Dr Lai is the Director and Consultant Surgeon at LAI Endoscopy & Colorectal Surgery in Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre (Orchard), Singapore. He specialises in colorectal surgery, endoscopy and proctology. His subspecialties include minimally invasive and robotic colorectal surgery, advanced endoscopy and, new techniques in piles and anal fistula surgery. He treats colorectal cancer with minimally invasive techniques, which comprise advanced laparoscopic and robotic-assisted colorectal resections, single port laparoscopy and trans-anal endoscopic operations.
Dr Lai honed these skills during his one-year HMDP Fellowship in Hong Kong. He widened his repertoire in recent years to include endoscopic mucosal resection, advanced pelvic surgery and new techniques for complex fistula-in-ano. His recent publications include reviews on the development and current status of laparoscopic colorectal surgery; as well as innovative advances and minimally invasive techniques in anal fistula surgery.
Dr Lai obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) from the National University of Singapore in 1998. He went on to obtain his Membership in Surgery from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (MRCSEd) in 2004, and received his Master of Medicine in Surgery (M.Med) from the National University of Singapore in 2005. He completed his advanced surgical training and was awarded the Fellowship in General Surgery from the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (FRCSEd) in 2009. His interest also led to a ‘Diplôme d’Université de Chirurgie Laparoscopique’ (Diploma of Laparoscopic Surgery) from the University of Strasbourg, France in 2010. Dr Lai completed a one-year Singhealth Health Manpower Development Programme (HMDP) Fellowship in Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery at the University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital in 2012.
Dr Lai spent 18 years in the public sector and was a Consultant Surgeon in the Department of Colorectal Surgery at Singapore General Hospital. He was in the advanced laparoscopic and robotic surgery team which spearheaded training and development of minimally invasive techniques in colorectal surgery. As a member of the SingHealth-SGH Endoscopy Privileging Harmonisation Committee (2014-2016), Dr Lai revised endoscopy privileging and training criteria for SingHealth specialists and surgical residents. Passionate about surgical and endoscopic simulation training, Dr Lai was the Platform Director of Endoscopy Platform in the DukeSingHealth Surgical Simulation Centre, where he coordinated and conducted endoscopic simulation courses for local and regional participants. He has advanced certification as Instructor in simulation-based surgical and critical care team training. Dr Lai also held appointments in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching at Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (National University of Singapore), Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, and the SingHealth General Surgical Residency Programme.
Dr Lai was Organising Chairperson for the SGH Colorectal Surgery Silver Jubilee Scientific Meeting in 2014, which celebrated 25 years of the Colorectal Surgery subspecialty in Singapore. He was Scientific Chairperson of the highly successful 10th International Society of Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery Congress in 2015 held in conjunction with the SGH Colorectal Scientific Week and Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society of Colorectal Surgeons (Singapore); which showcased a full day of 5 concurrent live surgery demonstrations in 3 operating theatres, 2 fully subscribed workshop days and 3 days of congress attended by over 500 international delegates. Dr Lai organised the SGH Family Day 2015 & 2016 for over 2000 staff as the Vice-President of the SGH Recreational Club. He was also the Chairman of the SGH Dinner & Dance 2015.
Dr Lai is Faculty at the Asia Pacific Endo-Laparoscopy Surgery (APELS) group, and is actively involved in the twice-yearly lower gastrointestinal endo-laparoscopic workshops, where he trains surgeons from the Asia Pacific region. He is part-time tutor for undergraduate medical students for the DukeNUS Graduate School of Medicine (Surgical Programme). He is also a certified ACLS instructor and teaches up-to-date Advanced Cardiac Life Support skills to doctors on a regular basis.
Local and International Affiliations
Dr Lai is immediate Past President of the Society of Colorectal Surgeons, Singapore (SCRS). He sits on the Board of Directors of the Asia Pacific Endo-Laparoscopy Surgery (APELS) group, and is actively involved in endo-laparoscopic workshops and teaching in the Asia Pacific region. He is lifetime member of the Endoscopic and Laparoscopic Surgeons of Asia (ELSA), where he has an interest in teaching surgeons in developing countries techniques of abdominal and laparoscopic surgery.
