Alan Farthing is a gynaecologist who specialises in complex surgery. In particular he is one of the country's most experienced laparoscopic (keyhole) surgeons and many of his patients have been referred by other gynaecologists because of his surgical expertise.
He is Head of Department at the Gynaecological Cancer at Imperial College Hospitals NHS Trust where over 800 patients per year are referred by other NHS hospitals with suspected gynaecological cancer.
Mr Farthing qualified from St Georges Hospital Medical School in 1986 and worked at Guys, Hammersmith and St Mary's Hospitals in obstetrics and gynaecology before gaining specific training in the surgical management of gynaecologic malignancies in Perth and Sydney Australia. He was there when laparoscopic surgery first became possible and brought many skills back from Australia to London where very few surgeons were using these techniques.
He was appointed a consultant at St Marys Hospital in 1997 and set up the laparoscopic surgical service in the gynaecological department. As one of the pioneers in using laparoscopic surgery to treat cancer patients he moved to Hammersmith and Queen Charlottes hospital in 2003 with the establishment of the gynaecological cancer centre.
As the treatment of endometriosis has developed is has become clear that complex surgery is sometimes useful. This is often performed laparoscopically and he does much of the difficult surgery within the recognised expert centre at Imperial.
He did research into the relationship between the Human papilloma virus and cervical cancer and has subsequently become interested in treatments that allow fertility preservation for young patients with gynaecological cancer. He has published his results on laparoscopic hysterectomy for endometrial cancer and was the first surgeon in the world to perform a laparoscopic trachelectomy on a pregnant patient with cervix cancer.
His private practice is coordinated at 148 Harley Street and he operates at King Edward VII's Hospital at a weekly list. He has been on the staff at King Edward for around 10 years and is particularly impressed at the atmosphere created by the caring nursing staff who are able to adapt to the most complex of patients.