Patients who need pulmonary metastasectomy, (removal of multiple tumours which have spread to the lung from other parts of the body) will now benefit from the latest technology in lung surgery at Royal Brompton Hospital. On 7 June the hospital opened its new specialist Lung Laser theatre, which incorporates the ‘lung laser’, the first surgical instrument of its kind to be used in the UK. It uses a laser beam to remove tumours from patients’ lungs, with minimal damage to neighbouring healthy lung tissue.
Lung laser can be used in tumours of all kinds, including those spreading to the lung from the bowel (colonic cancers) as well as in sarcomas (a rare and potentially fatal cancer affecting the bones or muscle which can spread to the lungs). It enables surgeons to perform complicated lung surgery more efficiently and effectively with greater benefits for patients, by:
- Targeting and removing individual tumours, significantly improving the patient’s chances of survival
- Enabling the eradication of deep seated and multiple tumours without the need to remove a major section of the lung (lobectomy). This preserves lung function and prevents breathlessness postoperatively, improving the patient’s quality of life
- Removing multiple tumours faster, therefore reducing the time that patients spend in theatre under a general anaesthetic; and
- Eradicating cancer tissue while at the same time sealing surrounding lung tissue, reducing the risk of internal bleeding or air leak from the lung which can lead to a prolonged post-operative stay
Mr George Ladas, consultant thoracic surgeon at Royal Brompton Hospital, said: “We perform some of the most complex lung surgery in the country at Royal Brompton Hospital and acquiring this surgical equipment will allow us to significantly increase the quality of care we offer to our patients and also improve their quality of life after surgery.”
The lung laser has been funded thanks to generous donations from the Portnoi family. Senior staff at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and local Chelsea and Fulham MP Greg Hands will thank the family at a special opening ceremony of the hospital’s specialist lung laser theatre on Monday, 7 June 2010. The theatre will be named after Mr Jack Portnoi, who is a patient of Mr Ladas.
Jennifer Walton, director of fundraising at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are very grateful to the Portnoi family for their generosity which will go a long way to benefiting patients with various lung cancers and particularly sarcoma.”