Pioneering lung cancer operation saves former milkman, 74… and leaves just a tiny 2inch scar
- Raymond Page, 74, of Peterborough was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer
- He made history as first person to have his lung removed through cut in stomach
- The pioneering surgery left the retired milkman with a scar measuring only 2in
- He was even free of pain, walking and chatting shortly after successful operation
For decades, surgery to treat lung cancer could take at least five hours followed by months of painful recovery and a lengthy stay in hospital.
But for Raymond Page, 74, it involved a pioneering keyhole operation in only half that time – and he was up and out of bed just hours after the procedure.
The retired milkman has made history as the first patient in the world to have a lung removed through a small cut in his stomach – leaving him with a scar measuring only 2in.
The procedure has been hailed as revolutionary, with experts predicting it could become widespread and pave the way in non-invasive surgery. Raymond page was up and out of bed just hours after the procedure
Mr Page had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer – the most life-threatening form of the disease – after a scan revealed two tumours in his right lung.
The two-and-a-half-hour procedure last November involved detaching his lung and compressing it into a ‘fishing net’ bag before pulling it out of his belly.
Remarkably, he was free of pain, walking and chatting shortly after the operation at the Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire.
Mr Page, from nearby Peterborough, said: ‘I was worried when I heard I was going to be the world’s first. [But] within a matter of hours after the operation I was up.’
The procedure has been hailed as revolutionary, with experts predicting it could become widespread and pave the way in non-invasive surgery.
Surgeons usually treat lung cancer patients by making an incision of up to 8in in the side of the chest.
In Mr Page’s case, they made a small cut between his abdominal muscles. During the procedure, he was able to breathe without a ventilator and was kept in hospital for just six days.
Mr Page, who is now undergoing chemotherapy as a precaution, said: ‘I feel brilliant, if they had done it the normal way I would still be in hospital.’
His wife Jo, 69, with whom he has three children and eight grandchildren, said: ‘The first thought you have when you think about someone in intensive care is all [these] tubes going into people, but he was sat up talking to the nurses. We just thought this was unbelievable. We were so shocked to see him sitting there.’
Dr Giuseppe Aresu, the surgeon behind Mr Page’s operation, credited the procedure’s success to the team of surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses, therapists, dieticians, registrars and radiographers who come from all over the world, the Sunday Times reported.
Every year, about 40,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer in the UK, 6,000 of whom are treated surgically.
Some of the rest are treated with radiotherapy and chemotherapy but most are simply offered palliative treatments.
Surgeons usually treat lung cancer patients by making an incision of up to 8in in the side of the chest. In Mr Page’s case, they made a small cut between his abdominal muscles [File photo]