Clan Carruthers

Clan Carruthers: Cancer Surgeon shaped by Father’s Murder

The clan and family of Carruthers have reached every corner of the earth and in every strata of society. We are proud to report the success of one of our name who is making great strides in medicine.

Andrew Carrothers VR, MBChB, MA (Cantab), DipIMC, RCSEd, FRCS (Tr&Orth)

According to the Belfast Telegraph of the 9th October, 2020, Northern Ireland born Surgical Consultant, Andrew Carrothers had his life shaped and influenced by the murder of his father. It goes onto say:

The exceptional medical career of Dr Andrew Carrothers was shaped from a very young age. Growing up in a small Co Fermanagh village, one incident, he says, made his mind up that going into trauma work was his ambition.

When just a 14-year-old boy on May 17, 1991, his father Douglas (Dougie) Carrothers was murdered.The part-time RUC reservist died when a bomb exploded under his car as he left work at a timber yard in Lisbellaw.

What followed for Andrew (43) was a life devoted to finding out if he could help other people in times of need.

iu-6.jpegFor the past eight years he has been Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge and his pioneering work is set to be featured in a new BBC2 series when the first episode of Surgeons: At the Edge of Life airs on Tuesday night.

“I suppose that’s the moment that has most influenced me in life,” said Andrew. “From then on everything was black and white for me. It was a career in trauma, and it was always going to be surgery.”

That single minded approach reaped its rewards and, after moving to Manchester to attend university in 1996, sparked his early career as a military surgeon, serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, then into orthopaedics.

But some surgeons operate. And some surgeons invent operations. And it’s Andrew’s development of a pioneering surgery to help cancer patients enjoy a better quality of life that has attracted attention.

“I just see it as doing my job,” said Andrew, who in 2016 came up with a new technique to strengthen the pelvis in cancer patients to help them regain movement so they can walk again.

Making advancements in medical science seem easy, his new element to an already complex operation is now called the Harrington Plus in the profession.

Sixteen times he has completed the procedure now, and sixteen times he has given a little extra to enhance the lives of cancer patients, allowing them to enjoy freedom of movement when otherwise they would have had none.

20_1623-_Read-Only_.jpg“The pelvis has always been a problem area in cancer patients. It’s spongy, has a massive blood supply and is one of the secondary areas that always provides a perfect spot for the cancer to settle. It eats at the bone, it leaves patients unable to stand up. But having worked in hip replacements, it seemed natural to take that a step further.

“What we have now is a strengthening of the pelvis with a special plate, a long-lasting fix to see them to the end of their lives. It’s offered to patients who have more than a year or so to live. It’s no cure, but it’s all about quality of life.

“The results have been good over the past four years. It is a major operation but patients have found it beneficial. They’re aware they’re rolling the dice, but the interest in the results should see the surgery expand out across the NHS.”

His work has now attracted the attention of TV producers.

“I just got on with my job to be honest,” said Andrew. “There were head cameras in the surgery, but I wasn’t disturbed at all.”

While he may be taking acclaim in his stride, he does know one person has been delighted to watch his breakthrough.
Lisbellaw Church

“My mum Phyllis is very proud,” said Andrew. “That’s probably the most satisfying thing. But I suspect this will be my five minutes of TV fame. There is much more to this than just me. You have the determination and courage of the patients and a fantastic team of doctors and nurses working with me.

“I did have a bit of an input into television before,” he added. “A few years ago I had to rush to Tilbury Docks where a crane worker was trapped. That turned into a leg amputation to save his life. Weeks later BBC’s Casualty ran that storyline and even had a Northern Ireland actor playing the doctor. I’ve always wondered where they got that idea!”

Life for Andrew is now is a far cry from carefree days growing up in the small village of Lisbellaw. But he still finds the time to enjoy the simple pleasures.

“Taking my little boy Dougie, he’s called after his grandad, to football, taking my daughter Molly to ballet. Those are the important things. And of course my wife Liz is at the heart of everything I’m able to do.”

Surgeons: At the Edge of Life starts on BBC2 at 9pm on Tuesday

Andrew Carrothers has been a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon since 2012. He is based in Cambridge, UK. Following his graduation he was trained on the Oswestry Orthopaedic Programme, whilst undertaking the programme he was awarded the FRCS (Orth) and subsequently CCT in trauma and orthopaedic surgery.

He has undertaken a SAC approved AO Fellowship with a Fellowship in Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Toronto, USA, a world-renowned academic institution, working under the direction of industry leading surgeons including; Professor Marvin Tile, Dr Joseph Schatzker, Professor Hans Kreder and Professor Alan Gross. During this time he was awarded a fellowship diploma from the University of Toronto. Throughout his training he gained exposure in complex primary and revision hip/knee replacement surgery and high energy polytrauma in both the civilian and military settings.

He has a specialist interest in hip and knee surgery and is highly experienced in the management of pelvic and acetabular fractures, periprosthetic (around hip and knee replacement) fractures and lower limb reconstruction after trauma/sports injuries.

Mr Carrothers is an Associate Lecturer at Cambridge University. He is a current reviewer for the British Bone and Joint Journal. He regularly lectures both nationally and internationally.

Andrew’s particular speciality is in pelvis, hip, knee and ankle surgery, including sports injuries and full or partial joint-replacement.

Aside from his daily work, Mr Carrothers is Chief Investigator for a National 3-year UK NIHR feasibility trial AceFIT – Treatment of Acetabular Fractures in Older Patients.

He is also a Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon in the Royal Army Medical Corps (V), having served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Andrew currently has over 80 peer-reviewed publications and presentations, both at international and national conferences, on a wide range of arthroplasty and trauma reconstructive topics.

Clan Carruthers Society WP footnote grey Final to use

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.