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There is growing interest in the adoption of robotic surgery, particularly for rectal resection. With increased popularity, there is a real need for a professional training body to provide training structure to meet this demand. With this in mind, a consensus meeting for the creation of such a body took place at the Champalimaud Foundation in Lisbon, Portugal in June 2014. The meeting was chaired by Prof. R. J. (Bill) Heald and Prof. Amjad Parvaiz. Following useful discussions around the structure of such a body and the curriculum for training, consensus agreement was reached to provide such a resource for European colorectal surgeons. The European Academy of Robotic Colorectal Surgery (EARCS) was founded in October 2014 with Prof R. J. (Bill) Heald as Honorary Chair, Prof. Amjad Parvaiz and Prof. Giuseppe Spinoglio as the founding Directors, and participating faculty as the foundation members.



Prof. R. J. (Bill) Heald 

CBE, MChir, FRCS (Ed) (Eng)

Honorary Chair of EARCS

Professor of Surgery

Director of Pelican Cancer Foundation

Basingstoke, UK

Head of Colorectal Cancer Team

Champalimaud Foundation, Portugal

A graduate of Cambridge University, Prof. Heald is professor of surgery at the University of Southampton and consultant surgeon at the Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital National Health Services Foundation Trust. He is also the Surgical Director of the Pelican Cancer Foundation, which promotes excellence and educates health professionals in the management of patients with colon and rectal cancer and part of the Colorectal Cancer Team at the Champalimaud Foundation, Portugal.

Prof. Heald brings his vast experience and expertise in this field as Honorary Chair of EARCS. His main interest for the past 30 years has been the research and development of the Total Mesorectal Excision (TME) technique for rectal cancer. He is a former Vice-President of the Council at the Royal College of Surgeons of England and a past-President of the Section of Coloproctology at the Royal Society of Medicine and of the Association of Coloproctology. Prof. Heald has performed over 500 surgeries in more than 50 countries around the world.


Prof. Amjad Parvaiz

MBBS, FRCS, FRCS (Gen & Colorectal Surgery)

Director of EARCS

Professor of Surgery

National Trainer in Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery

Pooole Hospital NHS Trust, UK

Champalimaud Foundation, Portugal

University of Portsmouth, UK

 Prof. Parvaiz is a specialist colorectal surgeon with comprehensive training in general, colorectal and laparoscopic surgery. He holds the position of Professor of Surgery at Poole, as well as Head of Minimal Access and Robotic Colorectal Surgery at the Champalimaud Foundation in Lisbon, Portugal. Prof. Parvaiz has a special interest in colorectal cancer and benign diseases. He has developed his practice for laparoscopic colon and rectal surgery and is one of only a few surgeons in the UK offering laparoscopic Total Mesorectal Excision (TME) surgery for rectal cancer and ileo-anal pouch surgery to patients with Ulcerative colitis and FAP.

During his previous role at Portsmouth Hospital NHS Trust, Prof. Parvaiz was actively involved in medical education and clinical skills training. His work at the National and International level was recognised and he was awarded a Chair in Surgery by the University of Portsmouth in 2011. Prof. Parvaiz was one of the leading national trainers for the consultants' training program in Lap colorectal surgery run by the Department of Health to promote training in key-hole bowel cancer surgery.

Prof. Parvaiz became a pioneer in developing the Robotic Colorectal Surgery programme at Portsmouth and is an international proctor for Robotic colorectal surgery and has trained surgeons across Europe and beyond. He developed a curriculum for training Robotic rectal resection and is Co-Director and founding member of the European Academy of Robotic Colorectal Surgery (EARCS). His clinical outcomes are published in various peer-reviewed journals.


Prof. Giuseppe Spinoglio


Director of EARCS

Professor of Robotic Surgery

Director of Hepatobilio-Pancreatic & Digestive Program

European Institute of Oncology (IEO), Italy

Amedeo Avogadro University, Italy


Prof. Spinoglio is Director of the Hepato-Pancreatic and Digestive Program at the European Institute of Oncology (IEO) in Milan, Italy and Professor of Surgical Technique at Amedeo Avogadro University in Novara, Italy. He attained his M.D. at Genoa University, Italy. He completed his general surgery residency and also a vascular surgery residency. Afterwards he trained as visiting physician at the Columbia University New York, at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital New York and at the Hospital Cardio-Vasculaire Louls Pradel Lyon. He can be considered a pioneer in the advanced, mainly colonic, laparoscopic surgery teaching the technique to all his team and to many visiting teams in his hospital. He contributed to standardize the technique of laparoscopic right hemicolectomy. His clinical interest was to diffusely implement the minimal-invasive laparoscopic surgery in every clinical setting, from routine benign diseases to advanced oncologic surgery, and to emergency surgery.

Prof. Spinoglio has always been fond of any new technological advances that have the potential of adding benefits to patients in terms of oncological radicality and quality of life. His activity in robotic surgery began in 2005 and quickly he managed to treat one of Italy’s largest series of patients with colo-rectal diseases. Prof. Spinoglio is member of many scientific societies, Co-Director and founding member of the European Academy of Robotic Colorectal Surgery (EARCS) and author and co-author of almost 130 surgical scientific papers.


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