About Ian

I am a full-time Consultant Surgeon at Queens Medical Centre and Honorary Senior Lecturer at University of Nottingham Medical School. I specialise in keyhole (laparoscopic) surgery and surgery of the Liver and Pancreas.

I trained at Nottingham University and qualified B Med Sci (Hons), BM BS in 1987. I obtained the FRCS in 1992, a Doctorate in Surgery (DM) in 1994, and was awarded the Medawar Medal in 1995 and a Hunterian Professorship in 1996 for this research. I completed my training in Newcastle, Leeds and Cape Town where I was awarded the JH Louw Memorial Medal for best surgical trainee and the Solly Marks Medal for best research paper at SAGES. In the UK I was awarded Travel Fellowships from the Royal College of Surgeons and Association of Upper GI Surgeons. I was appointed to my current position as Consultant in HPB and Laparoscopic Surgery in 1999.

Clinical Interests

I was lucky enough to be trained as Laparoscopic Surgery was just being developed in the UK and endeavoured to acquire the best training and work with some of the pioneers of Laparoscopic surgery both in the UK and abroad. I trained in HPB Surgery in Leeds, Nottingham and Cape Town in busy units with fantastic experience. 

After appointment in Nottingham as a Consultant I was able to introduce new procedures to the region – Cardiomyotomy for Achalasia, Fundoplication for Paraoesphageal hernias (Antireflux Surgery), Splenectomy for ITP and Lymphoma, Bile duct exploration, Laparoscopic Inguinal and Incisional hernia surgery – and set up a National training programme – MAESTrO (Minimal Access Training Organisation) holding around 6-8 courses a year. My joint training in HPB and Laparoscopic Surgery paid dividends when Laparoscopic Liver procedures started to be performed and after visits to Italy, Germany and France I became one of the first Surgeons in the UK to perform Laparoscopic Liver and Pancreatic resections and now have one of the largest UK series. In 2009 I performed the first Single Incision Laparoscopic Gallbladder removals (SILS) in the region (the second in England)– removal of the gallbladder through the umbilicus leaving no visible scars.

I performed Obesity Surgery at Royal Derby NHS trust and subsequently in Nottingham for 15 years with experience of over 300 Laparoscopic Gastric bands (with no deaths, <2% reoperation rate (well below the 5-7% national average) and average XS weight loss of 70%). It is a great disappointment to me that we have not been able to extend the NHS Obesity Surgery Programme to Nottingham yet – but we will keep on trying because I believe that this surgery really does changes people’s lives radically. 

I am Senior HPB Surgeon for Nottingham University Hospitals and was founding Chairman of the HPB Cancer unit (encompassing Nottingham, Newark, Mansfield, Lincoln and Derby) from 2002-12. Together with my colleagues we have made Nottingham one of the major HPB resection centres in the UK performing over 150 major resections a year (compared with < 10 a year in when I started in 1997).

Research and publications

My research interests include Liver and Pancreatic Cancer, Laparoscopic Surgery and Hernia surgery. Together with my research trainee John Hammond I have been co-recipient of Wellcome and Royal College research grants worth in excess of £250,000. Our most recent research has looked at developing Liver scaffolds to act as a bridge for failing livers. 

In 2016 I received a £500,000 grant to lead a Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) Quality Improvement program (CholeQuIC) to help improve the Emergency Cholecystectomy rates across 13 hospitals. Following the success of this project I am now leading an RCS subscription based roll out program across the UK (CholeQuIC-ER) to provide the same service across the UK. With Professors Toogood & Blazeby I am one of the leads for a the Sunflower Study, a £3.5 million NICR sponsored 5 year project to assess the role of MRI scanning in low to medium risk patients with gallstones pre-cholecystectomy. I will also be the Principal Investigator at the Nottingham Hospitals site for this. 

In 2015 I developed the Surgical Outcomes Research Datatool (SWORD). This allows surgeons access to NHS HES data to assess their own outcomes against there peers. We have launched an appraisal tool to facilitate data analysis and I am hoping to generate funding that will allow us to merge with ONS data to show long term survival data. 

In 2015 I was appointed to the Final Surgical Fellowship examining board and subsequently as RCS (Eng) representative on the standards setting board.-ER

I have worked as a Medical Advisor for EIDO since the company started and have written many of their consent documents and helped develop video and other media. I love the ethos and working style of the company and the pioneering work it is doing in making consent understandable and meaningful. 

I have published over 100 original scientific papers and publications and a number of books and book chapters including authoring and editing “The ABC of Diseases of Liver, Pancreas and Gallbladder”, and Chapters in Aird’s Textbook of Surgery (Gallstones) , Blumgart’s Surgery of the Liver and Biliary tract and Recent Advances in Surgery (Hernia Surgery). I was made Honorary Clinical Assistant Professor at NUH in 2019 in recognition of my contributions to research in Nottingham.

I have written the chapter on Gallstones for the ‘Companion to Specialist Surgical Practice’ series which provides contemporary, evidence-based information for surgeons in higher surgical training and practicing Consultants. It is the recommended surgical textbook for Surgical Trainees sitting the Final FRCS examination. I have also recently wrote the chapter on ‘Managing complications of Cholecystectomy‘ for the Australian College of Surgeons Textbook. You can view both of these chapters on this website. 

