Dr Alex Reid is a Hughes Hall By-Fellow and Consultant Plastic and Hand Surgeon at Addenbrookes Hospital.
He supervises our medical students and teaches hand surgery as part of their anatomy course.
Local musician and singer, Emma Carpenter, 22, from Cambridgeshire, needed urgent surgery after seriously injuring her hand in a knife accident, severing two tendons and jeopardising her career. She was operated on by Alex during a procedure at the Ely Hand Unit, part of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH), followed by specialist physiotherapy.
Over 63 minutes that would prove crucial for Emma, Alex made an incision, retrieved both severed flexor tendons running through her left index finger, removed scar tissue, and re-joined them, ensuring they still moved smoothly.
Surgeon Alex who, with colleagues, repairs hundreds of hand injuries every year, said he was delighted to help: “We aim for excellent results and for someone like Emma I was extremely conscious that anything less than an excellent result was likely to impact on her career. She made a full recovery and will no doubt soon be entertaining music lovers again.”
Alex is very keen to highlight how life-changing stories like this can bring teaching to life: “Hand surgery is part of the anatomy course I teach the medical students at Hughes Hall. This is such a good example of the real world application of what is being carefully taught in College.”
Emma, who has played the flute since 11, the piano since 12 and the guitar since 16, said: “I cannot wait to re-launch my musical, singing and acting career.”
“I was really terrified that it was going to be the end of my musical career, as I wouldn’t be able to play any form of instrument. Now I have everything to look forward to. Mr Reid was so meticulous, reassuring, and absolutely determined to do the very best job for me.”
About Dr Alex Reid
Alex is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons and a Fellow of the European Board of Hand Surgery. He is a Consultant Plastic and Hand Surgeon at Addenbrookes Hospital. His subspecialty interests include complex hand trauma and microsurgery, degenerative arthritis, Dupuytren’s contracture and skin cancer surgery.
He trained extensively in plastic surgery and hand surgery before becoming a Consultant in the NHS. After qualifying in medicine from the University of Cambridge in 2006, he enrolled on the nationally accredited Higher Surgical Training programme in the East of England at Cambridge University Hospital, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Lister Hospital and Chelmsford between 2012 and 2018. Subsequently, he undertook Fellowships in Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery at the London Clinic; and in Skin, Complex Reconstruction and Hand Surgery at the internationally renowned St. Andrew’s Centre for Plastic and Burns Surgery, where he also served as a locum Consultant.
In 2020 he was awarded the Excellent Teaching Award from the Cambridge University Clinical School and Society. He is a member of the Faculty of Surgical Trainers (Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh) and regularly completes assessments for surgeons in training. Nationally, he is a faculty member on several specialist courses. In Hughes Hall, he is one of the undergraduate course supervisors in Anatomy (MVST 1A).
Story courtesy of cuk.nhs.uk.