Consultant thoracic surgeon, Mr Khalid Amer has been internationally commended for his contribution to the development of keyhole surgery to treat early stage lung cancer.
Over the past four years Mr Amer has worked with colleagues to develop a technique called video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) lobectomy. This procedure involves inserting a camera and operating instruments into the patients chest through three small skin incisions. The surgeon is then able to remove the cancerous part of the lung. During the operation, surrounding lymph nodes may also be removed.
Until the development of this surgery, cancerous lung tissue would have to be removed using open chest surgery. Keyhole surgery has shown a better survival rate with records indicating 70% of patients living three years after their operation compared to a rate of around 64% for open chest surgery.
Other benefits of the VATS lobectomy are the reduction in pain experienced by the patient, shorter length of stay in hospital and a quicker recovery time, meaning a faster return to work.
Mr Amer also advocates the use of this surgery for patients over 80 years old, results have shown that it is just as safe for them as it is for younger patients.
The results of the four year study have recently been published in the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery (ISMICS) journal “Innovations”.
Mr Amer has recently presented his findings at the ISMICS conference where he received an award for his involvement in the project.
At present Mr Amer is amongst a minority of surgeons who perform this surgery in the UK, due to the intricate skills which are required. Speaking about the operation Mr Amer said “Many institutions have been reluctant to develop this modern way of performing surgery due to fears about effectiveness and safety as a cancer operation. The long term results show that this has the same, if not better, results than the traditional methods. Removing the surrounding lymph nodes at the same time as removing the lung cancer provides us with the best and most accurate information to decide whether or not a patient needs to follow the surgery with chemotherapy to improve their chances of survival.”
VATS lobectomy is available at Spire Southampton Hospital to patients with private medical insurance, or to those who wish to fund treatment themselves. The VATS lobectomy can also be used too in 18-25 year old ladies who prefer a less invasive and more cosmetic approach to removal of the thymus gland to treat myasthenia (severe muscle weakness). It can also be used to remove mediastinal cysts and tumours.
For more information or a guide price call 023 8091 4471.