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Getting to Know Dr Look Chee Meng Melvin

"Many medical problems are multi-factorial and treatment must be holistic. I work with a team of surgeons, nurses and dieticians to look into all aspects of the patient’s health."

Dr Melvin Look is a general surgeon practising at Parkway East Hospital. Dr Look’s special interests are in surgery for stomach and digestive systems (gastroenterology) using minimally invasive techniques. 

  • Specialty:

    • General Surgery
  • Qualifications

    • Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, National University of Singapore
    • Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Glasgow (General Surgery), UK
    • Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (General Surgery), UK
  • Languages Spoken

    • English
    • Indonesian
    • Mandarin

Getting to Know Dr Look Chee Meng Melvin

Getting to Know Dr Look Chee Meng Melvin

Q: Please share with us some of your experiences as a doctor.

I graduated from the National University of Singapore and completed my Fellowship in Surgery with the Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh) and the Royal College of Surgeons (Glasgow). I did further training for a year at the National Cancer Center Hospital in Tokyo on a Ministry of Health Fellowship in Upper Gastrointestinal Cancer Surgery. #readmore

I also worked for a year in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, UK, as an Honorary Consultant in Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery. Other training awards include a Tan Tock Seng Hospital Scholarship in Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery at the Mt Sinai Medical Centre, New York, and an International Cancer Fellowship from the Union Internationale Contre le Cancer for the Treatment of Peritoneal Cancer at the Washington Cancer Institute, Washington DC.

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Q: What kind of conditions do you treat, or specialise in treating?

I am a general surgeon with a special interest in gastrointestinal surgery. My training is in laparoscopic surgery and I can perform keyhole surgery for problems such as abdominal hernia, gallstones and gastroesophageal reflux. I also perform diagnostic and therapeutic gastroscopy, colonoscopy and ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography), a technique used to study the bile ducts, pancreatic duct and gall bladder.

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Q: Do you perform any kind of special treatments? If so, please share a little here.

My advance training for gastrointestinal surgery was in Japan, where we treat stomach, oesophageal and pancreatic cancers with radical surgery to remove the tumour and the surrounding lymph nodes. This results in cure rates that are far better than conventional surgery alone. #readmore

I also have an interest in performing surgery to help patients with obesity or those with metabolic problems such as diabetes. I use both keyhole surgery (ie. laparoscopic gastric banding and laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy) and non-surgical approaches such as the endoscopic intra-gastric balloon.

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Q: Could you share your philosophy in treating patients?

Dealing with patients with weight problems has taught me that many medical problems are multi-factorial in nature and our treatment must be holistic if we want to achieve good clinical outcomes. I work in a team consisting of surgeons, nurses and dieticians to look into all aspects of the patient’s health. For us, the patient always comes first.

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Q: Briefly describe a particularly difficult case that you successfully treated using your expertise.

We had a patient from Canada who was severely obese and a previous weight loss surgery in Canada had failed. She was suffering from complications related to the previous operation and had approached several well-known hospitals in America. However, they were unable to help her as it was deemed that further surgery was too difficult and dangerous. She finally made her way to Singapore based on a referral and I couldn’t disappoint her. Especially not after she had endured 36 hours of travel to come here. Her surgery was successful and she is now living a normal life back in Canada.

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Q: In what ways do you think your expertise can improve your patients’ lives?

For patients with cancer, our foremost aim is a good surgical resection of the cancer to give the patient the best chance of cure. In patients where the cancer is detected at an early stage, we can use keyhole surgery to achieve faster recovery and better preservation of organ function. #readmore

For patients with obesity and metabolic problems such as diabetes, surgery can often help improve their health and avoid related long-term medical complications. They will look and feel better, and have a much better quality of life. As a doctor, it is very fulfilling and rewarding when we can have such a positive impact on patients’ lives.

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