Published: Monday, August 31st, 2015

Chair blog: patients benefit from advancements in lung surgery




This month, I’d like to talk about some of the important advancements we have made in thoracic (lung) surgery at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital.

Our Thoracic service was established in 2008, and over the last seven years has rapidly grown into one of the busiest centres in the UK, currently carrying out approximately 1,500 operations every year. During this time, we have delivered one of the lowest mortality rates in the UK for both complex and standard cases, and have consistently increased resection rates for lung cancer patients. Ten years ago, only 10% of patients were fortunate enough to be considered for an operation, today that has increased to over 20% for patients referred from units all across the West of Scotland.

Over the past several years, one of our greatest achievements has been the fantastic progress we have made as providers of keyhole surgery. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our team, we introduced the Video Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS) and are currently the only site in Scotland to provide Uniportal Lobectomy, allowing major operations to be carried out with only one small incision. These important clinical and skill developments have had major benefits for our patients. Their outcomes have improved and there has been a dramatic reduction in how long a patient has to stay in hospital, with the average now three to four days, compared to 10 to 14 in 2008.

Our highly skilled team recently became the first in Scotland to use revolutionary 3D technology to perform keyhole surgery on patients needing treatment for lung cancer. Earlier this month, we welcomed Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Shona Robison MSP, to view this latest development in keyhole surgery.

Previously only used in gynaecology and colorectal surgery, the 3D technology provides greatly improved depth perception on patient images, giving surgeons a more accurate picture of the patient’s condition; making operations quicker, safer and more effective.

Since June, we have been running trials with this technology, experimenting and innovating ways to translate this into direct improvements in patient care. We are delighted to say that in the last few months alone, nearly 70% of our lung cancer patients have benefitted, and going forward, we want to provide this treatment for more individuals than ever before.

This is not the first time that the Golden Jubilee has led the way with 3D technology – we have already introduced a one-of-a-kind 3D training programme for Orthopaedics. Looking ahead, we are continuing to trial and develop ways to use 3D technology in both heart and lung surgery, making sure that as many patients as possible are benefiting from this improvement in safe and effective treatment.

Every day at the Golden Jubilee we are using technology more and more to help our patients deal with life-changing illnesses. As the home of innovation for the NHS in Scotland, it is essential that we ensure the needs and expectations of every patient are met, providing the highest possible standard of care for each patient, every time.

For more information on these fantastic developments, you can also view this video on our official Youtube channel:

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