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Head and Senior Consultant
Department of Paediatric Surgery
Khoo Teck Puat - National University Children's Medical Institute

National University Hospital

Department of Surgery
Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
National University of Singapore

Professor Prabhakaran S/O Krishnan is Head of the Department of Paediatric Surgery at the National University Hospital (NUH). Appointed Consultant in Paediatric Surgery in 1984, he started Paediatric Surgery in 1986. This was a division of general surgery in the NUH that later became a department in 2001 under Prof Prabhakaran’s stewardship. From its humble beginnings under a single paediatric surgeon, the department now consists of four full-time surgeons, two advanced specialist trainees and two basic surgical trainees. Under Prof Prabhakaran, it is a fully competent department that caters to the entire spectrum of paediatric surgery. The department is also a pioneer in the implementation of paediatric laparoscopic surgery and robotic assisted surgery.

Prof Prabhakaran trained in general surgery from 1976 to 1979 and in paediatric surgery from 1979 to 1983 at the National University of Singapore (NUS). He went on to receive further sub-speciality training in Paediatric Surgery from 1983 to 1984 at the Royal Children’s hospital in Melbourne, Australia. He also underwent training in Liver Transplantation in Cambridge, UK (1990) and in Pitsburgh, USA (1995).

Prof Prabhakaran has presided over many committees and review boards, including the Specialist Training Committee (now known as RAC) and Specialist Accreditation Board in Paediatric Surgery in Singapore.

He was involved in canine and porcine liver transplantation work in the NUS, which led to the development of a human liver transplantation programme in the NUH in 1991.

Singapore’s first successful paediatric liver transplant in 1995 took place at the NUH under his leadership. The patient is now in her 20th post-transplant year, is happily married and a proud mother of two healthy children. Thus far, Prof Prabhakaran has performed 105 paediatric liver transplantations in the NUH. One-year and five-year survival rates are 90% and 85% respectively which are comparable to big liver transplant centres world-wide.

Prof Prabhakaran’s work has also seen him perform the first paediatric liver transplant in Indonesia (2006, Semarang) and the second paediatric liver transplant (public sector) in Malaysia (2002). He also helped establish a paediatric liver transplant team in Indonesia and has performed six paediatric liver transplants in that country, all with a 70% three-year survival rate.
His achievements have been recognised through the award of the Teaching and Contribution in Transplantation from the Institute of Kidney Diseases & Research Centre and Institute of Transplantation Sciences, Ahamedabad, India in 2007. In 2012, he received the National Outstanding Clinician Award.

Currently Director of the Paediatric Solid Organ Transplant Programme, NUH, and Chairman for Paediatric Surgery RAC and Chairman for the Liver Sub-committee, MOH, Prof Prabhakaran receives a steady stream of referred patients with paediatric hepatobiliary conditions and congenital malformation around the region. He is also involved in charity work in Mongolia, helping children with urological and oncological problems and has set up a urology facility in Sri Lanka.

For his outstanding contributions and achievements in paediatric surgery and paediatric liver transplants, Professor Prabhakaran S/O Krishnan is awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.