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Dr Stapleton graduated M.B.Ch.B. from the University of Cape Town in 1978.

He completed his post-graduate training at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa and qualified as a general surgeon with a Fellowship of the College of Surgeons of South Africa (F.C.S.) in 1989. He also, subsequently earned a M.Med. degree from the University of Cape Town for his dissertation on gastric mucus in a porcine peptic ulcer model.

The following year he spent as a research fellow in the UCT / MRC Liver Centre, making resin casts of human livers, which he then dissected to study and analyse the blood supply of the intrahepatic bile ducts. During that year he also studied hepatic blood flow after reduced liver transplants in pigs.

From January 1991 to June 1993 Dr Stapleton worked as a junior consultant in the Department of General Surgery at Groote Schuur Hospital. 1991 was spent in the surgical oncology / surgical endocrinology unit of Professor David Dent and 1992 was spent in the hepato-pancreato-biliary (HPB) and upper GIT surgery under Professors John Terblanche, Phillipus Bornman and Jake Krige. For the first six months of 1993 he did vascular surgery with Professor Ed Immelman.

In July 1993 he moved to Belfast, Northern Ireland for a year, working at the Royal Victoria Hospital and Belfast City Hospital in HPB surgery under Professor Brian Rowlands, colorectal and laparoscopic surgery under Professor George Parks and Mr Terry Irwin and endocrine surgery with Mr Roy Spence.

In July 1994 he moved to the Hammersmith Hospital in London, England. At the Hammersmith he consolidated his training in pancreatic surgery with Professor Robin Williamson, hepatobiliary surgery with Mr Nagy Habib, endocrine surgery with Mr John Lynn and upper GI and laparoscopic surgery with Mr John Spencer.

He returned to Cape Town in July 1995 and commenced private practice at Wynberg Hospital.

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A HPB SURGICAL SERVICE:

In 2000 he moved to the Kingsbury Hospital, where he established a specialist Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary (HPB) surgery service after the hospital had acquired specialised equipment (intra-operative ultrasound, a CUSA and a cryotherapy machine) and collaborated in the establishment of a specialised ward for effectively nursing patients after complex gastrointestinal and HPB surgical and other procedures.

This HPB surgery service at Life Kingsbury Hospital is involved with treatment of patients with: gallstone diseases; tumours, injuries and congenital abnormalities of the bile ducts and gallbladder; liver tumours, pancreatic tumours, acute and chronic pancreatitis, duodenal and gastric tumours and intestinal neuroendocrine (“carcinoid”) and other tumours, including gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs).

While treatment of these conditions is primarily directed at surgical solutions with curative intent, a significant proportion of referred patients are too ill for major surgery or have diseases that are too advanced for surgical treatments with curative intent. In those for whom curative surgery is not appropriate or possible, palliative surgical or non-surgical treatments are recommended and provided. Non-surgical treatments include endoscopic removal of stones from the bile duct and endoscopic insertion of stents into the bile duct, pancreatic duct or parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Stents and drains may also be inserted by interventional radiologists, who also often assist and facilitate treatment by interventions involving occluding or stenting of arteries and veins of the liver and pancreas or administering therapeutic drugs or devices directly into the arteries supplying the liver.

All these therapeutic options require close collaboration between specialists trained and skilled in various different disciplines like gastroenterology, interventional radiology and radiation and medical oncology, while making the correct decisions depends greatly on excellent diagnostic information from radiology, nuclear medicine and pathology.

Patients with hepatobiliary and pancreatic diseases and undergoing major surgery for these, often require sophisticated intensive care facilities to get them through their treatments.

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CHRYSALIS CLINIC FOR SURGICAL TREATMENT OF MORBID OBESITY:

The Chrysalis Clinic is a multi-disciplinary specialist group set up to treat patients suffering from morbid obesity and its co-morbid diseases. The group comprises two endocrinologists, two dieticians, two biokineticists, a psychiatrist, a clinical psychologist and two surgeons, co-ordinated by Sr Gill Gibson. Operations offered are the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and the sleeve gastrectomy. Link: www.chrysalisclinic.co.za

LONG-STANDING ASSOCIATION WITH DR MIKE ELLIOT (COLORECTAL & PELVIC FLOOR SURGEON)

Mike approached Graham in 1995 to assist him on a regular basis in theatre. A deep friendship and deep mutual respect developed over the years and Graham continues to thoroughly enjoy his Wednesdays assisting Mike, a true master surgeon, with colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, pelvic floor and other colorectal surgery.

GRAHAM OUTSIDE THE HOSPITAL:

Very happily married to Melinda, his best friend and very loyal supporter, they have two talented, university graduated children, Andrew & Caroline, who are a source of great joy and pride.

In his school and university days and for a few years after university, Graham was a passionate cricketer, representing University of Cape Town (UCT), Western Province Cricket Club (WPCC) and WP Defence at Premier League level. He was also a keen rugby player, representing the school 1st XV at Dale College, but he confined hisrugby to the internal league (for Smuts Hall) at UCT. He continues to keep himself fit by training regularly at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA) fitness centre. His great love now is outdoor photography, getting away into the African bush to photograph wildlife and travelling to and through various parts of this beautiful and mysterious Southern African subcontinent.

Memberships of Professional Bodies: