A new live plastic surgery programme, in conjunction with the St George’s Advanced Patient Simulation and Skills (GAPS) team, is leading innovative expert teaching at the Trust.

Our plastic surgery team at St George’s streamed live operations – with fully consenting patients for the purpose of education and development – to a captivated audience of medical undergraduates from St George’s, University of London for the first time earlier this year.

Samer Saour, Consultant Plastic Surgeon (Locum); Nicholas Gosling, Head of the GAPS Centre; and Christopher Broom, Clinical Simulation Specialist and Senior Operating Department Practitioner, worked together to recreate the sense of the operating theatre using two cameras and high definition equipment to stream across to a university seminar.

It can often be difficult for students to get close enough from within the theatre to observe any detail from the operation – so providing this live link allows a clear picture and two-way communication between the surgeons and the students.

During the live operations earlier this year, Samer’s team, including Plastic Surgeon Roger Adlard, explained each part of the operation as it happened and allowed students to ask questions directly to facilitate practical learning.

This way of teaching increases exposure for the trainees and allows them to create re-usable educational packages for future generations of surgical students.

Georgie Williams, Plastic Surgery Trainee, said: “Live surgery is an incredibly exciting new learning opportunity for surgical trainees of any grade and St George’s is the first Trust I have seen it being offered in.

“The technology is excellent; the GAPS team professionally film the procedures from different angles and are able to zoom in and focus to degrees I had thought were not possible. Arguably, they provide a better global view of the operation than would be possible while scrubbed in on a case!”

Following feedback, the team are looking at other ways to incorporate this learning elsewhere – and as such are calling for other specialties at the Trust to get behind the initiative to support this way of teaching.

Students watching the surgery via the live link in their seminar