New technique used at Papworth Hospital to remove a rare tumour

Consultant Marco Scarci and Michael Kerr with non invasive equipment used for his procedure

Consultant Marco Scarci and Michael Kerr with non invasive equipment used for his procedure - Credit: Archant

A SELF-employed builder has become the first patient at Papworth Hospital to benefit from a state-of-the-art technique to remove a rare tumour.

Michael Kerr is preparing to go back to work just over a month after having a rare tumour, called a thymoma, removed from his chest thanks to a non-invasive technique being introduced by Marco Scarci, a consultant lung surgeon at the UK’s leading heart and lung hospital.

The 57-year-old said his recovery has been remarkable after he was discharged from hospital just 48 hours after surgery.

The procedure involved making a small incision below his arm pit and using state-of-the-art equipment including an endoscopic camera, to remove the tumour.

He said: “I’m over the moon with the procedure. I felt so much better after three or four days. I can’t thank Mr Scarci enough.”


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The traditional method of removing a tumour behind the breast bone would be to have a sternotomy, which involves breaking the breast bone to remove it.

Mr Kerr, a father-of-two from Peterborough, said: “It would have been an awful lot of pain to have it removed the traditional way, I imagine. This way meant I went home after two days and had the stitches removed at my local surgery.

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“The results are unbelievable. It has meant I can go back to work sooner which is a great help as I am self-employed.”

Following a sternotomy, patients would need to stay in hospital for five or six days following surgery and then take several months to recover fully at home.

Mr Scarci, consultant surgeon in Thoracic Services, said the traditional method was invasive and painful.

Mr Scarci hopes to use this method more frequently wherever appropriate and also to treat young adults with a long-term condition which weakens muscles, called myasthenia gravis, using the procedure.

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