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In their hands

Mr Peter Evans in surgery.

Mr Peter Evans, our new Clinical Director of Surgery, shares what it’s really like inside our operating theatres, where lives are saved and changed every day.

Last year our surgeons performed 19,474 surgeries.

“Having someone’s life in your hands is about the biggest responsibility you can have,” says Peter, who specialises in liver, pancreatic and biliary surgery.

“A lot of surgery is problem solving and most surgeons thrive on that challenge. The reward for success is being able to make a difference in someone’s life.”

In the operating room

Every theatre is staffed by a team of professionals, who work closely together to care for the patient.

“I prefer to be called Peter – not Mr Evans or Dr Evans,” explains Peter.

“It is important that all members of the team are on a first name basis, as it improves the operating room culture and produces a safer environment.”

Some of the operations Peter performs can take four or five hours.

 “I often have music playing in the operating room, but for the most part, I tune it out – it’s mostly playing for the rest of the team,” explains Peter.

“I am very task oriented, so I’m concentrating on the surgery, not tapping along and listening to the music!”

The life of a surgeon

There are many things Peter enjoys about his job.

“I love being a surgeon. In theatre you get to use your hands as well as your brain.”

“Outside of the operating room, I get to talk to patients and their relatives, find out a bit about them, and reassure them about what they’re about to go through.”

The experienced surgeon develops a special relationship with long-term patients.

“I routinely follow my patients who have had a cancer removed. I like to follow them for five years after the surgery. It’s only then that we can say we think they’re cured.”

“It’s quite an emotional time when you say good-bye after five years.”

Peter is not the only health professional in the family – his wife is an anaesthetist whom he met in medical school, and two of his three sons are also pursuing careers in health.

World-class healthcare on your doorstep

There are ten operating theatres at Frankston Hospital and one at Rosebud Hospital, with plans for an additional two theatres as part of the proposed re-development of Frankston to meet the increasing demand.

 Peter started in his new role at Frankston Hospital in July and is excited about the growth in surgery which lies ahead.

“There is a foreseeable increase in work in Endoscopy and Colonoscopies as a result of increased population screening,” explains Peter.

“We are expanding our Ear Nose and Throat service with two new surgeons coming and there’s the Liver and Pancreatic surgery that I’m doing.”

“A lot of operations have historically been centralised to just a few city hospitals, but Peninsula Health has developed to a point where the expertise to do many of these surgeries is available right here at Frankston Hospital.”