About Dr Aaron Poh
Dr Poh is the Medical Director and Founder at Alpine Surgical Practice at Mount Elizabeth Hospital (Orchard). He is a General Surgeon with over 15 years of experience and a specialist in Colorectal surgery and Trauma surgery and has a special interest in minimally invasive treatment for colorectal cancer surgery and exenterative surgery for advanced cancers.
Upon completion of his MBBS from NUS, Dr Poh went on to train as a General Surgeon under MOH. In 2014, he was accepted as a fellow at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham under the Colorectal Fellowship programme, and a year later, from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (F.R.C.S Edinburgh). Prior to the setting up of his clinic, Dr Poh held positions at both Tan Tock Seng and Ng Teng Fong hospital as a Colorectal and Trauma surgeon. At Ng Teng Fong, he also led the formation of the Trauma service at the hospital as an Associate Consultant.
At Alpine Surgical Practice, Dr Poh is sought for his expertise in performing laparoscopic (minimally invasive keyhole) surgery in patients with colon cancer, hernia, and for cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal). Dr Poh's expertise also extends to treating anal conditions (such as abscesses, fistulas fissures), as well as the removal of suspicious skin lesions, skin lumps, moles and scars. Additionally, he also provides the lastest and safest treatment options for haemorrhoids (piles).
Dr Poh is also known for this experience in complex polyp removal with Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR) and colonic stenting, and being able to successfully execute such advanced surgeries while performing endoscopic procedures such as colonoscopy and gastroscopy.
Dr Poh has consistently provided the safest and best-quality care to his patients as a result of his two core beliefs:
1. That each patient requires individualised diagnosis and treatments that are not only unique to their particular condition, but their social & cultural background and individual beliefs as well.
2. That an objective assessment and balance has to be achieved in selecting between up-to-date evidence-based treatments and new but unproven techniques to patients.
Outside of the work at his clinic, Dr Poh spends the evenings and weekends with his family and parents. He also finds time for his passion in mountain biking and photography.
Does staging affect surgery for colon cancer?
In terms of how the stage affects the surgery, I think what most people are concerned about would be whether it turns out that you need open surgery and what people often don’t want -- whether you would need to end up with a stoma. If the stage is high and the tumour is locally invasive, meaning it’s stuck down to the abdominal wall or small intestine, then that often than not would be an open surgery. It means that you will have a much longer incision down the middle of your abdomen. That’s one way the stage affects the surgery.
Could bloating or irregular bowel movement be a symptom of any colorectal conditions or even colon cancer?
Yes. I think most of us here, especially if you have read up a bit on Google, are aware of this thing called IBS -- Irritable Bowel Syndrome. IBS essentially is an issue of mortality of the colon, where you get some irregular contractions. And it’s actually not just in the colon, it is an entity that covers the entire gut -- meaning your stomach, your small intestine, and your colon. The problem with IBS is that it mimics change in bowel habits and that in turn is a symptom of colon cancer.
What is the earliest age to get check-ups for colorectal conditions?
Hi, AshleyFor a normal risk individual with no family history of colon cancer, the MOH guidelines suggest age 50 and beyond. My advice varies slightly as I have seen individuals as young as their late 30s and early 40s with cancer, and as such, I suggest doing a colonoscopy when one nears 45 years old. For an individual with family history of colon cancer, particularly if it is first degree relatives such as parents, then the first colonoscopy screening should be done 10 years prior to the age of first diagnosis of cancer in the index case.
Colorectal Surgeon for Tummy Ache
Ended on June 10, 2020
Dr Aaron Poh obtained his MBBS from the National University of Singapore, MRCS (Edinburgh), FRCS (Gen Surgery) (Edinburgh) and MMed (Surgery). He is a Associate Consultant at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and Jurong Medical Centre. His special interests includes: Trauma Surgery, Colorectal Cancer and Minimally Invasive Colorectal Surgery, Cancer Molecular Genetics and Advanced Proctology.