There are 23 active operating theatres within the theatres directorate at the Royal Stoke University Hospital. They cover a multitude of specialties including General Surgery, Specialist Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Trauma, Orthopaedics and Neurosurgery. Each area is staffed by a highly skilled workforce trained to provide expert clinical care to ensure your theatre experience is as pleasant as possible.

Approximately 30,000 patients a year, predominantly from Staffordshire and the surrounding areas, undergo surgery at the Royal Stoke University Hospital. The Theatre Directorate works closely with many other departments within the Trust, including Infection Control and Clinical Technology, in order to ensure each operating theatre is maintained to a high standard. 

The Trust has made significant investment in its theatres and has purchased state of the art technology in order to provide cutting edge surgery. Specialty techniques such as key hole surgery to remove kidneys, prostrate laser surgery and key hole surgery for many bowel operations are now performed at the Trust. 

The Theatre Directorate is also responsible for the safe post operative recovery of patients and this is provided within specialist bays adjacent to the theatre areas, with a dedicated paediatric area to allow specialist recovery for children. 

Routinely family and friends are not allowed to enter the theatre areas, however in exceptional circumstances and where children are undergoing operations, relatives are allowed into the anaesthetic rooms and recovery bay to provide support and comfort. 

The theatre department employs over 450 staff, comprising 40 Consultants and 350 theatre staff of multiple disciplines such as nursing and operating department practitioners, who all play a crucial role in your care.

Minimally invasive coronary artery bypass graft surgery​​​

Consultants at University Hospitals of North Midlands are amongst the very first to perform minimally invasive coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Normal bypass surgery involves opening up the chest and operating on patients. This type of procedure would involve stopping the heart with the aid of a machine.

Our new procedure involves making a small cut of about 2.5 inches between the ribs and using cameras and small instruments. The procedure is so ground-breaking that our consultants are helping to design how the instruments should actually be created. The recovery for patients is two to three weeks as opposed to up to three months using previous techniques. The patient is discharged and back at home in 72 hours.

Mr Lognathen Balacumaraswami, a Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon (pictured above), has been leading his team in this ground-breaking procedure. The coronary artery bypass surgery is done through a small incision about two inches in length using key hole instruments. With so much less trauma, pain and infection risk, people return to normal activities within two to three weeks. Not so long ago they would have stayed in hospital for that long. They are left with a small incision in the chest side instead of a large incision down the middle which takes two to three months to heal.

Mr Balacumaraswami works with a team of surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses and assistants. Their technique could soon give people too weak for conventional heart surgery this life-saving treatment.

Kenneth Keay needed just a two-inch incision in the left side of his chest for his single coronary bypass operation. Two of the 60-year-olds ribs were prised apart to create a tunnel into the heart to use keyhole instruments up to a foot long.

Kenneth said: "For 30 years I have suffered pain that I put down to indigestion. Then after I had just started a hill walk it happened again and my girlfriend persuaded me to drive back to the University Hospital's Emergency Centre. I was kept in and the doctor said my heart disease was too bad for medication or a stent.

"Surgery was the only option and they mentioned this minimal invasive procedure which had many benefits so I agreed at once. I had the operation on the Thursday a​nd was back home on the Sunday pain-free. I am now walking up to seven miles four days a week and haven't felt this good for years."

(Pictures provided courtesy of The Sentinel)​