SAF (Singapore Armed Forces) Appointments
Dr Lai is the Battalion 2IC of a combat service support battalion involved in logistics and medical support of troops. He was promoted to the rank of Major since 2009 and was previously a Brigade Medical Officer looking after the health and welfare of soldiers training locally and overseas. He has been awarded several national service awards and letters of commendation for good performance in national service. He received his 15-year National Service Medal in Feb 2017 and looks forward to more good years of contribution to Singapore’s defence.
Community and Healthcare Affiliations
Dr Lai is actively involved in public education. He sits on the committee for Singapore Cancer Society Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month (CCAM), which conducts year-round events to educate the public on colorectal cancer and perform cancer screening. He has been actively giving public talks for the Singapore Cancer Society since 2007. Dr Lai is one of the regular speakers for the charity Brahm Centre, with topics on health and digestive wellness as the focus. As an advisor for the SGH Colorectal Cancer Support Group, he has conducted cancer recovery seminars and lectures for colorectal cancer survivors since 2009. He is involved in cancer survivor counselling and recovery as the doctor in attendance at the Quarterly Bowel Meetings organised by the cancer support group.
- Director and Consultant Surgeon, LAI Endoscopy & Colorectal Surgery
- Head of Overseas Operations, and Specialist Surgeon, HC Surgical Specialists
- Honorary Treasurer, Society of Colorectal Surgeons (Singapore)
- Board of Directors, Asia Pacific EndoLaparoscopic Surgery Group (APELS)
- Lifetime Member, Endoscopic and Laparoscopic Surgeons of Asia (ELSA)
- Faculty (Part-Time Tutor), DukeNUS Graduate School of Medicine (Surgical Programme)
- Member, Singapore Cancer Society Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month (CCAM) Committee
Instructor, Advanced Cardiac Life Support Course (ACLS)
- Consultant, Department of Colorectal Surgery, Singapore General Hospital (2011 – 2016)
- Endoscopy Platform Director, SingHealth-DukeNUS Surgical Skills Centre (2013 - 2016)
- Immediate Past President, Society of Colorectal Surgeons (Singapore)
- Clinical Senior Lecturer, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore
- Faculty and Mentor, DukeNUS Graduate School of Medicine (Surgical Programme)
- MBBS (Singapore),National University of Singapore, 1998
- MRCSEd (Surgery), Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, 2004
- M.Med (Surgery), National University of Singapore, 2005
- FRCSEd (General Surgery), Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, 2009
- ‘Diplôme d’Université de Chirurgie Laparoscopique’ (Diploma of Laparoscopic Surgery), University of Strasbourg (France), 2010
- Health Manpower Development Programme (HMDP) in Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgery, University of Hong Kong, 2011
- SARS Courage Star Award for Valour and Dedication in the fight against SARS, 2003
- Research and Educational Awards
- Singapore Cancer Society Cancer Research Grant 2013
- SGH-SingHealth Human Manpower Development Programme (HMDP) Award 2011
- SingHealth Talent Development Fund (Education) Award 2011, 2014
- 3rd prize, Changi General Hospital 3rd Research Forum 2006
- National Service Awards
- 15 Year National Service Medal 2017
- National Serviceman of the Year (Formation) Award 2014, 2011
- 14th Command and Staff Course (National Service) Distinguished Graduate award 2013
- Letter of Commendation 2009, 2011
- Best Cadet, 49th Medical Officer’s Cadet Course, Singapore Armed Forces
- Service Awards
- Singhealth Service Quality Silver Award 2013 for Outstanding Service Quality and Patient Care
- Singhealth Service Quality Awards 2010, 2011
- SGH Service Quality Partners Award 2009
- Service Quality Award, SGH Service-with-a-Heart winner 2004
- Singhealth-SGH Long Service Award
(10 years) 2009
- Singapore Cancer Society Long Service Award 2015