Southend radiologist performs landmark procedure
26 January 2017
Dr Taghreed Toma, Consultant Radiologist at Southend University Hospital, has successfully treated a woman’s malignant breast tumour using an innovative technique called Vacuum Assisted Excision (VAE).
Traditionally, benign lesions of the breast were treated by
surgical removal under general anaesthesia but Dr Toma's patient
had additional conditions that interfered with surgical
VAE does not require surgery as lesions are removed in stages
under the guidance of ultrasound or mammograms. It is usually
performed under local anaesthesia with either ultrasound or
Dr Toma said: "Since 2005 I have been performing VAE at the
hospital but only for benign lesions. As guidelines developed and
improved to include other lesions, we felt VAE was ideal for this
particular case as the patient had a 5mm cancer and we didn't want
to risk general anaesthetic with her. The patient would come here
to the Breast Clinic and have the procedure and be sent home within
The procedure has significant benefits to the patient as it's
less invasive - a needle puncture of the skin instead of surgery -
and usually performed under local anaesthetic, so the patient is
awake during the procedure.
The patient returns home immediately following the procedure and
resumes normal lifestyle. This has the added benefits of freeing up
resources and beds.
Samuel James, Clinical Services Manager, said: "Dr Toma is an
asset to the Breast Unit as she is always looking to improve
patient pathways and treatment outcomes.
"I feel proud to work with such an excellent clinician. We are
constantly looking at innovative new ways to improve patient