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24 January 2018

Leading surgeons mark official launch of £21m NIHR Biomedical Research Centre

Almost a third of hospital admissions involve a surgical procedure and with 4.7 million operations carried out in the UK each year and numbers rising year on year, surgery is one of the most important life-saving treatments offered to patients.  Innovative surgical procedures are continually being developed but how are they tested to ensure they are safe? Two of the UK's leading academic surgeons will answer these questions at a public lecture and debate onThursday 1 February 2018to mark the official launch of the £21 million National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Bristol Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).

3D heart

With over 17,000 surgeons in the UK carrying out thousands of different procedures from replacing joints and removing tumours to repairing organs and reconstructing after injury, developing new techniques and procedures to help speed patient recovery are essential in order improve patient care and reduce the risk of complications. The challenge, however, lies in doing so safely and transparently.

Professor Jane Blazeby, Professor of Surgery at the University of Bristol will discuss how they introduce, evaluate and monitor innovation in surgical procedures and develop research-based surgery in a debate 'Can surgical research improve health', chaired by Professor Debbie Lawlor. Patients and families will also talk about their experiences of surgery.

Professor Jane Blazeby, said: "There is an urgent need to improve how innovative surgical and invasive procedures are introduced and monitored in the NHS - we are working hard to do this".

Professor Gianni Angelini, British Heart Foundation Professor of Cardiac Surgery at the University of Bristol and Bristol Heart Institute, will share some of his experiences as one of the UK's leading cardiac surgeons and his work developing new treatments to tackle cardiovascular disease in his lecture "I'm a heart surgeon - should you trust me?".

Professor Gianni Angelini, said: "This is an exciting opportunity for members of the public to hear about new advances in heart surgery and how cardiovascular research improves patients care."

An art installation 'Making the Invisible Visible' will be on display throughout the event which explores the language, form and narrative of congenital heart disease. The installation includes 3D-printed models of congenital heart disease and a soundscape, in which the voice of a mother narrating the experience of her child's heart transplant is intertwined with medical language and MRI sounds. The MRI is an integral part of the care of these patients, as well as the source of the imaging data from which the 3D models are made. The piece was created by Sofie Layton during her residency at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, with Dr Giovanni Biglino (Bristol Heart Institute) and sound artist Jules Maxwell. 

Bristol BRC researchers will be available after the event to talk about their work and how members of the public can get involved.  To book your place on the free lecture and debate event please register via the Eventbrite website