A UK-first operation that removes both adrenal glands at the same time has been carried out at Oxford University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
The operation, a bilateral simultaneous retroperitoneoscopic adrenalectomy (BSRA), was performed by Churchill Hospital-based endocrine surgeon consultants Radu Mihai and Shad Khan in May 2019.
Such surgery to remove the adrenal glands, which are small structures attached to the top of each kidney that produce a variety of hormones, is very difficult as it requires both surgeons to be able to perform it.
Due to its complexity only a handful of surgeons in the country can perform an adrenalectomy via the retroperitoneal approach, and with Radu and Shad we are the only Trust which has two surgeons able to do it.
BSRA is quicker and healthier for the patient and avoids the need for two separate operations or one very long procedure. While it has been performed in some European countries and in the US, it has never been done in the UK.
Performing the bilateral operation one after the other requires 3-4 hours of surgery, and is a procedure that is expected to be carried out at the Trust approximately once every two to three years.
However, by performing it at the same time, Radu and Shad were able to cause minimal tissue disruption during a more complicated but safer operation that took 90 minutes.
Shad, also an OUH Governor, said: “I was delighted to be part of a UK first operation. Oxford has always been highly regarded in terms of endocrine surgery, and I am honoured to be part of the team.
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