Combined keyhole surgery is a first for the Royal Free

9 August 2011

A patient has had tumours removed from his liver and bowel in a single operation not previously performed at the Royal Free.

Dilip Shah, 80, had cancerous tumours in his bowel and liver removed at the same time via complicated keyhole surgery at the hospital.

It was the first time that a team from the Royal Free have carried out this type of combined procedure, although it has been performed at other hospitals in the UK. Previously, two keyhole procedures would have been carried out separately.

Mr Shah, from Totteridge, North London, was diagnosed with bowel cancer last June. The cancer moved to his liver and he was given chemotherapy over a three month period, which is the usual initial treatment when bowel cancer has spread to different parts of the body.

After a scan showed the cancer had not spread further, he underwent a combined keyhole liver and bowel operation when tumours in both organs were successfully removed. Performed earlier this year, the four-hour operation took place in one of the hospital’s state-of-the-art laparoscopic theatres led by Kito Fusai, consultant HPB (hepatopancreatobiliary) and liver transplant surgeon, and his colleagues Pawan Mathur and Olagunju Ogunbiyi, consultants colorectal surgeons.

Kito Fusai said: “Although this type of surgery has been carried out before, it is a first for the Royal Free.

”We are now providing patients, in cases where the bowel cancer has spread to the liver, with another treatment option. This type of combined surgery means the patient only has to have one operation rather than two, so they don’t have to spend as long in hospital.

“Keyhole surgery is also better for the patient as there is less pain after surgery and a faster recovery time. Mr Shah was able to get out of bed and move around within a few hours of the operation.

“Over the next few years, it is likely that more of these combined procedures will be performed using keyhole techniques, offering better treatment options for our patients.”

Mr Shah said: “The surgery seemed to go very well and I was up and moving around soon after it. I left hospital within a few days and was able to return to normal life quickly. It was a relief to have all the cancer removed in a single operation I’m grateful for the care provided by Mr Fusai and his team.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

For more information contact rf.communications@nhs.net.

Bowel cancer spreads to the liver in about a quarter of patients with the disease and it is the most common source of cancer spread to the liver. Just under 40,000 men and women are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the UK every year, making it the third most common cancer.

The Royal Free is one of the biggest unit in the UK for patients with HPB (hepatopancreatobiliary) illnesses and one of the leading centres in Europe for hepatology, HPB medicine and surgery.

The Royal Free is Dr Foster’s ‘large trust of the year’ for 2010. Our services have been rated “excellent” for the third year running, most recently by the Care Quality Commission. The trust attracts patients from across the country and beyond to its specialist services in liver, kidney and bone marrow transplantation, haemophilia, surgery for hepatopancreatobiliary (HPB) conditions, clinical neurosciences, renal, HIV, infectious diseases, plastic surgery, immunology, vascular surgery, cardiology, amyloidosis and scleroderma and are a member of the academic health science partnership UCL Partners.