I have been an invited speaker at many National and International Surgical meetings (ALS, AUGUS, ASGBI, Hernia Society) and training courses both at the MATTU in Guildford, ICENI centre Colchester, LIMIT in Leeds, and other centres in the UK, France and Germany.

Medical appointments

                            (Past & Present)
  • President of the Association of Upper GI Surgeons (AUGIS)
  • Council of the Association of Laparoscopic Surgeons (ALS)
  • Council of British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society (BOMSS)
  • Royal College of Surgeons / ALS advanced laparoscopic instructor
  • Journal referee for British Journal of Surgery, The Surgeon, International HPBA Journal, Journal of RCS (Eng)
  • Advisor to National Institute of Clinical Governance (NICE)
  • Royal College of Surgeons Assessor for Consultant appointments
  • Intercollegiate Final Surgical Fellowship Examiner
  • Royal College of Surgeons IRM ( internal review mechanism) panel advisor

Treatments performed

  • Laparoscopic (keyhole) gallbladder surgery
  • Laparoscopic bile duct exploration
  • Laparoscopic and open repair of inguinal, femoral, sportsman’s hernia, umbilical, paraumbilical, incisional and recurrent hernias
  • Laparoscopic splenectomy
  • Surgery for Cancers of Liver and Pancreas

Frequency of operations and treatments

  • Laparoscopic Hernia repair – 150-200/yr – over 3000 total
  • Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy – 200/yr – over 3000 total
  • Liver and Pancreatic resections – over 20 a year
  • Laparoscopic Liver & Pancreatic resections – over 150

My results are submitted and published on the AUGIS National HPB database (Liver and Pancreatic resections), on SWORD and PHIN.

Where can I get treatment

Private Secretary – Louise Watts
Tel: 07824 166046  –  Email: [email protected]

NHS base – Queens Medical Centre
Nottingham University Hospitals
Derby Road, Nottingham, NG7 2UH

Private Hospitals

BMI The Park Hospital
Sherwood Lodge Drive
Nottingham NG5 8RX
0115 9 670 670

Nottingham Woodthorpe Hospital
748 Mansfield Road
Nottingham NG5 3FZ
0115 9 209 209

Spire Nottingham Hospital
Tollerton Lane
Nottingham NG12 4GA
0115 937 7801

GMC number: 3245820
Date of Registration 01 Aug 1987

Hobbies and interests

I first developed an interest (my wife says an obsession) in long distance running around the time I became a Consultant Surgeon. I find it a useful way to off-load the stresses and strains of the job; running the 4 miles to and from work re-balances the mind and body.

I have now run many marathons, ultra-marathon and mountain races. Some of my highlights were the Three Peaks Yacht race (sailing between the 3 highest peaks in mainland Britain and running up each one ); Two Bill Rowan Medals (under 9 hours) in both the Down and the Up runs at The Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa 2009 / 2013 (the worlds largest Ultra Marathon race – 89 km / 2000 metres ascent); finishing 324/2000 in the 2013 Ultra trail du Mont Blanc (103 miles and 10,000m metres of ascent – the toughest event I have ever done); the 2014 Marathon des Sables (122/1200 – 150 miles through the Sahara desert in 50°C heat); 2014 Samoens trail race (60k, 5000m ascent – third V50); 2015 London Marathon / Keswick Ultra (50k) , Welsh 3000’s and Traces de Ducs de Savoie (TDS) – another beautiful remote race in the Mont Blanc Massif (120km / 7250m).

I also compete in the local cross-country, fell and summer league races and hold V50 County medals at marathon and fell racing, and County team medals for the marathon and fell racing. I have enjoyed (at least retrospectively!) all these events and met a lot of great friends and we have raised a lot of money for Pancreatic Cancer UK and our Local Nottingham Charity The liver and Pancreas Fund which provides equipment and resources for local patients with these diseases – we have raised money to purchase a RFA ablation machine (£70,000) and recently a £45,000 new colour Doppler Ultrasound machine for intraoperative surgery.

I also enjoy mountain biking in the hills and cycled Coast to Coast off road (200 miles and 20,000 ft of hills in 4 days) and The West Highland Way, and then coast to coast (C2C) on road in a day. Since repairing a hernia on one of the UK Cyclo-Cross Champions (see testimonials) I have been lured into the Nott-Derby Cyclo-Cross league – a fantastic way to spend a Saturday afternoon – cycling around muddy hills trying to stay on your bike for an hour!

In 2015 I completed the Passports du Soleil Mountain Biking event in the Alps (80km with 6000metres of downhill). I competed in the 240 mile 3 day Sanic2c mountain bike race in 2017.

I achieved my running ‘holy grail’ in summer 2017 – legendary Bob Graham Round – a fell runners right of passage – 42 Lake district mountains, 66 miles, 27,000 ft of ascent in 22 hours 30 minutes (24 hour cut off) – bobgrahamclub.org.uk My eldest daughter has also developed the running bug and we both completed the 5 day, 150km ultra marathon of Madagascar in 2018 and the 360 Cami de Cavalls 3 day run around the island of Menorca. 

My other passion is Skiing and increasingly free riding and backcountry skiing – being away from the crowds in the mountains seems to be a common theme in my pastimes. I spend much of my free time in the French Alps with my family. We are all studying French and I am trying, badly, to get to grips with the language.

Contact me via my Personal Assistant

Louise Watts
Tel: 07824 166046
Email: [email protected]m