Family of leading surgeon open new breast unit at the Royal Free Hospital

30 April 2019

The fully refurbished and expanded breast unit was opened at the Royal Free Hospital on Friday and was dedicated to leading surgeon Professor Keshtgar who was ‘devoted to his patients’.

The redeveloped unit was officially opened by chief executive Kate Slemeck on Friday alongside the family of Professor Mo Keshtgar, a pioneering breast cancer surgeon who worked at the RFH for 10 years and sadly died in 2017.

The Keshtgar family unveiled a plaque dedicated to the surgeon and Professor Keshtgar’s son Soroosh said he was left speechless by the tribute to his father.  “It’s amazing to see everyone together and to see how the hospital has recognised his hard work,” he said. “He lived and breathed the hospital and he was devoted to his patients – they came first, he came second.

“It’s wonderful to see this beautiful new unit. It’s a lovely tribute to his life and his work. My father was always looking to improve the patient experience and this unit would have truly made him proud.

“It’s really touching to see how every member of staff knew him, from porters to the chief executive. It shows what kind of person he was – he always had time for people.”

Kate Slemeck also paid tribute to Professor Keshtgar, who was the first person in the UK to perform keyhole surgery on breast cancer patients.

She said: “Mo always fought so hard for his patients and he really pushed to improve this unit. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to bring this to fruition – it’s a really wonderful space for our patients.

“It’s lovely having Mo’s family here with us. He was a fantastic doctor and he lived all the values of this organisation – excellent and compassionate patient care underpinned by research and teaching. He was such an important part of the NHS family and of this hospital. We all miss him a great deal.”

The new unit now has two high-tech mammogram machines, offering 3D imagery and the ability to take biopsies. Because of the additional space and upgraded equipment, patients can receive a quicker diagnosis.  There are also additional consulting rooms, new ultrasound and mammogram machines and patient and staff facilities.  

Picture caption: Professor Keshtgar's family, which Royal Free Hosptial chief executive Kate Slemeck (back row, centre)