‘Robots in surgery: - Tsunami or just the next wave?’ will be the theme as surgeons from South Australia, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory gather in Port Lincoln for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons’ (RACS) Annual Scientific Meeting.

The event will take place from 5-7 September and will be held at the Port Lincoln Hotel, which will be the meeting place for approximately 100 Fellows, Trainees and associates who will take part in a number of compelling discussions and presentations.

RACS SA Chair, Mr Phil Worley, said that the conference will provide a unique opportunity to explore what the future of surgical technology might look like, while also analysing what can be learnt from the implementation of past innovations.

“Robots and other computer-aided technologies are transforming our operating theatres and replacing the traditional 'human' techniques in many surgical disciplines.

Changes of this magnitude can be disruptive and daunting, and they can also be incredibly exciting and revolutionary.

“Change is also not a new thing for surgery. For most of us there are certain things we learnt during our surgical training that have been completely replaced by more modern practices. Similarly, I am sure that many of the techniques we use now will no longer be relevant by the time we retire.

“As the theme of the conference indicates we will be discussing whether these latest advancements will be of tsunamic proportions that turn our profession on its head, or whether they will be just the next wave in the ongoing cycle of technological change.”

Highlights of the conference include:

  • The Anstey Giles Lecture to be delivered at the conference dinner by Australian of the Year, Dr Richard Harris
  • A key note presentation from Dr Johan Verjans, Deputy Director of Medical Machine Learning, at the newly established Australian Institute of Machine Learning.
  • A key note presentation from the 2018 South Australian Scientist of the Year, Doctor Richard Hillis.
  • The National Rural Health Commissioner, Emeritus Professor Paul Worley who will discuss securing a technologically advanced surgical workforce for rural and regional Australia.
  • A key note presentation from Dr Tom Cundy, who has a PHD in surgical robotics and has been involved development of several master-slave robots including the Cyclops and Wellcome Trust funded i-Snake platforms.