I am a very conservative in the choice of procedures that I offer to my patients. I would never describe myself as a 'pioneering' surgeon. By definition, these surgeons like to think of themselves as being at the forefront - leading the rest of us. But there is one drawback with being an explorer into the unknown. You don't really know what the future will hold, and you don't know whether your pioneering idea is safe or dare I say it... unsafe. This is all very well for explorers putting their own safety at risk (think of Livingstone's adventures in discovering deepest Africa) but there is one drawback with being a surgical pioneer.