09 October 2013
Professor Norman Williams, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, awarded Honorary Fellowship of the American College of Surgeons
This week, ahead of the official opening of the 2013 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons, Professor Norman Williams was awarded Honorary Fellowship of the American College of Surgeons for services to surgery in the UK.
Professor Williams received this distinction together with five other prominent surgeons from across the world including Professor Bill Heald, a former Vice-President of the College who led the development of the Total Mesorectal Excision technique (a procedure used to treat rectal cancer by removing a significant length of the bowel around the tumour).
Presenting the Distinguished Lecture of the International Society of Surgery at the Congress today (9 October), Professor Williams explained how from the very beginning of his career he was motivated to reduce the number of people who would require a permanent stoma or colostomy due to cancer. During his time as bowel surgeon, he strove to innovate and test new techniques to improve patients’ quality of life. Encouraging all surgeons to innovate and get involved in surgical research, Professor Williams reflected that when he started as a surgical trainee in the late 1970s around 80 per cent of patients with rectal cancer had a permanent colostomy – today that number is now 20 per cent.
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