Swansea heart specialist invents surgery device for 95p from tin of sweets
A Morriston Hospital heart specialist has taken the surgical world by storm, with an award-winning invention that was made from a tin of sweets - and cost less than a pound.
Dr Abdullrazak Hossien's device is now being manufactured for use around the world after being given top prize at an international conference.
It provides fellow surgeons with a simulator, so they are completely familiar with heart operation procedures by the time they come to carry out supervised aortic root surgery on patients.
He said: "Thomas Edison said that to invent you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.
"I designed a portable trainer, which you can keep in your pocket. You can practice on the train, on an aeroplane, at home, wherever you are.
"I developed it from a sweet tin that can be fixed to a table, and created an aorta using synthetic material. It cost me around 95p.
"I accompanied this simulator with a multimedia DVD as guidelines that trainees can apply to any procedure on the aortic root. They can progress from the simplest procedure to the most complex as they develop.
"They will have mastered the procedure before they operate on the patient. At the same time qualified surgeons and any doctor with an interest in the speciality can improve their skills."
Dr Hossien, a senior clinical research fellow in the cardiothoracic department at Morriston Hospita, transformed the garage of his Swansea home into a workshop to develop the aortic root simulator.
The aortic root is the main trunk of the systemic arteries, carrying blood from the left side of the heart to the arteries of the limbs and organs.
The training device was developed for a competition run as part of the EACTS (European Association for Cardiothoracic Surgery) Conference 2013 in Vienna, with entries
judged by a panel of eight top surgeons from Europe and the USA.
Dr Hossien was eventually declared joint winner along with a candidate from Italy, and is donating his share of the 3,000 Euros first prize from the EACTS award to the Syrian humanitarian relief appeal.
He added: "I spent six or seven months on it. I would forget to eat and to drink sometimes because I was thinking about it so much.
"I would like to thank my wife and daughter who supported me and gave me the time I needed to develop this."
Mr Saeed Ashraf, consultant cardiothoracic surgeon and honorary senior lecturer at Swansea University said: "Dr Hossien is a very talented academic surgeon with an excellent pair of surgical hands."