Southend surgeons perform first keyhole radical cystectomy
26 March 2013
Just weeks after becoming the first patient to have his bladder removed by keyhole surgery, Roger Newell was out mowing his lawn.
Roger, 63, from Rayleigh, underwent surgery earlier this year
after a scan detected a malignant growth in his bladder. He had
first noticed blood in his urine last summer but tests came back
negative. However, when the bleeding became heavier he was sent to
Southend University Hospital for an endoscopy which discovered the
He said: "There was no option but to have the bladder
He first underwent nine weeks of chemotherapy to improve the
chances of a successful outcome and then became the first patient
at Southend to have a laparoscopic radical cystectomy.
Southend University Hospital is the only hospital in Essex to
perform laparoscopic radical cystectomies; the other nearest
hospitals are in Cambridge, Norwich and London.
The surgery was performed by consultant urological surgeons Mr
Mohantha Dooldeniya and Miss Helen Hegarty who have both been
carrying out cystectomies by open surgery for several years.
The new procedure involves removing both the bladder and the
prostate gland in men and bladder and womb in women and then either
creating a conduit for urine to exit the body via a stoma, or hole,
in the patient's skin into a small bag; alternatively, a new
bladder can be made from part of the ileum or small bowel which is
then attached to the patient's urethra.
Mr Dooldeniya said: "If the patient has superficial bladder
cancer, we perform a transurethral resection of the bladder which
involves using a cystoscope, or slender tube, to scrape away the
cancer cells away. But patients with invasive bladder cancer which
involves the muscle need radical treatment.
"We perform about 40-50 bladder cystectomies a year and the
laparoscopic option is a new service which the department of
urology is now offering."
The duo has now carried out the same procedure on a second
patient. However, Miss Hegarty stressed that not everyone is
suitable for the keyhole procedure.
Patients undergoing open surgery are unable to get back to
normal activities for around three months. But Roger was cutting
the grass just seven weeks after undergoing the operation. Now he
can't wait for the weather to improve to get back on the golf
He said: "The diagnosis was a shock to the system, and I hated
the idea of a bag. But the tumour was very aggressive so there was
no alternative and I am managing well.
"I cannot fault Southend University Hospital. My treatment was
Miss Hegarty said: "It was a major operation taking several
hours. But the main benefit is that patients can leave hospital
sooner after surgery and get back to normal more quickly."
With pic: Miss Helen Hegarty and Mr Mohantha Dooldeniya in