Lights, cam­era... surgery!

Three com­plex op­er­a­tions will be per­formed live on cam­era for TV…

What's on TV - - Real Life Tv -

fly-on-the wall hos­pi­tal se­ries are noth­ing new, but this week Chan­nel 5 is do­ing some­thing truly cut­tingedge by broad­cast­ing three op­er­a­tions – live!

The chan­nel has been given spe­cial ac­cess to St Bartholomew’s Hos­pi­tal and the Royal Lon­don Hos­pi­tal, run by Barts Health NHS Trust, and will screen three life-chang­ing pro­ce­dures as they are car­ried out: a heart op­er­a­tion, to­tal knee re­place­ment and re­moval of a bowel tu­mour.


Per­form­ing the open-heart surgery will be Kul­vin­der Lall, 52, one of the UK’s lead­ing car­diac sur­geons and the clin­i­cal lead at Barts Heart Cen­tre. He has done more than 7,000 heart surg­eries in his 29-year ca­reer. Dur­ing the two-hour pro­ce­dure, he will re­place an aor­tic valve on a man in his 60s.

‘It is a very com­plex op­er­a­tion but quite a com­mon one,’ says Kul­vin­der. ‘And with­out med­i­cal in­ter­ven­tion, the pa­tient would prob­a­bly die of heart fail­ure.’

Al­though the sur­geon has car­ried out surg­eries in front of nearly 500 of his peers at med­i­cal con­fer­ences, a TV au­di­ence will be a first.


‘I’ll try to for­get about that and get on with the job at hand!’ says Kul­vin­der.

‘But it’s good to show a pa­tient’s ex­pe­ri­ence, from when they’re symp­to­matic to hope­fully when they’re re­lieved of the symp­toms. It is also a good way of show­cas­ing one of the flag­ship hos­pi­tals in the NHS. And the pa­tient jumped at the chance!’

Kul­vin­der has per­sonal rea­sons for want­ing to be a heart sur­geon.

‘A cou­ple of un­cles of mine suc­cumbed to com­pli­ca­tions of heart dis­ease,’ he ex­plains. ‘That was my drive to get to med­i­cal school.’

Steady hand… Heart sur­geon Kul­vin­der Lall

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