Embracing Technology in Surgery

It may not be his first love, but for Dr Loh Chit Sin, Consultant Urologist at Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur, urology has now become his passion.

Back in medical school in the UK, training necessitated one to start off in general surgery, dealing with regular lumps and bumps and gastrointestinal conditions. It brought Dr Loh Chit Sin around to plastic surgery and urology, but he did not see their relevance in his planned career as a cardiac surgeon.

Little did he know that a chance meeting with an individual, who he now regards as his mentor, would change the course of his life.

“This person gave me the time, opportunity and above all, inspiration for the future. It was then that I found not just an interest in urology but a complete fascination for this field,” said Dr Loh.

Despite urology being a specialty that deals with diseases of the urinary tract and the male reproductive organs, Dr Loh explained that it is not all confined to surgery. Urology also includes medication and non-invasive procedures on the urinary system and reproductive organs.

However, surgery remains the core of urology. The adoption of new technology and techniques in urological surgery plays a huge role in obtaining good clinical outcomes with minimised pain for faster recovery. This is where Dr Loh’s interest in laparoscopic and robotic surgery comes into play.

“With every surgery we do, there should be significantly lesser pain, lesser blood loss, speedier recovery and lesser compromise of organ function. Time and again, countless studies have shown that these results can be achieved through laparoscopic and robotic surgery.”

This has driven Dr Loh to develop his repertoire in minimally invasive surgery, which now accounts for more than 80 per cent of all surgical work.

His current immersion is in prostatectomies – particularly for prostate cancer. Dr Loh has completed more than 80 of such robotic procedures last year and is currently working on standardising a newer approach to further improve functional outcomes.

In addition to his focus on medical robotics, Dr Loh also performs a diverse spread of procedures from scopes and reconstruction work to complete removal of an organ.

In times of emergency, there is always the tendency to panic. This very reaction is the least helpful. In any emergency, particularly during surgeries, I try to resist this reaction by taking a step back to give myself some time to put on my thinking cap and look for a solving strategy.
- Dr Loh Chit Sin, Consultant Urologist, Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur