World-renowned surgeon to deliver Sir Peter Freyer Memorial Lecture at NUI Galway

NUI Galway will host Ireland’s largest surgical conference, the 40th Sir Peter Freyer Memorial Lecture and Surgical Symposium over the next two days September 4-5 in the Arts Millennium Building, NUI Galway when internationally renowned surgeon, Dr Philip Schauer will deliver the Memorial Lecture entitled ‘Surgical Therapy for Diabetes – A New Order’.

Dr. Philip Schauer is Professor of Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Chief of Minimally Invasive General Surgery and Director of the Cleveland Clinic Bariatric and Metabolic Institute. He is past president of the American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery.

Dr. Schauer’s clinical interests include surgery for severe obesity, laparoscopic and gastrointestinal surgery. His research interests include the pathophysiology of obesity and related diseases, physiologic effects of laparoscopic surgery on postoperative injury and recovery, and outcomes of laparoscopic management of obesity, gastrointestinal diseases and hernias. He has also participated in the development of new minimally invasive, endoscopic and laparoscopic operations.

Professor of Surgery at NUI Galway, Michael Kerin, who is hosting the event along with his colleague Professor Oliver McAnena says, “We are delighted to welcome Dr Schauer to our University. Dr. Schauer’s interests are focused on advances in bariatric surgery, particularly related to minimally invasive operations for morbid obesity. During the past 5 years, there has been an enormous change in the field of bariatric surgery. A host of interesting and exciting minimally invasive operations have not only been developed but also perfected. We look forward to his lecture on Friday, 4 September at 5pm.”

On the second day of the Surgical Symposium, Professor Cathal Kelly, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI ) will deliver the State of the Art Lecture entitled ‘Leadership in Surgery – Perspective from a CEO’ on Saturday, 5 September at 1pm. Professor Kelly took up the position of CEO and Registrar in December 2009. A graduate and Fellow of RCSI, Professor Kelly was previously Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences from 2006-2009. Prior to his appointment he was a Consultant General and Vascular Surgeon with a special interest in endovascular surgery in Beaumont Hospital. He combined this role with chairmanship of the surgical division and an academic position in RCSI as vice Dean for curriculum change.

Sir Peter Freyer, originally from Galway, performed the first successful surgical operation to remove an enlarged prostate in 1900 in St. Peter’s Hospital in London.Peter Freyer was born near Clifden and studied at Queen’s College Galway (now NUI Galway ). He studied medicine and won first prize in seven subjects in the final examination. After obtaining his degree in 1874 he joined the Indian Medical Service. In 1888, while acting as civil surgeon to the Rajah of Rampar, Freyer discovered a stone in his patient’s bladder. He then crushed the stone and removed the fragments. The Rajah was extremely grateful and rewarded Freyer generously. In 1896 he returned to England and joined the staff of St. Peter’s Hospital in London. Prior to 1900, little was known about how to treat a man with an enlarged prostate. It was Freyer who pioneered a new technique to remove such an enlarged gland. In 1900 he performed the first prostatectomy in St. Peter’s Hospital. His novel technique involved cutting through the bladder to access the prostate. Despite the fact that five percent of his patients died due to complications, the operation was a huge improvement on previous operations and became the standard technique for fifty years. 

Freyer was a dextrous surgeon and showman. He provided his own running commentary in both French and Hindustani to an audience of international surgeons. After cutting the bladder it took him three minutes to remove the prostate. His success earned him fame, fortune and a knighthood and international urological conferences are still held in his honour. His technique was eventually superseded in the 1950s by a new approach developed by another Irish surgeon, Terence Millin from Co. Down.

For further information on the event please contact 091 544203 or visit


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