Colchester hospital first in region to use new key-hole surgery technique

Surgeons Tan Arulampalam (left) and Raj Rajaganeshan are pictured in main theatres, Colchester Gener

Surgeons Tan Arulampalam (left) and Raj Rajaganeshan are pictured in main theatres, Colchester General Hospital. - Credit: Archant

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.


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“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.”

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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.

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