Overview of Hand Surgery in Singapore

The Chapter of Hand Surgeons was formed in 2004 when the Chapter of Surgeons (1966) expanded into the College of Surgeons to support development of surgical specialties. Fellows of the college support continuous professional development (CPD) of respective specialties in academic and administrative roles. The chapter publishes CPD bulletins to keep fellows abreast of current academic development and assist Ministry of Health in administrative and policy advisory roles pertaining the practice of hand surgery in Singapore


Hand surgery was established as a speciality in 1996 following the rapid expansion of reconstructive microsurgery in the 1970s.  The foundation of hand surgery was laid by Dr Yeoh Kean Hong, Dr Kanwaljit Soin, and Professor Pesi Chacha in the 1960s, primarily managing patients afflicted with leprosy and industrial accidents. Further development in microsurgery was catalysed by Prof Robert Pho, Prof Chacha and Prof Tan Ser Kiat in the late 1970s, culminating in successful microsurgical reattachments of amputated digits, and transfer of free flaps and digits.


To cater to the expanding role of hand surgery, a department was founded in 1985 at Singapore General Hospital (SGH), and another was formed at National University Hospital (NUH) in 1990. By 2020, there were three departments (SGH, NUH, and Tan Tock Seng Hospital) and numerous hand sections in other government institutions.


The strong momentum of hand and reconstructive surgery at national and international stage galvanised the formation of hand surgery as a specialty in 1996, joining Finland and Sweden as the only countries with specialisation of hand surgery. The founding specialists were Prof Teoh Lam Chuan, Dr Yong Fok Chuan, Prof Agnes Tan, Prof Lim Beng Hai, and Dr Kour Anam Kueh.


Professional advancement of hand surgery is supported by Singapore Society for Hand Surgery (1982) and Singapore Association for Hand Therapy (2017) through courses, meetings, and exchanges at numerous international federations. The Asia Pacific federation established its headquarters in Singapore in 2020.


Continuous advancement of hand surgery was made possible by the support of partners in Asia, America, Australia and Europe through fellowships and transfer of skills and protocols in surgery and therapy. Currently, more than 50 fellowship trained hand surgeons serve patients in all major government and private hospitals in Singapore.


Board Members 2021 - 2023

Rank Name
Chairman Dr Anthony Foo Tun Lin
Vice-Chairman Dr Amitabha Lahiri
Honorary Secretary Dr Renita Sirisena
Members Dr Lai Jen Ming
  Dr Lee Munn Yi Tina
  Dr Tan Ter Chyan
  Dr Yam Kean Tuck, Andrew


Please click here to view Past Board Members.

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