IRCAD France // Taiwan

"It all began in 1985, when the first cases of successful implementation of minimally invasive cholecystectomy were done. Minimally Invasive Surgery means to have a smaller wound, less bleeding, reduced risk of infection and reduced postoperative pain. Most often MIS comes with faster recovery, increased utilization of hospital beds in medical institutions, therefore it was predestined to gradually replace traditional open surgery." (Yet to see...)
IRCAD stands for Institut de Recherche contre les Cancers de l'Appareil Digestif (so, the Institute for Research into Cancer of the Digestive System). It was founded by Prof. Jacques Marescaux in 1994, and has quickly emerged to be the world's No 1. MIS training center. Just to mention a few milestones, the Lindbergh operation took place here in 2001, the first documented NOTES procedure was done, and they have been running the extremely useful Websurg webite/online university. (Not to mention their most recent MIS student course, covered here.)  
IRCAD, in consortium with the University of Strasbourg, also runs a couple of engineering and research programs, such as their Image Sciences, CS and Remote Sensing Lab. They are about to start their own interdisciplinary engineering MS program. Interesting... 

    "In 2008, the Asian long-range minimally invasive surgery center (IRCAD--Taiwan, AITS) was founded in Changua with the direct support and control of the French IRCAD. "It was planned to become the world's top MIS teaching institute: organize and implement intensive classroom training, enhance Taiwan's minimally invasive surgery with the world, but also allow Taiwan to become the clinical knowledge of minimally invasive surgery and technology high ground". The goal is  "that in 2020 Taiwan advanced minimally invasive surgery became a leading national technology and equipment." Just last week, the International Symposium of MIS and Medical Robotics was orgnaized there. (This will be covered in the next post.)
Currently, they have no da Vinci, due to it's price, but there are a total of 9 robots in Taiwan. 
Also, the International Medical Center of Excellence on Medical Robotics was founded here. (This will be introduced later in more details.)
We were extremely happy to be given a personal tour by our host, Prof. Hsiao-Wen Tang (will cover the event later). We were shown the training facilities of IRCAD, and then to the Show Chwan Health Care, where the private section is really lile a 5* hotel. IRCAD-Taiwan is probably the biggest operating simulation room in the world with 22 stations to provide excellent equipment. (Also available for rent.)


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