A PIONEERING surgeon at Stafford Hospital is using a breakthrough keyhole surgery technique to revolutionise services and improve outcomes for patients in the area.
Mr Michael Hershman was the first surgeon in the UK to use the non invasive surgical technique known as Trans-anal Endoscopic Micro Surgery in 1993 which avoids the need for a colostomy.
Mr Hershman said: “We use it for all pre-cancerous polyps and also on selected patients who have early rectal cancer, or those who are elderly and frail and couldn’t necessarily undergo a more major operation.
“Some people are very against the idea of a colostomy - they say ‘I’d rather have a box than a bag’, meaning they would rather die, but this procedure can offer them an alternative.”
The technique sees radiotherapy focussed on rectal polyps, reducing them in size and making the micro-surgery possible and using the new equipment Mr Hershman has completed 23 of the procedures already this year.
“The equipment paid for itself within 4 operations,” he said. “Because it means we can do much less major and invasive procedures which are also relatively painless.”
The technically demanding procedure, which Mr Hershman also teaches to other surgeons, has a recovery period of only a few days compared with weeks for other operations and has led to the hospital becoming a regional centre taking in referrals from Stoke, Crewe and Liverpool.