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Center for Future of Surgery Opens at UC San Diego School of Medicine


October 18, 2011  |  

Largest Surgical Training Site in U.S. Advances Safety and Innovation in OR

Every year, millions of patients undergo lifesaving surgeries. The outcome of each procedure is driven by dynamic factors such as the patient’s health, drugs and instruments used, team communication, and the wisdom of the surgeon’s hand. To advance safety and innovation in today’s operating rooms, the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego has unveiled the Center for the Future of Surgery (CFoS) ─ the largest state-of-the art facility in the nation dedicated to catalyzing novel surgical technologies, techniques and teaching methods.

 CFoS simulation room
Santiago Horgan, MD, directs the Center for the Future

“The Center for the Future of Surgery is developing revolutionary surgical techniques that will change the way surgery is performed in the next decade,” said Santiago Horgan, MD, professor of surgery and CFoS director. “Teaching these techniques is core to our mission along with developing the tools needed to perform next-generation procedures. As a global training center, our ultimate goal is to develop safe methods that will result in better outcomes, less pain and faster recoveries for every patient.”

Located in La Jolla, the CFoS is the most comprehensive facility to date designed for multi-specialty training of medical students and faculty. From minimally to maximally invasive techniques, surgeons can access the newest operating platforms, training consoles and operating microscopes. The 22 training stations are located within 11,440 square feet of space and house the newest tools and cameras, representing $30 million in equipment.

CFoS exterior
Medical Education and Telemedicine Building at UC San Diego.

“The Center for the Future of Surgery is part of the wheel of innovation at UC San Diego,” said Mark Talamini, MD, professor and chairman of surgery at UC San Diego Health System. “To develop tools and techniques that are most safe for patients, surgeons and device manufacturers must exchange ideas and feedback. The Center for the Future of Surgery can spur these interactions by bringing surgeons, engineers, scientists and designers into one room, outside the OR, to refine everything from laparoscopic cameras to robotics.”

A hands-on think tank, the Center CFoS also boasts a “007 Room” where surgeons can test tool prototypes with the goals of making smaller incisions, decreasing anesthesia time, and assuring improved quality of life. The CFoS relies heavily on simulation to train surgeons and nurses. Human-like robots test a variety of situations from cardiac arrest in pediatric patients to subdural hematoma from traumatic injury. Each learning experience can be recorded and broadcast to other learning institutions.

Surgeons from around the world are invited to CFoS to learn NOTES, natural orifice translumnenal endoscopic surgery, a form of scarless surgery pioneered by Horgan and Talamini in 2007. Horgan and Talamini and their surgical team were the first in the United States to remove a man’s appendix through his mouth. A series of groundbreaking clinical trial surgeries followed that have transformed everyday operations for gallbladder and appendix removal as well as treatments for obesity and esophageal disease.

The Center for the Future of Surgery is an integral part of the new 100,000 square foot Medical Education and Telemedicine Building at UC San Diego School of Medicine. The building is designed to provide a progressive, high-tech environment for the training of students and physicians. Courses are offered in English and Spanish and can be customized for each learning audience.

To learn more about the Center for the Future of Surgery, please call 619-543-5347or visit:

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Media Contact: Jackie Carr, 619-543-6163,

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