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New endoscopy procedure reduces need for cancer surgery

Patients suffering from colon cancer are now able to avoid surgery thanks to a new minimally invasive procedure at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust.

Patients at University Hospitals of North Midlands have become the first in the region to benefit from a new minimally invasive procedure to eliminate colon cancer.

The endoscopic full-thickness resection, which can be carried out as a day case and without general anaesthetic, removes a whole suspicious polyp along with part of the bowel wall.

This takes away the whole cancer and cuts out the need for further surgery.

Specialist endoscopy teams at both Royal Stoke University Hospital and County Hospital in Staford will carry out the procedure led by Dr Arun Kurup, consultant gastroenterologist and clinical lead.

Dr Kurup said: “As a department we are embracing newer technology especially in early detection and removal of colorectal cancer. As well as better outcomes for cancer patients, this new procedure has wider benefits to UHNM through reductions in unnecessary surgery.

“Using a new device which we attach to a conventional colonoscope, we can remove suspicious polyps as a single piece along with part of the bowel wall rather than in multiple pieces.

“By removing the whole polyp, we are curing the whole cancer with the patient therefore not requiring any further rectal surgery which comes with its own complications.”

He added: “By cutting through the polyp to remove it, as in previous techniques, we are also not sure if the cancer has been removed completely. By removing the polyp entirely with this technique, we will be able to see how deep the cancer has grown within it.

“By removing part of the bowel wall, it also prevents recurrence of the potentially cancerous polyp growing back as we’re removing everything with deep margins.

“It can also used for polys which are scared and not able to be removed through conventional techniques.”