Essex: Faultless first operation at Colchester General Hospital’s new �1.5m vascular unit

A GRANDFATHER has become the first patient to have surgery at an Essex hospital’s new �1.5million operating theatre.

Alan Myers, of Inworth Lane, Wakes Colne, had an procedure to repair a potentially life-threatening aortic aneurysm.

The new complex at Colchester General Hospital, which also includes a 14-bed inpatient unit, is part of moves to centralise major vascular surgery in the region. It has seen emergency or planned blood vessel operations move away from Ipswich Hospital to Colchester.

Mr Myers, 76, had the two-and-a-half hour operation on Friday, the same day he and his wife Iris were celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary.

He added: “It’s the first time I’ve been in hospital since I was born but it’s been brilliant and I can’t fault any aspect of my time here.

“I’m still feeling a bit sore but that’s what I was told to expect after such a major operation.

“What I was anxious about was having big long cuts but Mr Backhouse was able to avoid this.

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“Now I’m looking forward to going home and hopefully, later in the year, having a break in Portugal.”

Mr Myers, who has two daughters and two grandsons, said he was told by vascular surgeon Chris Backhouse that aortic aneurysms are a “silent assassin” because they can be fatal but have no symptoms.

The operating theatre, the only of its kind in the UK, has been fitted with the latest x-ray and key surgery equipment.

Mr Backhouse said: “The new operating theatre provides real state-of-the-art facilities in which to treat our patients.

“It allows increased levels of co-operation between vascular surgeons and vascular radiologists to work together in undertaking more complex but minimally invasive arterial procedures.

“It will be used by vascular teams from both Colchester and Ipswich when our integrated vascular unit commences major surgery here early next month.”

Isam Osman, consultant vascular surgeon, has previously said centralising services in Colchester was a good clinical decision as evidence suggests hospitals performing a small number of vascular procedures should concentrate the service to a specialist centre.

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