FAQ'''s

 

  • What is pulmonary metastasectomy?
  • Pulmonary metastasis, a devastating diagnosis for patient and family, means spread for cancer anywhere in the body to lungs. Pulmonary metastasectomy means removal of cancer from the lungs. Today, patients with spread of cancer to lungs are considered ‘incurable’. Their overall 5-year survival is just 3 to 5%. In selected patients, pulmonary metastasectomy improves this figure up to 30 to 40%.
  • Why this operation is not very popular?
  • Present techniques of pulmonary metastasectomy are not perfect. They involve sacrifice of healthy lung tissue to a great extent. Patient needs prolonged stay in hospital. If the spread is at many places in one lung or in both lungs, this operation is not possible with present techniques.
  • What is the role of laser in this operation?
  • The modern 1318-nm laser is a perfect answer to all the drawbacks of current techniques. Using special lung laser, multiple nodules of spread from one or both lungs can be removed. There is minimum loss of healthy lung tissue. Even cancer nodules situated deep within lung can be removed with ease and safety. It is done through a very small incision below the armpit. Patient stays in hospital for just 2 to 4 days. If necessary, the operation can be repeated at a later date if patient is unfortunate to have further spread of disease.
  • Which patients are suitable for laser surgery?
  • Patient’s primary cancer, which may be anywhere in body, completely under control. Lung should be the only site of cancer spread. Spread in lung should be completely removable and patient should be physically fit to undergo the procedure.
  • How long does the operation last?
  • About 1 to 2 hours depending on number of cancer nodules in lungs.
  • What is the risk to life?
  • About  1%.
  • Does the patient need blood transfusion or postoperative ventilator treatment?
  • Most often, no.
  • Can this operation not be done without surgery?
  • No, finger palpation during open surgery detects more number of lung nodules than reported on the best CT scan. This is not possible in endoscopic surgery.
  • Does this operation cure cancer?
  • No.
  • What are the drawbacks of this operation?
  • It cannot help all patients with spread to lungs. It is not a substitute for standard methods of treating cancer. The technology is expensive but now it is available at doorsteps.
  • Who carries out this operation?
  • Dr Tushar Shah, a senior Cardio-Thoracic surgeon and consultant at SAL hospital performs this operation. He is specially trained for it in Germany.
  • How old is the laser technology for lung surgery?
  • It is there since 1996 but has picked up rapidly since last 5 years. One centre in Germany, which draws patients from all over the world, has performed more than 2000 operations with this technology. The first lung laser in U.K was installed in June, 2010.
  • Is SAL hospital the first in India to carry out Laser Assisted Pulmonary Metastasectomy?
  • Yes, SAL hospital is the first not only in India but also in Asia to acquire the latest 1318-nm lung laser. We successfully carried out one such operation on 8/04/2011. Patient was discharged within less than 48 hours.
  • What is the final word?
  • So called ‘incurable’ patients can be offered one more option, one more ray of life. The surgery is yet another weapon in our multi-modality fight against cancer.

 

 

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