UHG welcomes world-renowned surgeon

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Dr Alan Soo, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon and Professor Diego González Rivas

World pioneering surgeon, Professor Diego González Rivas, was welcomed to University Hospital Galway last week.

During his visit, Professor González Rivas delivered a lecture to colleagues across the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery entitled ‘The Journey of Uniportal Thoracic Surgery from VATS to Robotics’.

He also performed two complex cases alongside the cardiothoracic team in UHG.

Prof González Rivas is a world-renowned surgeon who has pioneered multiple innovative techniques over the years.

He was the first surgeon in the world to perform the single-port VATS technique. The single-port VATS surgical technique is innovative at world level, since it enables the removal of more complex tumours through a single incision.

He also has over 15 years’ experience in performing major single-port lung surgery in patients without intubation and with spontaneous breathing.

He is the creator of the minimally invasive thoracic surgery unit in A Coruña, Galicia, Spain, and is the director of the uniportal VATS training programme at Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital which is the biggest thoracic centre in the world.

He is also a leader in the field of robotic surgery, performing single-port resections using an articulated robotic arm, without the need of an assistant and has developed single port robotic lung resection surgery (URATS) performing the first case in September 2021.

Speaking about his visit to UHG, Prof González Rivas said he really enjoyed the hospitality of the Galway team.

He said there is an excellent team performing excellent surgery and he would like to be back for further collaboration.

Welcoming the surgeon to the hospital, Mr Alan Soo, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon and Clinical Lead for the Saolta University Health Care Group said they were delighted to host Prof González Rivas at UHG.

“Events such as these give us the opportunity to showcase the surgical capabilities of the unit.

“It also promotes collaboration and exchange of technique/ideas not limited to just surgery but anesthesia and nursing. These events promote shared learning among teams and inspire people to work together to develop a better health service.”