfully used in animal surgery.