BBC News

Cancer patient's leg treated in separate Glasgow hospital

image copyrightNHS Golden Jubilee
image captionJanette Ritson says she is recovering well after the surgery to remove a sarcoma tumour

Warning: An image from the procedure appears in this report

A cancer patient is recovering after part of her leg was removed and transported to a different hospital for radiation treatment.

Janette Ritson remained at the NHS Golden Jubilee in Clydebank when her left tibia (shin bone) was sent on a 20-minute journey to Glasgow.

It was treated with radiation at the Beatson Cancer Centre before being returned to Clydebank and reattached.

Doctors say the procedure saved Janette from having her leg amputated.

The whole procedure took about 12 hours.

Surgery of this kind would normally have been performed at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

But the sarcoma service was transferred to the Golden Jubilee in April to ensure continuity during the Covid pandemic.

image copyrightNHS Golden Jubilee
image captionThe procedure took about 12 hours

Janette Ritson, 71, said she has had cancer diagnoses twice in the past and knew "something needed to be done".

"It was a little bit daunting, I have to say, knowing that if the operation hadn't worked out that it would mean an amputation," she said.

"That really worried me, but I got my head round it and accepted that's what it was going to be.

"It's absolutely mind-blowing what they have achieved."

Janette added: "Everything is healing well and going according to plan.

"Before the operation I hadn't been able to do much like gardening or anything so just getting back to normal life and not being wheeled about in a chair would be just magic."

Janette's surgery was led by consultant orthopaedic surgeon Ashish Mahendra.

image copyrightNHS Golden Jubilee
image captionThe affected bone was driven 20 miles to be treated with radiation before being re-attached

Mr Mahendra said: "This really was one big team effort by everyone involved and we could not have done this without the teamwork and collaboration when the sarcoma service transferred over to the Golden Jubilee.

"The patient is doing really well so far and is very grateful the cancer is out. She is healing well but has a long road ahead and remains under regular follow-up."

Golden Jubilee director of national elective services Claire MacArthur said: "We have been collaborating with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde since April 2020 to support the continuation of surgery for cancer patients who require urgent treatment during the pandemic.

"A major benefit for both the patients and the service is that the Golden Jubilee has dedicated clinical capacity and has developed green patient pathways to support the continuation of urgent and life critical surgery, minimising risk for cancer patients and minimising delays to their surgery."

She said everyone involved deserved "immense credit".

"The professionalism and collaboration shown by all staff from both health boards is exceptional and is an exemplary example of first class person-centred care," she added.

Related Topics

  • Cancer
  • Glasgow
  • Clydebank