Dr Vivek Phakey, ophthalmic surgeon and Chair of Medical
The Ramsay Way 2019 | 01 11
North Shore Private Hospital live-streams
surgery around the world
A gynaecologist from North Shore Private Hospital has performed a laparoscopic mesh sacrocolpopexy
which was live-streamed from Sydney to Las Vegas, USA.
Westmead Private Hospital offers new prostate cancer treatment options
After 60 years as a firefighter, 77 year old Len Best was looking forward to pottering in his lemon orchard
in Dural, NSW. However, his plans were put on hold when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Mr Best was unsuitable for the two standard treatment
options (surgery or radiotherapy) due to earlier radiotherapy
and surgery for bowel cancer.
His urologist, Professor Howard Lau from Westmead Private
Hospital, had to find an alternative method of treatment.
Mr Best had irreversible electroporation (IRE) – a promising
new minimally invasive procedure for the ablation of
Unlike the current leading thermal ablation methods, IRE
uses non-thermal electric energy to irreversibly destabilize
cell membranes, resulting in focused cell death. Non-thermal
energy causes minimal tissue damage, hence
reduced treatment related side effects. It has been used
clinically for prostate, kidney, pancreatic and liver cancers.
Only 15–20% of prostate cancers suffers are suitable for
IRE, which uses ultra-short but strong electrical fields to
create permanent and hence lethal nanopores in the cell
membrane, to disrupt the cellular homeostasis.
The resulting cell death results from apoptosis and not
necrosis as in all other thermal or radiation based ablation
techniques. The complication commonly associated
with prostatic cancer can be avoided which is the major
advantage of this treatment.
Advances in MRI scanning and improved biopsy techniques
can localise the cancer in the prostate, allowing focal
ablation such as IRE to only treat the index lesion. This
avoids the potential side effects of whole gland treatment
such as surgery or radiotherapy.
IRE is undertaken using a NanoKnife System and the
benefits include :
• No open incisions
• Less damage to healthy tissue
• Minimal postoperative pain
• Fewer side effects, such as incontinence and sexual
• Short hospital stay
• Quick post-operative recovery
• Ability to repeat the procedure if new tumours develop
Mr Best will undergo frequent monitoring, with repeat blood
tests, MRI and biopsies to monitor his condition.
Westmead Private Hospital is the only facility in Western
Sydney to offer IRE treatment and only the second facility in
NSW offering this minimally invasive treatment for localised
equipment at Waverley
Enhanced ophthalmic care is now available to
patients at Waverley Private Hospital after the
arrival of a new Zeiss operating microscope.
Ophthalmologists now have access to the OPMI Lumera
700, which incorporates the latest optics and illumination
systems, making surgery more efficient and safer, especially
in more challenging cases.
The new equipment will help to further improve outcomes
and satisfaction for the hospital’s surgeons, clinical team
Associate Professor Alan Lam was involved in the procedure
which was shown to the 47th American Association of
Gynaecologic Laparoscopists (AAGL) annual global congress.
A/Prof Lam guided the audience through the surgery, engaging
in interactive dialogue in real-time. The procedure was
undertaken in North Shore Private Hospital’s new Stryker i-Suite.
This was the first live transmission from Australia to the world’s
peak congress dedicated to minimally invasive gynaecological
surgery and was a resounding success. It was also the first live
transmission from a Ramsay Healthcare Group hospital to an
Live cases were also streamed from North Shore Private
Hospital to the 13th Essential Percutaneous Intervention Course
(EPIC) in Sydney.
Professor Ravi Bhindi, Dr Michael Ward and Dr Peter Hansen
performed both a TAVI procedure and a complex coronary
These cases were undertaken in the hospital’s new cardiac
catheter lab using state-of-the-art live case transmission
This system adds a new dimension to teaching and education
in cardiology with simultaneous transmission of video,
angiography, haemodynamics and echocardiography.
It also facilitates real-time discussion between the operators in
the cathlab and audience members in the meeting.
The cases were live-streamed to an audience of cardiologists,
trainees and allied health staff with interactive education
throughout the cases. They highlighted the breadth of expertise
and the latest cardiology treatment opportunities available at
North Shore Private Hospital.