Colchester hospital first in region to use new key-hole surgery technique
Two Colchester men are the first patients to benefit from a new minimally-invasive operation now available at Colchester General Hospital.
In both cases small incisions were made rather than the larger cuts associated with traditional surgery, meaning less pain for the patient, a reduced risk of infection and faster recovery – with the patients going home the same day as surgery.
The procedure was used last week to treat pilonidal sinuses on the 16 and 28-year-old, which is a small hole that usually develops in the cleft of the buttocks, but the technique will also be used next week on an anal fistula, which appears as a hole in the skin around the anus.
Consultant surgeon Tan Arulampalam carried out the operation, assisted by Raj Rajaganeshan, a consultant colorectal surgeon at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospital.
Mr Arulampalam said: “These new operations help to enhance Colchester’s reputation as a centre of excellence for minimally-invasive surgery.
“They are being carried out in one of our laparoscopic theatres and are currently performed in only a handful of hospitals in the UK – we are the first in the East of England.
“Mr Rajaganeshan has performed more of these than any other surgeon in the UK and I am proud to say he did some of his training here.”
Both operations involve using a fistuloscope, a special endoscope, down which a camera and surgical instruments can be passed. The surgeon operates while looking at images on a monitor.
Like traditional techniques both procedures are carried out under a general anaesthetic on a day case basis and take about 20 minutes, similar to the older techniques. But while a patient coud be off work for three weeks following the old technique, most patients can to work the day after a key-hole operation.