Dr. Edmund Cedric A. Orlina finished his one-year training in Robotic and Minimally Invasive Surgery at Yonsei Cancer Center, a global and high-volume center for cancer patients located in South Korea under the TYKFI-ABI Medical Specialty Scholarship Program
He trained under Professor Woo Jin Hyung, a world-respected and renowned gastric surgeon, one with a most prolific experience globally and with a focus on robotic gastrectomy.
Dr. Orlina’s training included observation and scrubbing in on Professor Hyung’s operating room procedures in robotic laparoscopic and open-gastrectomy cases. His professor does over 400 gastrectomy every year, with over 6,000 throughout his career. Since South Korea has a National Screening Program for the early detection of gastric cancer, Dr. Orlina was able to observe and scrub in on minimally invasive approaches. He was able to assist in a phase II clinical trial setting, which involved an open abdominal gastric surgery approach, and included the performance of Hyperthermic Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy (HIPEC) in select cases of patients with peritoneal metastasis.
As part of his fellowship training, he attended four workshops where he performed in various basic and advanced robotic surgery procedures on pigs, from port placement to docking of robotic arms to lymph node dissections, and gastric resection and reconstruction.
His fellowship training included three-hour free-use sessions of the Da Vinci Simulator robot, which is housed on the campus where he trained. Through these three-hour sessions, he was able to practice surgical skills and become familiar with the Da Vinci surgical system.
His training also included weekly mentorship sessions with Professor Hyung to work on research projects and produce studies to be presented in local and international conferences. He was able to participate at the Korean International Gastric Cancer Week 2018, where he presented an operation video for which he won the Best Presentation.
In one word, his experience was invaluable. According to him, he was “fortunate enough to be able to train in the latest surgical techniques, to utilize the latest technological tools, and to see firsthand the good that a strong national healthcare program can do for the population.” It was eye-opening as well since he was able to perform and learn techniques that hehad only previously read about in books.
His exposure to socialized medicine allowed him to learn from advanced and high-tech procedures that will enhance his ability to excellently perform other surgical procedures.
Like his surgeon father, Dr. Orlina has developed his passion to treat patients with cancer, especially stomach cancer being one of the most complex and aggressive types. Throughout his training, he kept thoughts of his patients and practice in the Philippines, along with his vision of what our country’s healthcare program should be in the future.
He hopes to be able to share his knowledge and skills to Filipinos at home, and he is thankful to the ABI-TYKFI scholarship program for helping and inspiring him in this endeavor and vision.