Dr. Ho-Seong Han (Figure 1), MD, MS (Gen Surg), PhD, is Professor at the Seoul National University Hospital and Chairman of Department of Surgery at the Seoul National University Bundang Hospital.
Prof. Han graduated with MD from Seoul National University and received his surgical qualification in 1989. From 1989 to 1993, he became the Assistant Professor at Gyeongsang National University Hospital and received PhD in 1993 at Seoul National University, College of Medicine. From 1993 to 2003, he worked in Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital as Assistant and Associate Professor while also was Chief and Chairman of Department of Surgery. From 2003, he started to work as current position. He is actively involved in both experimental and clinical research. He published numerous scientific publications and serves on academic advisory boards.
I met Prof. Han during the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Clinical Congress 2015 in Chicago and was honored to do the interview with him. Please enjoy my video interview with him (Figure 2).
HBSN: What brought you into the field of surgery?
Prof. Han: I love helping others and I think doctors are the professionals in offering help. Doctors can cure patients and it makes me feel good to cure patients by operation. That’s why I decide to be a surgeon.
HBSN: What impresses you the most in this morning’s conference?
Prof. Han: The surgeon from Harvard Medical University who tried to help Haiti people impresses me the most. As we all know, Haiti is a developing country. People there do not live in a good condition and their medical services are poor. The surgeon is dedicating his precious time to helping Haiti people. That is very touching.
HBSN: Do you think laparoscopic liver surgery is better than open liver surgery?
Prof. Han: Yes. Laparoscopic liver resection has a big advantage over open liver resection. The size of incision is very big in open liver surgery, while if we perform the surgery through laparoscopy, we can do the same resection with trocars, which leaves a much smaller incision. It is good for patients because there will be less pain, better and faster recovery. Someone doctors have different opinion and consider laparoscopic liver resection not good enough. But I do not agree. The procedure I perform is anatomic liver resection, including bisegmentectomy and monosegmentectomy. I think the outcome of these anatomic resection operated by laparoscopy may be the same or even better than open surgery.
HBSN: Could you give some insight on the future development of laparoscopic liver surgery?
Prof. Han: Recently, we have published a report on the long-term outcome of laparoscopic liver resection for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We analyzed the long-term survival rate after laparoscopic liver resection and the result is the same as that of open surgery. The unanimous conclusion is that the cost of these two kinds of surgery is similar. Sometimes laparoscopic instruments may need additional cost, but patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery will be discharged earlier than those after open surgery—horter hospital stay. Aspects need further study is that we don’t set any limits on the tumor location. Also, we did not analyze the cost between open surgery and laparoscopic resection.
HBSN: Currently, do you and your team have any new and exciting investigations in plan or underway?
Prof. Han: In my opinion, it’s better to do more prospective studies. But I can’t do only by myself and I need to cooperate with other institutions. And I am still trying other field of research.
HBSN: Why it is difficult for doing a prospective study about laparoscopic liver resection?
Prof. Han: Performing laparoscopic liver resection requires very high skills. There are few research centers have performed advanced laparoscopic surgery. The number of patients is not enough to be included in a prospective study. Therefore, it is difficult to do a well-designed prospective study on a large scale.
HBSN: Do you have any suggestions for young surgeons?
Prof. Han: Enjoying what you do is much important than hard working.
HBSN: Why do you love being a surgeon?
Prof. Han: Get the tumor out of the patient and make them cured. That’s the part I enjoy the most.
On behalf of the editorial office of Hepatobiliary Surgery and Nutrition (HBSN), I would like to extend my gratitude to Prof. Han for sharing his experience and perspectives related to his expertise with me. Special thanks also go to my colleague Tracy Zhang in assistance of transcribing the interview.
Conflicts of Interest: The author has no conflicts of interest to declare.
- Xu EX. Professor Ho-Seong Han: enjoy being a surgeon. Asvide 2016;3:022. Available online: http://www.asvide.com/articles/773
(Science Editor: Eunice X. Xu, HBSN, firstname.lastname@example.org)