Liam Horgan


Liam Horgan is a laparoscopic upper gastro-intestinal surgeon working in Northumbria Healthcare Trust with a special interest in day case hernia and gallbladder surgery.

Liam qualified from University College, Cork in 1985. He moved to NE Thames for his higher surgical training and was a research fellow at the Royal Free Hospital. London. He joined Northumbria Healthcare NHSFT as their first dedicated Laparoscopic Surgeon in 1999.

He formed the NUGITS group in 2000 and is its Director. The NUGITS group is one of the leading teams of laparoscopic surgeons in the UK and is recognised as a centre of excellence in Teaching and Training. The NUGITS group are also recognised as a leading unit in the UK by the NHS Institute of Innovation and Improvement in day case laparoscopic gallbladder surgery. NUGITS was a finalist in the Hospital Doctor of the Year Awards 2006.

Liam was a council member of the British Association of Day Surgery and is a Clinical Lecturer in Surgery for the Medical School, Newcastle. He was the first national tutor in patient safety for theatre teams at the Royal College of Surgeons in England.

His main interests include all forms of hernia, simple to complex recurrent incisional hernias, laparoscopic gallbladder and bile duct surgery, laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery, emergency laparoscopic surgery, laparoscopic training and proctoring, human factors and patient safety and operating theatre efficiency. He has spoken at meetings nationally and internationally and published on these areas.

Liam is a board member of the British Hernia Society and organised the 2016 Newcastle Hernia Conference.

He also leads a long term voluntary commitment to support general surgery and hernia surgery and has established a laparoscopic training program and service provision in Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center, Moshi, Tanzania since 2003. Liam and his team won the prestigious BMJ Surgical Team of the Year 2014 for this work.

Andrew de Beaux

Past President

Andrew de Beaux is Consultant General and Upper GI Surgeon at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Scotland. His main surgical interest is abdominal wall reconstruction, in addition to bariatric surgery and elective and emergency general surgery.

He is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. He has written a number of hernia related chapters in surgical textbooks in addition to original hernia related research papers.

He was Education Secretary of the British Hernia Society for as long as he can remember and co-organised the second BHS conference in Edinburgh in 2006. He was Co-president of the 2014 European Hernia Society Annual Congress, which was held in Edinburgh. He has served on a number of EHS Working Parties and Guideline Groups, and has been appointed to the Board of the EHS with a responsibility for Social Media. In addition, he is a member of HerniaSurge, a team writing the International Guidelines for the treatment of groin hernia. He represents the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh on SIGN (Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network) and also serves on the Strategy Group for SIGN. He has been on the Editorial Group of a number of SIGN guidelines. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the British Journal of Surgery, the World Journal of Surgery and Obesity Surgery in addition to reviewing papers on a regular basis for the Journal Hernia.


Aali Sheen


Professor Sheen was appointed Consultant Surgeon in 2005 at Manchester Royal Infirmary and specialises in both Hepatopancreatobiliary & hernia surgery.

He has an honorary personal chair with MMU awarded for his academic interests. He is well published in the field of Hernia surgery having engineered and published the world’s first sportsman’s hernia consensus statement which redefined the symptomatic groin in athletes as ‘inguinal disruption’.

Professor Sheen as well as being on the board of the BHS is also a subcommittee member of the European Hernia Society and a member of the American Hernia Society. He regularly attends hernia meetings and has been a guest speaker in both national and international conferences.

Brian Stephenson


Brian Stephenson has a wide experience in all aspects of elective and emergency surgery having trained in London, Leeds and South Wales after spending sometime as a mission surgeon in South Africa. He still works with the charity ‘Hernia International’.

He was appointed Consultant General and Colorectal Surgeon to the Royal Gwent Hospital in Wales over twenty years ago and is Honorary Clinical Teacher in Surgery, University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff. He is a past Examiner in Surgery and Clinical Anatomy, Royal College of Surgeons of England and now sits on the Intercollegiate Specialist Board as examiner in General & Colorectal Surgery. He is on the disciplinary Panel of the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain & Ireland.

He enjoys clinical research and spares no effort in helping his junior staff to audit and publish.

David Sanders

Scientific Secretary

David Sanders is a consultant surgeon at North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple. He trained in the South West of England and South Africa. He completed his thesis on the influence of mesh and fixation techniques on infection in abdominal wall hernia repair and has more than 50 publications in the field of hernia surgery. He has given several invited lectures on the topic.

