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County Hospital introduce new bladder cancer treatment service

Patients from University Hospitals of North midlands with small recurrent bladder tumours are benefiting from a new outpatient procedure at County Hospital, Stafford which allows them to go home the same day, minimising the need for any unnecessary hospital stays. 

The Transurethral laser ablation (TULA), it is a quick and pain-free outpatient procedure and involves putting a slender endoscope through the waterpipe and examining the bladder. A fine laser fibre is then used to remove the abnormal tissue or growths within the bladder.

Bladder cancer, in general, is more common in elderly patients and has high chances of recurrence, requiring multiple surgical procedures under general anaesthesia in the operation theatre with day case or an overnight stay.

The procedure takes less than an hour to complete and is done under local anaesthetic, which means patients do not need to be fasted or stop their blood thinning tablets before and they can go home after the procedure.

Dennis Pearsall, 89, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, who recently underwent the procedure, said: “I had the procedure at the beginning of September, it was really quick, I had no after pain, no discomfort and no embarrassment it was perfect. If anyone is offered this procedure I would recommend it, I was home in a few hours and should get my results in a couple of weeks.”

Vinodh Murali, UHNM Consultant Urological Surgeon, said: “We are delighted to be able to provide this service and I am sure this change in practice will greatly benefit our patients. We have a dedicated team of doctors and nurses who are well trained with the procedure and the laser safety measures.  It means patients can get home quicker and avoid any complications being under local anaesthetic.”