Basildon heart patient has 'UK's first' double operation

Paul Kelly, consultant cardiologist and Inderpaul Birdi, consultant, cardiac surgeon and Cherie Bason
Image caption Patient Cherie Bason with doctors Paul Kelly (l) and Inderpaul Birdi (r)

A heart patient has had two operations at the same time, in what surgeons say is the first procedure of its type in the UK.

Retired cashier Cherie Bason, 65, from Essex, was diagnosed with coronary artery disease and a heart valve leak.

Patients with this diagnosis usually have to have open heart surgery, with the breastbone cut in two.

But specialists at Basildon University Hospital have devised "a far less traumatic" method for the surgery.

Paul Kelly, consultant cardiologist and Inderpaul Birdi, consultant cardiac surgeon at the the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre (CTC) , carried out a combined operation, involving a coronary angioplasty to widen the blocked artery, followed immediately by a keyhole mitral valve repair.

The healing time following keyhole surgery is about seven to 10 days, compared with 12 weeks if the breastbone is cut.

Quicker recovery times

"We have been performing keyhole heart surgery at the CTC for several years now and patients recover so much quicker than if we divide the breastbone," Mr Birdi said.

"Until now, those patients with valve problems and coronary artery disease were only offered traditional surgery.

"We have succeeded in combining two keyhole techniques and the outcome speaks for itself.

"This will allow patients who were previously believed to be unsuitable for keyhole surgery to benefit from the technique."

Mrs Bason, went home four days after her operation.

"I feel very well and it is already easier for me to climb the stairs," she said.

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