David co-chaired the NICE commissioning guidance for groin hernia, was involved in developing the rightcare patient decision aid for inguinal hernias and is on the European working group that developed the Abdominal Wall Closure Guidelines and the International Hernia Guidelines. He is the current editor of the Bulletin of the Royal College of Surgeons.

Alastair Windsor

Database and Registries

Alastair Windsor trained at St Mary’s Hospital in London. Having spent three years working in sepsis and organ failure research at the Medical College of Virginia, USA, he returned as Lecturer and then Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Surgeon to the Academic Surgical Unit at St James’ University Hospital, Leeds. A continued research and clinical interest in sepsis and nutrition provided an opportunity to join the staff at St Mark’s Hospital in London as colorectal surgeon and surgeon to the intestinal failure unit.

He has now moved to join the staff as Consultant Surgeon to University College Hospital London, and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University College London. Since moving from St Mark’s he has retained an expertise and busy tertiary referral practice focused on the management of the surgical abdominal catastrophe, which includes to a large extent the management of enterocutaneous fistulae, open abdomens and complex inflammatory bowel disease. With the emerging subspecialty of Abdominal Wall Reconstruction he has also developed a national referral practice for the management of complex abdominal wall hernias. In addition, in 2016 he organised the first international abdominal wall conference, in Europe ‘AWR Europe’, a successful three day meeting dedicated to the global management of abdominal wall defects. As an active member of the BSG, ECCO, a founder member of Surgical ECCO he has been involved in development of both UK and European guidelines on the management of IBD. He has over one hundred and twenty publications and book chapters and remains a committed surgical trainer. His research now focuses on improved abdominal wall reconstruction techniques, surgical outcomes and enhanced surgical recovery.

Stella Smith

Board member

Stella Smith is a Consultant Emergency and General Surgeon in Manchester with a colorectal
background. She has a dedicated interest in abdominal wall reconstruction (AWR). During her post- CCT fellowship in Trauma in Nottingham, she developed decision-making and technical skills in AWR. Whilst undertaking a Trauma Fellowship in Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, she gained a wealth of experience managing patients with penetrating abdominal trauma who had damage control surgery resulting in an open abdomen.

In August 2018, Stella founded the Greater Manchester Abdominal Wall Reconstruction Forum; a
multidisciplinary group, including general and plastic surgeons, that discusses complex and
interesting cases as well as to share tips and tricks, promote research and undertake audits. There is an open-door policy for anyone wanting to attend.

Stella has a humanitarian interest and, in 2019, has been on call for the UK Emergency Medical Team to deploy to areas of natural disaster on behalf of the Department for International Development (DfID). She also has an active interest in major trauma and education. She has developed and convened bespoke trauma courses in Manchester for multi professionals. She is an Academic Advisor for the University of Manchester Medical School.

Aman Bhargava

Education secretary

Aman Bhargava Is a Consultant laparoscopic colorectal surgeon Barking Havering and Redbridge University Trust. He Developed Laparoscopic Incisional Hernia repair after a period in Spain and France and has been providing support as Faculty for training Consultant colleagues from U.K. and EU in the technique of LIVHR and open /laparoscopic techniques for inguinal hernia repair.

He is a regular Faculty Member with EHS and has had publications about cost effectiveness and outcome data in LVHR and has developed novel techniques in the field of hernia surgery and has given several invited lectures on the topic nationally and as part of International Symposiums.

Aman has developed the concept of an Abdominal Wall Closure MDT and provides tertiary referral support for clinicians for abdominal reconstruction in London & South East England and is also Programme Director for ICENI Centre Colchester “Controversies in Hernia Surgery” series.

He has provided training workshops for Colleagues and trainees to enhance both open and laparoscopic hernia repair skills set and is Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at Institute of Health Sciences at Queen Mary University London, Barts and London Medical School and is Surgical Tutor at RCS London and member of the Core Training SAC for HEE London.

Oroog Ali

Trainee Representative

Miss Oroog Ali is a specialist registrar in general and colorectal surgery based in the North East of England. She has a keen interest in education and training conducting national surgical courses, conferences and training days. She is a surgical mentor to students and trainees and has obtained the NHS Leadership Academy Award with a completed degree in medical education. She is part of the executive committee for the Association of Surgeons in Training and has detailed experience of the surgical training environment.

