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Southend radiologist performs landmark procedure

26 January 2017

Health Care

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 intervention.

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 stereotactic guidance.

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 30 minutes."

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 care."