Luke Traeger

Luke Traeger

Higher Degree by Research Candidate

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences


Dr Luke Traeger is a South Australian General Surgical trainee with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. Luke is currently undertaking a PhD, researching the effects of novel treatments to reduce bowel paralysis following surgery.

My research investigates the reduction of the incidence and duration of post-operative ileus following colorectal surgery.

After abdominal surgery, the bowel can commonly be paralyzed and slow to return to normal function. The resultant intolerance to food and liquids can result in severe bloating, inability to pass a bowel movement or gas, nausea, and vomiting. This complication of surgery is called post-operative ileus and is a source of discomfort for patients after surgery. Management often requires invasive procedures such as the insertion of long tubes into the stomach to empty it out and providing nutrition through a vein. 

With the advent of enhanced recovery protocols, there has been a general improvement in the management of patients undergoing abdominal surgery. However, the incidence of post-operative ileus remains around 20-30%. Post-operative ileus doubles the cost of a patients admission to hospital and significantly increases the patients risk of complication and risk of mortality.

My research will investigate the use of a novel treatment, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor named pyridostigmine. Pyridostigmine increases gut motility, and we aim to study the effects this has following colorectal surgery. If we can reduce the incidence of post-operative ileus, this may reduce the length of hospital stay and reduce complications in our patients.

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  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2021 University of Adelaide Australia PhD (Candidate)
    2017 - 2018 University of Newcastle Australia Master of Traumatology
    2015 - 2016 University of Newcastle Australia Master of Public Health
    2009 - 2014 University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery
  • Postgraduate Training

    Date Title Institution Country
    2019 General Surgical Training Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Australia
    2018 - 2018 General Surgical Registrar Queen Elizabeth Hospital Australia
    2016 - 2017 Surgical Resident Medical Officer Central Adelaide Local Health Network Australia
    2015 - 2015 Internship Central Adelaide Local Health Network Australia
  • Research Interests

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  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2021 Traeger, L., & Raju, D. (2021). Metastatic squamous cell carcinoma presenting as an ileocolonic fistula. ANZ Journal of Surgery, 91(1-2), 200-202.
    DOI
    2021 Nepogodiev, D. (2021). Timing of surgery following SARS-CoV-2 infection: an international prospective cohort study. ANAESTHESIA, 76(6), 11 pages.
    DOI WoS2 Europe PMC1
    2021 Traeger, L., Kundu, N., & Kiu, A. (2021). Midgut volvulus imitating acute appendicitis. ANZ Journal of Surgery, 91(4), E247-E248.
    DOI
    2021 Kundu, N., Traeger, L., & Kiu, A. (2021). Paraganglioma presenting as acute catecholamine cardiomyopathy. ANZ Journal of Surgery, 2 pages.
    DOI
    2021 COVIDSurg Collaborative, GlobalSurg Collaborative. (2021). SARS-CoV-2 vaccination modelling for safe surgery to save lives: data from an international prospective cohort study.. The British journal of surgery.
    DOI
    2019 David, R., Traeger, L., & McDonald, C. (2019). Gall bladder torsion: A disease of the elderly. BMJ Case Reports, 12(10), e227324.
    DOI
    2018 Traeger, L., & Kiroff, G. (2018). Intrabilary obstruction by colorectal metastases.. Journal of surgical case reports, 2018(1), rjx259.
    DOI
    2017 Traeger, L., Jayasuriya, M., Suppiah, A., & Devitt, P. (2017). Acupuncture: a cause of mediastinal abscess presenting as axillary infection. ANZ Journal of Surgery, 87(9), E106-E107.
    DOI
  • Conference Papers

    Year Citation
    2018 Traeger, L., Kiroff, G., & Myers, J. (2018). Multiple rapid swallows in high-resolution oesophageal manometry: A valuable predictor of oesophagogastric junction function.. In Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Annual Scientific Conference.
    2018 Traeger, L., & Bhattacharjya, S. (2018). Evaluation of P-POSSUM use in predicting Mortality and Morbidity of emergency general surgical admissions. In Board in General Surgery Registrar’s Paper Day. Adelaide.
  • Conference Items

    Year Citation
    2021 Traeger, L., & Wichmann, M. (2021). Laparoscopic removal of ingested sewing pin.. Poster session presented at the meeting of Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Annual Scientific Congress. Melbourne.
    2021 David, R., Traeger, L., Miller, J., Kahokehr, A., & Ashrafi, A. (2021). A prospective case series of Fournier’s Gangrene at a tertiary centre involving adjacent organs.. Poster session presented at the meeting of Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Annual Scientific Congress.
    2021 Kundu, N., Traeger, L., & Kiu, A. (2021). Midgut volvulus imitating acute appendicitis.. Poster session presented at the meeting of Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Annual Scientific Congress.
    2021 Traeger, L., Kundu, N., & Kiu, A. (2021). Paraganglioma presenting as acute catecholamine cardiomyopathy.. Poster session presented at the meeting of Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Annual Scientific Congress.
    2019 Traeger, L., & Kanhere, H. (2019). Small bowel obstruction from solitary breast metastases.. Poster session presented at the meeting of Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Annual Scientific Conference. Bangkok.
    2017 Traeger, L., & Kiroff, G. (2017). Intrabiliary metastases: a rare complication of metastatic colorectal cancer.. Poster session presented at the meeting of Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Annual Scientific Congress. Adelaide.
    2017 Traeger, L., Jayasuriya, M., Suppiah, A., & Devitt, P. (2017). Acupuncture: more harm than good.. Poster session presented at the meeting of Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Annual Scientific Congress. Adelaide.

2021-2023; Dawes Top-Up Scholarship, RAH Research Committee - $15,000

2021: Research and Training Stipend, University of Adelaide - $28,000


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