Professor David Wattchow

Academic Status & Web Supervisor

College of Medicine and Public Health

place Flinders Medical Centre
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia
Clinical Director of General and Digestive Surgery. Senior Consultant in Surgery with 23 years experience as a staff surgeon at Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders Private Hospital. Clinical interest include all aspects of general and gastrointestinal surgery, with special interests in colorectal surgery, and endoscopy and colonoscopy. Involved in trauma care at FMC as trauma consultant, and surgical representative on the trauma committee. Established world-class anorectal investigation laboratory that incorporates combined manometry, ultrasound and nerve studies of the anal sphincter mechanism. Has supervised 7 successful higher degree students in close collaboration with Prof Simon Brookes, and more recently Assoc Professors Spencer and Dinning in Human Physiology.
Honours, awards and grants

RP Jepson prize for research in Surgery ; Companion of the University; Member of the Order of Australia

Key responsibilities
Oversee audit program for GI Surgery and education program for this unit. Maintains a prospective audit of colorectal cancer surgery at FMC. Involved in teaching of fellows, registrars, students as well as higher degree students.
Research interests

Longstanding collaboration with Professor Marcello Costa and Dr Simon Brooks in the Department of Human Physiology since 1985. Conducted doctoral and postdoctoral studies using modern techniques to study the nervous system of the human gastrointestinal tract. Made original observations on the chemistry and anatomy of this nervous system, along the length of the normal human gastrointestinal tract, and changes in this nervous system that underlie diseases such as achalasia, pyloric stenosis, gastropareseis, Hirschsprung's disease and intractable constipation. Recent observations have resulted in establishing a clinical trial to improve the function of the gastrointestinal tract in patients undergoing major abdominal surgery. This has been published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

Commenced a series of studies on the effects of childbirth on the anal sphincter mechanism, and the value of biofeedback physiotherapy for the disorders of faecal incontinence and disordered defecation.

Established collaboration with the Department of General Practice and in conjunction with Dr David Weller obtained funding for a randomised trial of followup patients with colon cancer - either by their general practitioners or surgeons. This large clinical trial is now published

Teaching interests

Doctor of Medicine program, and Postgraduate Training in General and Gastrointenstinal Surgery. Higher degree programme with Prof Brookes and Assoc Prof Spencer and Dinning (Human Physiology). Has supervised 10 higher degrees students.

Further information

Chair of the Clinician's Special Purpose Fund at FMC. This fund has supported medical PhDs for over 20 years and donated $1M for the construction of the Flinders Cancer Centre.

Has personally donated over 2 M to medical research to Flinders University

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