27 April 2017

New lung surgery technique cuts patient recovery times

Nick Ross, 70, is one of many patients in the Trust to benefit from a new, minimally invasive technique which is enabling patients to recover faster and go home sooner after lung surgery.

The technique, known as a single port VATS, has allowed patients who have undergone major surgery to mobilise within two hours and return home after just four days in hospital.

Rather than open surgery or two or three separate incisions, it requires
just one 4cm incision for surgical instruments and a camera to be inserted. Video monitoring is then used to carry out the operation.

Using the technique, a lung cancer patient could have a third or half of a lung removed and return home from hospital after four days. Using traditional surgery, this would have been eight days.

The whole thoracic surgery unit is now using the technique and about 70% of operations are carried out this way, compared to just 18% in 2012.

Mr Ross, a retired Commercial Director, said: ‘I’ve received an amazing
turnaround, which is very important because I believe the recovery process is greatly enhanced by being able to go home as quickly as possible after treatment.

"From being able to have the operation to be medically fit to go home so soon is just brilliant and greatly appreciated by both myself and my family.’

Consultant Thoracic Surgeon Laura Socci said: ‘It makes it less much less invasive and painful for the patient and recovery is faster. Patients are happy with the outcome, because it has good results, a smaller scar and they can get back to a normal life more quickly.

"As a surgeon I find it straightforward to do, and it saves time and resources for the department as well."

Mr Ross added: "I cannot praise the staff enough. They have been caring, considerate and understanding throughout my stay."

An Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Programme (ERAS) is also running in parallel, offering support to patients with smoking cessation and pulmonary rehabilitation to reduce readmissions.




Photo: Consultant surgeon Laura Socci, patient Nick Ross and Matron Jane Coates

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