SUSS August Journal Club: Anaesthetics & Post-Op Complications

Journal Club is back!


The use of anaesthesia is common among all surgical specialties and involves the maintenance of normal physiology and avoidance of complications both during surgery and post-operatively.

This month we will look at two trials researching the avoidance of post-operative nausea and vomiting; and residual neuromuscular block followed by a discussion of a student’s research into the same topic.

Anyone who is interested is welcome. Come along and join us!

Date: Wednesday, August 23rd 2017
Time: 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Venue: RPAH Institute of Academic Surgery
Topic: Anaesthetics and Post Operative Complications


David Cooper
DREAMS Trial Collaborators (2017), Dexamethasone versus standard treatment for postoperative nausea and vomiting in Gastrointestinal surgery: randomised controlled trial (DREAMS Trial). BMJ 2017;357:j1455

Akhil Bansal
Unterbuchner, C., Blobner, M., Pühringer, F., Janda, M., Bischoff, S., Bein, B., … & Fink, H. (2017). Development of an algorithm using clinical tests to avoid post-operative residual neuromuscular block. BMC anesthesiology, 17(1), 101.

Hope to see you there!

Nicole Cain
Research Officer | Sydney University Surgical Society

SUSS City2Surf for Interplast 2017

SUSS City2Surf for Interplast 2017

On Sunday, August 13, Sydney University Surgical Society (SUSS) will once again run the City2Surf and raise funds to support Interplast.

Each year SUSS medical students run City2Surf in scrubs to raise money for Interplast Australia and New Zealand. In the last few years SUSS has raised over $20,000. All medical students are encouraged to run with us in 2017.

Interplastprovidese free surgical treatment for patients with congenital or acquired medical conditions such as cleft lip and palate or burn scar contractures in the Asia Pacific region who would otherwise not be able to afford access to such services.

There will be casual weekend runs most weekends between now and the race – to meet the team and get in shape for the big day.

How to get involved

How to get involved
Register to run on the the SUSS team:

  1. Go to the C2S registration page at and select ‘Adult Early Bird’ or ‘Adult’
  2. On the screen that appears, click ‘Join a Team’
  3. Search for ‘Sydney University Surgical Society’ and click ‘Join’
  4. Fill in your personal details.
  5. Choose whichever start group you prefer.
  6. On the next screen, do NOT check any of the charity boxes. In order to fundraise for Interplast you must join the SUSS C2S fundraising team (below)
  7. Follow the prompts to pay for your entry ticket and complete the race registration.

Register to fundraise for the SUSS fundraising team:

  1. Go to our team’s page at and click “Join Team”
  2. Enter your details to register to fundraise. Make sure you have “Interplast Australia and New Zealand” down as your charity.
  3. Start fundraising!

Please also RSVP on the Facebook event.

Please contact Shay Harris our Community Officer if you have any questions


SUSS Sharpy’s Surgical Revision Day 2017

SUSS Sharpy’s Surgical Revision Day 2017

Sharpy’s Surgical Revision Day is an all-day intensive review of general surgery for final year medical students hosted by Dr. Gary Sharp, a surgery sRMO at RPAH. The program will include a comprehensive review of general surgery with a focus on gastrointestinal surgical presentations and is tailored to final year medicine exams.

Anyone with an interest in surgery is welcome, however, stage 3 students will be given preference.

When: 2 September at 8:00–16:00
Where:  KPEC Auditorium, RPAH
Cost: Free
Registration: Essential

In previous years, this has been highly attended event and registration is essential to secure a place:

Publishing in orthopaedics

Knee replacement X-ray

Post-operative X-rays of a total knee arthoplasty

In my first year of medical school in 2014 I became aware of some extra-curricular research opportunities made available through SUSS, working with an orthopaedic surgeon at Concord Repatriation General Hospital, Professor Warwick Bruce.

Even at this early stage of medical school I had an interest in orthopaedic surgery and had been considering pursuing this quite seriously. The research opportunity seemed like a good chance to develop my resume through scientific publications and conference presentations, as well as developing relationships and a network within the surgical community in Sydney.

The research project initially involved meeting with Professor Bruce and his fellow Dr. Yadin Levy in order to fine-tune the research project’s aims and scope. I was then able to go to Professor Bruce’s rooms in Sydney Olympic Park to complete data acquisition and for further consultation with Dr. Levy and Professor Bruce. After the data had been collected we were able to go through statistical analysis before completing the write-up process. Finally, we had the manuscript accepted for publication in the journal Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy.

The experience this extra-curricular research provided put me in really good stead for the ensuing MD project that is part of the degree. Having completed an Honours year previously, this opportunity provided further experience in statistical analysis as well as scientific writing. In addition to this, the research was accepted as a conference poster at the American Academy of Orthopedics Annual Scientific Congress in 2016, as well as a peer-reviewed journal publication. Great things for a resume!

By Chris Shean, Stage 3 Year 4 (2017)

Surgical outcomes of ladder falls

Man climbing onto roof from ladderWith my interest in surgery as a career, I applied to the Surgical Outcomes Research Centre (SOuRCe) at RPA for my MD Project. At our first meeting, my MD Project group was asked about our individual goals and preferences for MD projects individually, and SOuRCe was flexible about our topics and made an effort to accommodate our requests.

I was quite clear about the type of project that I wanted to do; my main concerns were time commitment and scope of the project. The tutors, Professor Michael Solomon and Professor Jane Young, suggested the theme of Trauma Surgery, which is relevant to different surgical specialties such as Orthopaedics, Neurosurgery, and General Surgery. They introduced me to Dr. Michael Dinh, an Emergency Physician and the director of trauma services at RPA.

Dr. Dinh has an ongoing research interest in trauma cases related to ladder falls, particularly in the elderly. He proposed that I use the trauma registry at RPA to test a specific hypothesis for my research; however, he also gave me liberty to define my own research question. Ladder falls as an MD project may sound quite niche but a recent retrospective study conducted over a five-year period reported that in NSW alone, ladder falls have cost about $52M and exposed patients to 57,000 procedures. This shows that ladder falls are a major burden for Australian healthcare. Eventually we decided to combine trauma registry and electronic medical records data to investigate the effect of comorbidities on ladder falls and surgical outcomes.

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a global burden both in developed and emerging countries. Its multiple systemic complications, including retinopathy, peripheral arterial disease, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, neuropathy, and poor wound healing, can lend themselves to falls as well as poor surgical recovery. Therefore, I decided to test the effect of DM as a comorbidity on the outcomes of ladder falls and their surgical treatments.

The MD research project is a wonderful opportunity to explore an interest in surgery, find contacts in your field of interest, and exercise all the skills that we learned during the Research Methods block. When choosing your topic, I recommend keeping your project as simple as possible given the medicine course load, and rely on your strengths. For example, I wanted to work with data to use my programming skills. I also wanted to stay as far away as I could from a wet lab, animal experiments, data collection, or ethical issues due to a lack of experience! Also, I suggest that you maintain as broad a scope as possible to keep your experience relevant to as many different specialties as possible, both medical and surgical. For example, a topic related to wound healing, diabetes, or sepsis can be fit into almost every specialty (well, maybe not psychiatry). Ideally, you want something that can be turned into a research article easily and published when you are in third or early fourth year. It would also be beneficial to be able to define follow-up questions that can be easily studied and published after your MD project.

By Luke Massey, Stage 3 Year 3 (2017)