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15 May 2019

Pitch yourself against real surgeons in a giant game of Operation

Surgeons from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Bristol Biomedical Research Centre (BRC)will be challenging passers-by to a giant game of Operation in the Clifton Down Shopping Centre from 9am-4pm on 20 May to mark International Clinical Trials Day.

As well as testing the steadiness of the public's hands, the surgeons, who are based at the University Hospitals Bristol and the University of Bristol, will be asking questions about surgery, such as what information do you think you would want to know before you have an operation? Would this be different if it was a new type of operation? How do you feel about robotic surgery, where a surgeon controls a robot?

Almost a third of hospital admissions involve a surgical procedure. With 4.7 million operations carried out in the UK each year and numbers rising, surgery is one of the most important life-saving treatments offered to patients.

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 to improve patient care and reduce the risk of complications. The challenge, however, lies in doing so safely and transparently.

New surgical procedures are being developed all the time. But how do they get tested and how do we know whether a new procedure is better or safer? The NIHR Bristol BRC Surgical Innovation theme is all about developing ways to test new surgical procedures to the same standards applied to other areas of healthcare.

Professor Jane Blazeby, Professor of Surgery at the University of Bristol and a consultant at UH Bristol, leads NIHR Bristol BRC's Surgical Innovation theme. She said:

"There's 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. We hope that the giant Operation will be a fun way to get the public thinking about some serious issues, about how we make surgery safe and consistent across the NHS."