Phil. Center for Advanced Surgery (PCAS)

Training center for minimally-invasive surgery
By Nico Erle Ciriaco

Cardinal Santos Medical Center (CSMC) continues to innovate in the healthcare industry as it opens the very first academic training institution for minimally-invasive surgery (MIS). The leading tertiary hospital formally inaugurated the Philippine Center for Advanced Surgery (PCAS) that houses the state-of-the-art facilities for MIS training, including the country’s first MIS-dedicated wet & dry skills laboratories, training rooms, and a 146-seater auditorium.
“CSMC is leading the way for MIS training as it plans to become the country’s premier academic training institution. Filipino patients are assured of world-class MIS expertise from their doctors and better access to the latest surgical treatment innovation while ensuring their utmost safety by providing them with the highest quality of care,” declared the hospital president & CEO Pilar Nenuca P. Almira.
“This undertaking spells growth in the healthcare profession. MIS is a procedure with minimal hospital stay with less cost and less risk. It’s a new modality to open surgery in healing patients,” she continued.  
Almira said the opening of the MIS center will train surgeons on proper techniques and instrumentation for minimally-invasive surgical procedures without going to the more expensive MIS training hubs in Singapore and Taiwan. She added that CSMC has been active in MIS conventions and skills training workshops here and overseas.
Minimally invasive surgery is a procedure in which doctors use specially-designed surgical instruments and endoscopes through very small incisions compared to the traditional open surgery. Many surgeons today recognize the growing popularity of MIS as a treatment option among their patients because of its beneficial effects; which includes faster recovery, less pain and scarring after operations as well as shorter hospital stay.
“This is a good start for the Philippines. It’s a facility that all surgeons dream to have. Education is the only way to rise the profile of a country,” intoned Prof. Davide Lomanto, secretary-general of the Endoscopic & Laparoscopic Surgeons of Asia (ELSA).
A P200-million structure with multiparty partnership, the MIS Training Center is one of Asia’s training facilities and the first of its kind in the Philippines. It is designed to allow medical experts, here and abroad, access to modern surgical facilities and technologically-enabled learning sessions facilitated by internationally-acclaimed medical professionals in the field of advanced surgery.
“This is the most advanced center in Manila. Also, it has the best software around to train Filipino surgeons,” enthused Dr. Michael Ka Wah Li, head of colorectal science in Hong Kong’s Sanatorium Hospital.
In the last three years, CSMC has worked with the Philippine Association of Laparoscopic and Endoscopic Surgeons (PALES) at its annual convention to bring live feeds of MIS procedures done in the hospital to the convention sites.
“Laparoscopy is the future of surgery. Smaller incisions, lesser cost and minimal infections are some of the apparent benefits. This is a milestone; a realization of a dream and the first of its kind in the Philippines. Filipino surgeons have limited avenues to tread on, like I was before. Back then, simulations were done under a tent with borrowed equipment to teach young eager minds. This was our makeshift operating room. Today, we have a training center for Filipino surgeons,” intimated a visibly-shaken and teary-eyed Dr. Alfred Allen Buenafe, executive director of the MIS Training Center, the brains behind this very remarkable undertaking.
“MIS propels Philippine surgery to the next level. What used to be limited is now limitless. The virtual learning environment is the perfect practice that will make perfect surgeons. This is a platform for training all specialties. Destiny is the end result of all decisions made,” he added.
Presently, CSMC has two surgical theaters dedicated to minimally-invasive surgery. Since 2012, over 200 cases of laparoscopic and endoscopic procedures were performed by surgeons of CSMC.
“This project took a number of turns. First World countries no longer do open surgeries. This is only the beginning of better things to come,” remarked Augusto Palisoc Jr., president & CEO of the Metro Pacific Investments Corp. Hospital Group.
The advancement of the minimally-invasive surgery through the MIS Training Center is part of the fulfillment of the vision of CSMC to be the most respected and trusted healthcare provider and medical training institution in the country.
“MIS before was industry-driven. It first came to the PGH in 1990 but did not grow as fast because it needed technology, and technology needed money. Today, however, with updated funding, the equipment is in 30 of the 70 DoH hospitals in the country. Through the Hospital Accreditation Committee

(HAC), we build the Philippine quality standard.
“MIS now is patient-driven, though not all diseases can undergo laparoscopy. Cases handled at present are those on digestive conditions, robotics and hernia repair. Laparoscopy needs doctors trained to operate and the presence of the equipment that they have to use. The MIS program also trains nurses as support staff in assisting during procedures. There are also training workshops for respiratory technicians. The sessions are beamed to any or all of the MPIC hospitals nationwide, through teleconferencing. The live transmissions can likewise be beamed around the world in real time,” apprized DoH undersecretary Teodoro J. Herbosa.
The opening of the PCAS marks the official countdown to the 40th Year of CSMC as a premier medical institution. The hospital will celebrate its Ruby Anniversary on August 15th,
For more inquiries, simply contact the MIS Training Center through trunk-line no. 727-0001 extensions 5401 and 5402. 


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