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Surgical Innovation, New Techniques and Technologies

Surgical innovation has an integral role in surgical practice. Over the last 50 years in particular, innovations have improved patient outcomes, reduced complication rates and length of hospital stay, and have decreased morbidity and mortality. At the same time, such innovations can carry significant risks without proper evaluation, governance and training. This guide follows the RCS' work on the Commission on the Future of Surgery, and aims to provide a guiding framework for introducing new procedures, techniques and technologies into the service in a way that provides robust oversight and protects patient safety while at the same time encouraging and providing support to surgical innovators.

Who is this guide for?

It is intended for surgeons and members of the surgical team who wish to introduce an innovative technique or technology into their practice, as well as medical and clinical directors with responsibility on surgical activity in their hospitals.


What can I learn from this guide?

This guide describes the stages of innovation and offers a framework on what to consider when developing a new technique, including training, patient consent, ethical considerations, regulatory requirements and cost implications. It includes a decision tree from the point of the inception of an innovative idea to its implementation and makes recommendations on governance arrangements, audit, and demonstrating safety and effectiveness.


You can download the PDF here


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