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The department of colorectal surgery in University Hospital Waterford is an evolving regionalised specialist unit which houses the south east regional rectal cancer program under the auspices of the National Cancer Control Programme and the HSE.
The department comprises one UHW based colorectal surgeon (Mr. Fiachra Cooke) and supports 4 visiting specialist GI / colorectal surgeons from Wexford General Hospital (Mr. Karl Schmidt & Mr. Ken Mealy) and South Tipperary General Hospitals (Mr. Peter Murchan & Mr. Athar Sheikh).
The department operates a laparoscopic colorectal practice with 70% of the workload treated by minimal access techniques for both benign and malignant disease.
There is a significant emphasis on the other aspects of colorectal disease specifically in the management of complex benign conditions such as diverticular complications / inflammatory bowel disease / rectal prolapse surgery and complex therapeutic GI endoscopy including endoluminal stent procedures and endoscopic mucosal resection.
The department is supported by a dedicated colorectal cancer clinical nurse manager and a specialist stoma therapy clinical nurse manager.
The department sits 2.5 sessions / month in the GI cancer MDT at which critical management decisions are taken regarding patients with colorectal and other GI associated malignancies.
The department runs an evolving enhanced recovery program whereby patients are fast tracked to recovery peri-operatively to minimise length of stay and optimise patient outcomes. This program is being modified and extended to include a complete integrated care pathway for colorectal patients undergoing surgery within the department.
The department offers training at undergraduate and post graduate levels with opportunities for quality clinical research and clinical audit.
The consultants in the colo-rectal / urology department are:
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Fiachra Cooke is a consultant general and colorectal surgeon in Waterford Regional Hospital with sessions in Wexford General Hospital and Ely Private Hospital.
He graduated with honours from NUI Galway in 1998 and undertook basic surgical training on the Western Regional Training Scheme. Following BST and conferral with the AFRCSI he spent 2 years in full time research where his MD thesis was focused on the epigenetic profiling of cancer genes with respect to protein expression in a prospective breast cancer cohort.
He completed Irish higher surgical training in 2008 with the award of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland Gold medal for first place in the September sitting of the intercollegiate specialty fellowship exams in general surgery.
He spent a laparoscopic colorectal fellowship in Perth in Western Australia working in Fremantle Hospital, St. John's Hospital, Murdoch and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital where he gained invaluable high volume laparoscopic colorectal experience and was also trained in advanced diagnostic and therapeutic GI endoscopy in nobel laureate Barry Marshal's unit.
He has commenced full-time consultant practice in the South East since June 2010 and in this time has overseen the regionalisation of the south eastern rectal cancer programme in line with the NCCP recommendations and introduced a laparoscopic colorectal cancer practice to Waterford. He is the chairman of the south eastern regional GI subgroup committee and is the training lead clinician for GI endoscopy in both WRH and WGH.
His ongoing interests include minimal access surgery for all applications especially for colorectal diseases, enhanced recovery programs and clinical research. He is fully committed to a regionalised department of colorectal surgery integrating and developing links regionally, nationally and abroad.
Areas of Surgical Practice
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Commenced working in Waterford Regional Hospital in Nov 1988. His main surgical interest is Urology / General Surgery
Areas of Surgical Practice