World’s Most Watched Surgeon and “Perfect Gastric Bypass” at Arab Health ABHI UK Pavilion

This week sees the Middle East’s biggest healthcare trade show Arab Health taking place in Dubai. Among many highlights, one will be the sight of surgeon Professor Shafi Ahmed be performing virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) surgery on the UK Pavilion at Arab Health 2019.


Each year, the Arab Heath congress and exhibition attracts a high level of UK clinicians, clinics and healthcare technology companies. This year, over 150 leading healthcare businesses, renowned hospital groups and esteemed clinicians from world-leading clinics will be amongst the UK delegation travelling to the Middle East to showcase ‘the very best’ of British healthcare.

Organised by the Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI) – the industry association for the medical technology sector in the UK – the UK Pavilion will highlight how British developments are transforming the lives of patients and clinicians across the globe.

Prof Shafi Ahmed is a cancer surgeon at The Royal London and St Bartholomew’s Hospitals and has been dubbed the most watched surgeon in human history, thanks to the global virtual reality live streaming of one of his operations.

A surgeon, teacher, futurist, innovator, entrepreneur, and 3x TEDx speaker, Prof Ahmed will carry out the live procedure on the UK’s surgical simulation stage on Tuesday 29th January. He will also deliver a keynote address on how technology is shaping healthcare on Wednesday 30th January.

Dr Shaw Somers, Consultant General & Gastrointestinal Surgeon at BMI Healthcare will also demonstrate ‘the perfect gastric bypass’ on the UK Pavilion’s operating theatre.

Although bariatric surgery is one of the most common general surgical operations in the Middle East – the outcome is variable and is dependent upon technique and aftercare.

The procedure will highlight the current thinking on the ‘ideal’ technique, maximising efficacy and durability. Its aim is to share knowledge across the MENA region helping to improve care for Middle Eastern patients.

Mr Somers is an expert in treating problems related to the stomach, gullet, gallbladder and hiatus hernia, focusing on weight loss surgery in particular. He has performed almost 3,000 such procedures in 25 years, putting him at the forefront of the specialty and gaining global recognition.

As well as demonstrating the surgery, Mr Somers will also present on the UK Pavilion and is a co-chair and presenter at Arab Health’s Surgery Conference this year.

Clinician comments

Mr Somers said: “The opportunity to discuss current knowledge and share ideas is a great privilege. I look forward to this year’s congress and the opportunity to showcase the expertise and professionalism of UK medical practice.”

ABHI comments

Paul Benton, International Director at the Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI) said: “We are delighted to have such renowned surgeons performing surgery on the UK Pavilion. Our surgical simulation stage celebrates collaborations between healthcare providers, clinicians and healthcare technology companies, allowing visitors to watch Britain’s best surgeons in action, equipped with advanced UK technologies.”

Dr Shaw Somers will perform the Perfect Gastric Bypass surgery demonstration at 12:30 – 14:00 on Wednesday 30th January.

Prof Shafi Ahmed’s keynote address: How Technology is shaping Healthcare will be delivered at 14:00 – 14:30 on Tuesday 29th 2019.

Prof Shafi Ahmed’s live demonstration: AR & VR in Surgery will take place at 16:00 – 17:00 Wednesday 30th January 2019.

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