Taking Hong Kong Surgery to the World
G.B. Ong, born in Sarawak, became the first ethnic Chinese to head the Department of Surgery in 1964. He and his successor, John Wong, took Hong Kong surgery to the world, though in different ways. Ong was a general surgeon who was “as comfortable with intricate brain surgery as with the brutality of limb amputation.” He generated worldwide interest by such imaginative procedures as removing a diseased esophagus and maneuvering the stomach up to the neck. His successor, Wong, who led the department for a quarter century, emphasized the need for specialization. The shortage of cadaveric donors led the department to pioneer adult right living donor liver transplantation in the 1990s, a revolutionary procedure that transplants part of a living donor’s liver into a liver patient. Ong and Wong in succession built the Department of Surgery into the highly respected body that it is today.