I graduated in medicine with Honours from Aberdeen University. My surgical training was mainly in Scotland, with my final year in Adelaide, South Australia. I was appointed Consultant General and Upper GI Surgeon at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in 2001. I had broad training in General Surgery although my interest focussed on upper gastro-intestinal surgery, in particular diseases of the oesophagus and stomach along with gallstone disease. Much of this surgery is performed by keyhole or laparoscopic surgery.
I have an international hernia surgery reputation and receive referrals, in particular patients with complex incision hernia problems, from all over the UK and, more recently, from Europe. While I am not a plastic surgeon, many of my larger hernia cases involve repair of not only the abdominal muscles, but revision of the scar and the excision of excess skin tissue, similar to an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). I am Education Secretary on the British Hernia Society Council. The remit of this society is to promote best practice in hernia surgery in the UK. I lecture regularly on hernia surgery at National and International Meetings. I am co-president of the 36th European Hernia Society Annual General Meeting which will be held in Edinburgh in 2014 (http://www.ehs2014edinburgh.org/). I am the UK representative on the European Hernia Society Working Party developing an International Abdominal Wall Hernia Registry. I co-organise a number of hernia and other surgical training courses (such as laparoscopic bile duct exploration for gallstones and surgery for reflux disease) each year at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.
I also have an interest in weight loss surgery. I began my training in Bariatric or weight loss surgery in 2005 and was one of two surgeons (along with my colleague Mr Bruch Tulloh) who established a Bariatric Surgery Service in Edinburgh for both the NHS and private sector. A third surgeon, Mr Peter Lamb has joined our surgical team. We operated on our first patient in 2007. Our weight loss surgery program has always had two main aims, to be SAFE and SUCCESSFUL for our patients. Our strong team including Lorna (specialist nurse), Fred (dietician), Carol (psychologist), Dilip (radiologist) and several anaesthetists work and train hard with these two aims as our focus. I have served on a number of government committees advising the national planning forum on weight loss management planning. I also represent the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh on SIGN (Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network) Council. I have been on the Editorial Group for a number of recent guidelines including Guideline 115, The Management of Obesity (http://www.sign.ac.uk/pdf/sign115.pdf). I review papers submitted for publication to the Journal, Obesity Surgery. In addition, I am a member of the Editorial Board of the British Journal of Surgery, and also review papers for the World Journal of Surgery and the Journal, Hernia.