3 April 2015
Andrew Ellis, 48, was referred by UCLH to the Royal Free Hospital at the start of this year after he was diagnosed with a kidney tumour. He explains how the Royal Free Hospital’s kidney cancer team has cared for him over the past few months.
He came in to see the team at the Royal Free Hospital in February and discussed his treatment with a variety of staff members, including surgeon, Faiz Mumtaz, and clinical nurse specialist (CNS), David Cullen. Mr Ellis said he was delighted with his care from the start.
“The treatment here has been brilliant,” he said. “The staff really took the time to explain things to me and they let me ask questions,” he said. “I never felt rushed, even though I know they are all very busy. There are also lots of leaflets about the surgery and what I could expect, so that was really helpful.
“The best thing is that there is a CNS who you feel is really looking after you. You can call or email them if you have any concerns. I emailed once and David called me back half an hour later. That just puts you at ease.”
Mr Ellis had surgery to remove his tumour in March and was able to go home four days after the operation.
Mr Ellis praised the care he received from Mr Mumtaz, and added: “I know how busy consultants and surgeons are and how limited their time is, but Mr Mumtaz really is a shining example. Throughout this whole period he has taken such good care of me and really gone out of his way to ensure that I've received the highest level of care.”
Mr Mumtaz carried out the operation with the help of da Vinci, a surgical robot. He explained that the robot enabled him to remove the tumour and only a small part of the normal kidney tissue, so that as much as possible of Mr Ellis’s kidney could be retained.
Mr Mumtaz said: “The robot also allows me to see a three-dimensional magnified image of the kidney which enables me to distinguish between healthy kidney tissue and the tumour and means the surgery can take place safely.
“During surgery the blood flow to the kidney needs to be stopped so we clamp the renal artery. If this takes more than 25 minutes it can affect the kidney function. Because the surgical robot allows me to remove the tumour more quickly, this reduces the clamping time and preserves normal kidney function.”
Image: Andrew Ellis
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About the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
The Royal Free began as a pioneering organisation and continues to play a leading role in the care of patients. Our mission is to provide world class expertise and local care. In the 21st century, the Royal Free London continues to lead improvements in healthcare.
The Royal Free London attracts patients from across the country and beyond to its specialist services in liver, kidney and bone marrow transplantation, haemophilia, renal, HIV, infectious diseases, plastic surgery, immunology, vascular surgery, cardiology, amyloidosis and scleroderma and we are a member of the academic health science partnership UCLPartners.
In July 2014 Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital became part of the Royal Free London. Read our news story: A bigger trust, a better future.