Organised screening programmes or scans are picking up cancers, often at an earlier stage. Screening can allow for diagnosis of cancers when they are most treatable…, says thoracic surgeon Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A new minimally invasive lung cancer surgery is ensuring lower post-operative risks and quicker recovery time for patients, it was announced at the Arab Health forum in Dubai World Trade Centre on Thursday.

The new procedure called Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) lobectomy, involves keyhole surgery with small incisions and no rib-spreading.

Dr Simon Jordan, consultant thoracic surgeon at Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Specialist Care, who conducted a simulated VATS lobectomy at the Arab Health forum, told Gulf News: “We have found the use of single port minimally invasive surgery reduces the amount of post-operative pain and speeds up the recovery process. It also allows the patient to have a more rapid return home.”

The prognosis of cases where the lung tumours were small was particularly good, he added.

“Organised screening programmes or scans are picking up cancers, often at an earlier stage. Screening can allow for diagnosis of cancers when they are most treatable, and surgery has a chance to be more curative,” said Dr Jordan.

In the UAE, according to the last figures released by the Health Department of Abu Dhabi, there are 4,500 new cases of cancer each year with breast, colorectal and lung cancers among the top five cancers.

With 22 per cent of the population being smokers, the UAE has a very high rate of lung cancer, which figures among the top five cancers in the country.

Case study

Ali, 66, a UAE national who was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2018, underwent the VATS lobectomy procedure at the UK-based hospital.

The businessman who was fit and active but a regular smoker was first diagnosed with a cardiac condition and despite regular medication experienced steady weight loss and felt fatigued. The screening showed up a tumorous growth in his lung but it was in the initial stages of malignancy. Dr Jordan conducted the VATS lobectomy and Ali was discharged within five days of surgery and has resumed his regular life in the UAE. Ali told Gulf News: “I was happy that there was minimal pain after the surgery and I was able to move about with little discomfort. Now I no longer feel fatigued and only have a small scar which has healed well. In a recent follow-up consultation I was declared free of cancer. I am relieved this has happened with such speed of recovery and minimal pain.”