This website uses cookies to improve your experience.

Cookie policy

BJS Society Award Recipient

Download Press Release

Surgeon recognised for groundbreaking protocols in world-first award in surgery

A globally renowned surgeon has become the first ever recipient of the BJS Society Award which recognises an exceptional individual for their profound impact on patient care.

Henrik Kehlet, Professor of Perioperative Therapy at the University of Copenhagen, will receive the prestigious award for his ground-breaking “Enhanced Recovery After Surgery” (ERAS) protocols, which have changed clinical practice in multiple fields of surgery and improved outcomes for patients all over the world. 

He was selected from more than 70 nominees, from across the world, following a rigorous judging process similar to the selection process for Nobel laureates, with a confidential panel of experts reviewing nominations made  within the surgical community.

The accolade includes an award of €100,000, the largest monetary prize of its kind in the surgical field.

Professor Derek Alderson, Vice Chair of the BJS Society, said: “We are immensely proud to launch the biennial BJS Society Award this year, and it is a real privilege to announce Professor Henrik Kehlet as its first ever winner.

“In an era of sub-specialisation within surgery, few of the scientific discoveries of the 20th century apply to all branches of surgery and every group of surgical patients in the way Professor Kehlet’s have.  His outstanding body of scientific work has application for virtually all surgical patients.”

Anders Bergenfelz, Chair of BJS Society, said: “The rubric for this award states that it should represent a discovery, innovation or scientific study within the field of surgery that has changed clinical practice with a profound impact on patient care. It is patently clear that Professor Kehlet’s outstanding work fulfills every one of these criteria.”

Professor Kehlet qualified in medicine at the University of Copenhagen in 1968 and was awarded his PhD in 1977 for studies related to the surgical stress response in steroid treated patients. He became Professor of Surgery in Copenhagen in 1991 before becoming Professor of Perioperative Therapy in 2006, a post which he holds to this day. 

Henrik’s research interests have focused on a wide range of specialisms, including surgical pathophysiology, acute pain physiology and treatment, and postoperative fatigue, and over the years his efforts have condensed to form the concept of ERAS, a series of protocols which aim to achieve pain and risk-free operations.

The protocols borne out of by Professor Kehlet’s research involve a series of evidence-based care elements that can be applied before, during and after surgery, which all support recovery by reducing the bodily stress reactions caused by injury.

ERAS protocols not only produce better outcomes for patients and a more rapid return to better health, but also offers enormous financial benefits to the health care system.  Kehlet’s concept is now generally accepted and implemented in all surgical societies, and with around 300 million surgical procedures performed worldwide each year, the impact has been significant. 

Throughout his career, Professor Kehlet has published more than 1,250 scientific articles and has given more than 300 invited lectures at international scientific meetings.

Professor Kehlet said: “Receiving this award means a great deal to me.  I’ve always thought it is important to look at why patients are in the hospital in the first place, then work backwards from there, step by step, to interrogate the multifactorial issues that can affect their outcomes and recovery.  This is what my research has centered around over the last three decades and to this day remains the area I am most interested in and passionate about”.

BJS Society is a charitable foundation that owns the surgical journals BJS, BJS Open and BJS Academy, an online education resource and hub that supports the professional development of current and future surgeons. 

Founded in 1913, BJS Society is responsible for ensuring any excess funds are used for charitable purposes to support the ongoing development and education of surgeons.  This year, its charitable funds will support the BJS Society Award. 

The award will be presented at a ceremony in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Friday 16 June.

For more information, go to  You can also follow BJS Academy on Twitter – @BJSAcademy.


Issued by tigerbond on behalf of BJS Society.  For more information, please contact Emma Bain on 07730415096 or

Notes to editors:

ERAS – additional information:

These evidence-based care processes begin long before the surgical patient reaches the hospital.  A phase designed to optimise the patient’s general health, pre-operative preparation minimises traditional practices such as prolonged starvation.

During surgery there is an emphasis on regional analgesia, balanced fluid administration and careful temperature control, and the post-operative phase consists of early mobilisation and early reintroduction of fluids and solids by mouth.

These protocols modify stress responses, reducing complications and shortening recovery time by as much as 30 to 50 per cent. The elderly benefit hugely from the ERAS approach, experiencing fewer complications and less confusion after surgery, resulting in shorter hospital stays.

BJS Society

The BJS Society is a charitable body with a mission to advance and improve education in surgery and to diffuse knowledge on new and improved methods of teaching and practicing surgery in all branches.

The Society owns and promotes globally recognised surgical journals, BJS and BJS Open. Through its strategic partnerships and collaborations with other international surgical organisations, the Society has established a unique position in surgical publishing.

Much of the Society’s charitable activity and future strategy will be delivered within the following three areas, each with its own purpose:

  • BJS Journals – to share and disseminate quality scientific research with the publisher and remain the leading surgical journal in Europe.
  • BJS Academy – to offer an accessible hub to meet, learn, be mentored, discuss, listen to and understand the education and accreditation opportunities available through the Society. It will enhance journal content and add value to members and partners.
  • BJS Institute – to provide privileged access (discount) to postgraduate accredited educational opportunities to complement BJS Academy and journal content.

The Society is steeped in history and tradition dating back to 1913. The educational arm of the charity, BJS Academy, was established in 2022 to provide a portfolio of learning materials to assist the modern surgeon and advance the science of surgery.


Part of the charitable activity of the Society, BJS Academy is an online educational resource for current and future surgeons.

The Academy is comprised of five distinct sections: Continuing surgical education, Young BJS, Cutting edge, Scientific surgery and Surgical news. Although the majority of this is open access, additional content is available to BJS subscribers and strategic partners.

Discover the Academy
Surgeon Training & Surgeons in Surgery