Upper Gastrointestinal and Hepatobiliary Surgery opportunities


The Hepato-Biliary and Pancreatic Surgical Unit at Royal North Shore Hospital performs a large volume of complex hepato-biliary and pancreatic surgery mainly for malignant disease. There are two Consultant Surgeons working in this unit and both have a major interest in clinical and laboratory-based research. Within the unit, there is a large clinical database as well as a cancer tumour bank containing more than 300 samples of frozen resected tumour specimens. This serves as a platform for clinical and laboratory research regarding outcomes in patients with hepato-biliary and pancreatic cancer malignancy. Our unit has a full-time Data Manager to assist with statistical analysis and database design and maintenance as well as numerous administrative staff. Other areas of research interest include clinical outcomes following inguinal and incisional hernia surgery, particularly minimally invasive, day-only surgery. Our unit has a close affiliation with the Kolling Institute and, in conjunction with several research scientists, we undertake research into the molecular biology of hepato-biliary and pancreatic tumours.


Professor Thomas J Hugh

Research Location

North Shore - Northern Clinical School

Program Type



Current projects:
Grading of operative findings impacts on outcomes after laparoscopic cholecystectomy
This project documents a new operative grading system for patients undergoing laparoscopic cholecystectomy and uses data prospectively collected over a 10 year period in the Northern Upper Gastrointestinal Surgical Unit.

Intraoperative cholangiogram correlation with ERCP findings in patients with gallstone pancreatitis
To determine whether patients had an operative cholangiogram (x-ray of the bile duct) at the time of their laparoscopic cholecystectomy when they present later for ERCP because of pancreatitis.

Investigation and management of patients with cystic liver disease
This project involves a detailed clinical audit of the presenting symptoms, investigations and surgical management of patients with unifocal and multifocal liver cysts. This project is accompanied by a large amount of video footage and radiological images to support this project.

Presentation and management of patients with neuroendocrine liver metastases
The HPB Unit at RNSH has treated a large number of patients with neuroendocrine tumours and has a special interest in the management of patients with neuroendocrine liver metastases. The large prospective clinical database contains many patients with this condition and will involve examining the presenting features and investigation and treatment of these patients.

Presentation and management of recurrent inguinal hernias
This project will analyse the presenting features, the original hernia procedure and the management algorithm for treating patients with recurrent inguinal hernias. In the era of mesh hernia repairs and more recently the advent of laparoscopic inguinal hernia repair, there is a new pathology of post-hernia repair groin pain which has led to significant morbidity. The surgical assessment and management of these patients is not easy and to date there are no clear treatment algorithms.

Additional Information

Projects will result in a manuscript for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.

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cholecystectomy, colorectal cancer, Common bile duct stones, endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP), incisional hernias, inguinal hernia, laparoscopic surgery, Laparoscopic repair, surgical procedures, ventral hernias

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 1500

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