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We have a strong track record in health services research and an international reputation in designing and delivering surgical research studies and randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that are of importance to patients, clinicians and the wider NHS. Professor Jane Blazeby directs the Centre for Surgical Research hosted by the University of Bristol. The Centre works closely with the NIHR Bristol Biomedical Research Centre, the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Bristol Trials Centre, and the MRC Trials Methodology Research Partnership.

Key research studies include:

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The ROMIO study

This RCT aimed to establish the best surgical approach for treating patients with oesophageal cancer, by comparing open and minimally invasive ('keyhole') surgery. It recruited over 400 patients from 9 centres and follow-up has now been completed. The results will be available very soon.


The Sunflower study

This RCT will find out whether testing for bile duct stones before gallbladder surgery is worthwhile or not in patients with a low or moderate risk of having stones. It is being conducted in 50 centres across the UK, including UHBW (Bristol Royal Infirmary and Weston General Hospital). If you are waiting for gallbladder surgery and interested in taking part, please email and we will provide you with further information. 


The By-Band-Sleeve study

This RCT compares three different operations for patients undergoing surgery for severe and complex obesity (gastric band, gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy). It is being conducted across 12 centres and over 1300 patients have participated. The study is in the follow up phase.  


The Bluebelle study

Wound infections occur commonly after surgery, leading to pain, discomfort and inconvenience for patients and increased healthcare costs for the NHS.  There is controversy about the role of wound dressings in preventing infection. This pilot study was undertaken to establish whether a large main RCT - comparing wound infection rates in patients receiving a dressing or no dressing - was possible in this clinical area.


The Lotus study

The development of innovative surgical procedures is essential for advancing clinical practice. This can include the introduction of entirely new procedures, as well as modifications of existing techniques. However, little is known about how innovative procedures are introduced into routine settings, what information is communicated with patients, and how outcomes are selected and reported. Led by the NIHR Bristol BRC Surgical Innovation team, the Lotus study uses novel research methods to collaborate with surgical teams and follow 'case studies' of innovation.