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Mr Huan Chan

I obtained my primary medical qualification the University of Otago, New Zealand in 2002.  After completing basic surgical training, I started my neurosurgical training in 2007.  I did my neurosurgical training in Southampton, Sheffield, London and Nottingham, during which time, I took 3 years out of training to complete a PhD in Physics and Neurosurgery at University College London.  After completing my neurosurgical training, I went on to complete Royal College of Surgeons of England Senior Clinical Fellowship in Surgical Neuro-oncology at Wessex Neurological Centre, Southampton and Spinal Fellowship at The Centre for Spinal Studies and Surgery, Nottingham.

I was appointed at Royal Stoke University Hospital initially as a Locum Consultant Neurosurgeon in June 2021, then as a substantive Consultant Neurosurgeon in November 2022.  In addition to general neurosurgery, I subspecialise in neuro-oncology and degenerative spine.  My main bulk of work is in neuro-oncology, where I perform awake craniotomy for tumours, asleep craniotomy with and without intraoperative neuromonitoring and daycase brain tumour biopsy under sedation.  I first developed an interest in neuro-oncology when I was a neurosurgical registrar at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, where I was impressed by the impact of surgical results on neuro-oncological patients.  When my father developed a malignant brain tumour during my senior registrar years in Nottingham, I developed my interest further in neuro-oncology and I was determined to excel as a neuro-oncological surgeon.  When I was doing my surgical neuro-oncology fellowship in Southampton, it opened my eyes to the possibility of short hospital stay (1 night stay) and daycases for these patients after craniotomy and biopsy, respectively.  I am grateful for Royal Stoke University Hospital for allowing me to introduce new techniques into this unit, including a conscious sedation awake craniotomy where the patient avoids general anaesthetic altogether and brain tumour biopsy without general anaesthetic. 

My memorable experience was a recent awake craniotomy that I performed, where the patient had a cardiac arrest during the procedure.  The patient was resuscitated and made an excellent recovery with hospital discharge 3 days afterwards.  My other memorable experiences were 2 other patients where they presented comatose with large brain tumour causing extreme pressure on the brain and I had to perform an emergency craniotomy to remove the tumour.  Both of them have recovered without any major neurological deficit and went on to have radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Outside of work, I play the piano and the guitar.  I love playing classical music and contemporary music on the piano.  I also love to draw and paint with watercolour.  For sports, I like to play badminton and run.

The thing I love about my job the reward of seeing the difference I have made to the lives of my patients.  The aspect of the job that I like the least is the fact that sometimes despite my best effort, the patients do not have the outcome I expected.