In Conjunction with the Surgical Section of The Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland

On behalf of my colleagues on the Local Organising Committee, Prof. Gerry O’Donoghue, Prof. Fiachra Cooke, Prof. Peter Neary, Prof. Joe O’Beirne, Prof. May Cleary and myself, I would like to welcome you to this year’s meeting. The Theme of the Meeting this year is “Surgery in the Ageing Patient”. We have developed a programme that we believe will give us all an opportunity to reflect on the demands of surgery in the gerontological population and on our own practice.

Our overall population in this country is growing and current average life expectancy is almost 81 years of age. With this continually increasing life expectancy, comes a higher incidence of active disease processes present in our patients affecting every area of surgical endeavour that we are engaged in. However, the number of hospital beds in real terms is decreasing and the ability to recruit more supporting staff to deal with this increasing burden of disease continues to be far from ideal. The challenge for us as clinicians is to work in multi-disciplinary teams as efficiently as possible to achieve better outcomes for our patients and thereby contribute towards reduced lengths of stay. We hope that this programme will look at our current models of care and show us where we may  be able to improve the  quality of care that we deliver on a daily basis. We have invited speakers of National and International Standing to contribute to this year’s meeting. Submission of abstracts by young surgeons-in-training remains strong this year and we believe that this will provide a vibrant environment for exchange of knowledge and ideas.

The highlight of the Meeting will be the Gordon Watson Lecture  and it will be delivered by Professor Des O’Neill, Professor in Medical Gerontology in the Institute of Neurosciences at Trinity College, Dublin. His research focus is gerontology and the neurosciences with a strong liaison with the humanities. The title of his Lecture is  “ Working Together to Protect our Longevity Dividend”.

We hope that you will enjoy the meeting.

Professor K. Simon Cross MD., M.Med.Sci, FRCSI(Gen), FRCS(Ed)

Consultant Vascular & General Surgeon,

University Hospital Waterford

Co-Convenor of the Waterford Surgical October Meeting

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