Oroog has been involved in laparoscopy and hernia surgery training as part of charity trips in Tanzania. She also has presented work in the management of complex abdominal wall hernia in meetings.  In her role as the BHS trainee representative she hopes to promote views of trainees around hernia care and develop training resources on operative techniques.

Duncan Light

Website, Membership and Communications

Duncan Light is a Consultant in benign upper GI and hernia surgery in the Northumbria Healthcare Trust. He trained in the North East of England and undertook a post CCT fellowship in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. He has published a number of papers in the field of hernia surgery and has presented at the AHS, EHS and BHS meetings.

He recently undertook an EHS supported travel fellowship to Berlin and Hamburg in 2018.

Duncan has an interest in surgical education and has recently completed a postgraduate MSc in medical education. He has been involved in teaching hernia surgery in charity missions to India and Tanzania

Harsha Jayamanne

Welsh representative

I qualified from University of Kelaniya in Sri Lanka and after basic training there, I moved to the UK where I continued my higher surgical training In South Wales. I currently work as a SAS doctor in General Surgery in Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Newport. I have a heavy commitment to emergency surgery and am an enthusiast of abdominal wall repair and groin hernia surgery, an interest that I developed over many years.

I have presented at both National and International meetings and have a number of publications in the field of hernia surgery. In 2016 I organised a successful local anaesthetic Hernia workshop for Sri Lankan surgical trainees, collaborating with the charity Hernia International and the College of Surgeons Sri Lanka.

Outside of medicine, I enjoy many aspects of music production, audio engineering and website development.

Praminthra Chitsabesan

Praminthra Chitsabesan is a Laparoscopic Colorectal and General Surgeon with specialist experience in Cancer, Pelvic floor disease and Abdominal wall reconstruction. He completed his training in the North-Eastern Deanery and then a fellowship in Basingstoke as a Laparoscopic and Advanced Malignancy Open Colorectal Fellow. He is currently the Colorectal Lead for Humber Coast and Vale Cancer Alliance.

He did his PhD on clinical training and served as a Core training Facilitator for the Yorkshire and Humber Deanery for five years. He is joint  Co-Director for the Yorkshire Colorectal and Abdominal wall reconstruction Cadaver Courses.

He is interested in enhanced recovery as well as prehabilitation and the identification of frailty phenotypes and their impact on surgery.  He is an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at Hull York Medical School and a reviewer for the journal Hernia.

He is part of the York Abdominal Wall Reconstruction team, who have presented in various international meetings. The team includes plastic surgeons and a MD thesis student who is currently investigating the quality of life in these complex patients and are conducting material science research with the University of York.

Toby Hammond

London representative

Toby Hammond is a Consultant General & Colorectal Surgeon at the Mid & South Essex NHS Foundation Trust.

He performs open & laparoscopic surgery for groin and abdominal wall hernias, inflammatory bowel disease and diverticular disease. He has a subspecialty interest in abdominal wall reconstruction (AWR) for complex and recurrent abdominal wall hernias.

He trained in London & Essex, and during this period completed a thesis on the role of biomaterials in the management of parastomal hernias and anal fistulas. This culminated in a research MD, awarded by the University of London, as well as the Colon & Rectal Disease Research Foundation Prize, by the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain & Ireland (ACPGBI).

In addition to the British Hernia Society, Toby is also on the Education & Training Board of the European Hernia Society, and the Abdominal Wall Subcommittee of the ACPGBI.

Toby leads a nationally recognised cadaveric AWR training course, and has presented at national and international hernia meetings.

Dimitrios Damasakos

Scotland representative

Born and raised in Greece. Post graduate training at the General Hospital of Nikaia-Piraeus, Greece. Training in General and Emergency Surgery, rotation in ICU – Thoracic Surgery – Neurosurgery from 2007 to 2013. Emergency Medicine Consultant, Centre Hospitalier de Jolimont, La Louviere, Belgium, 2014-2015. Post CCT Fellow in Emergency General Surgery, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, 2015-2016. Locum Consultant in General and Upper GI Surgery, NHS Lothian, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, 2016-2017.

Appointed as substantive consultant in 2017. Interest in emergency surgery, abdominal wall surgery and perioperative care.