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No, the February Members’ Event was not the screening of the 2008 epic film of this title, but was a friendly warning from Trust Chief Executive, Andrew Liles, to the audience gathered for a presentation by five of our Trust’s Consultant Vascular Surgeons. The blood would only be in pictures on the screen, he hastened to add, in his introduction when he mentioned with great pride that the vascular service at Ashford & St Peter’s NHS Foundation Trust had successful patient outcomes which were amongst the best in the whole country. Most hospitals are unable to make this provision and it is offered to a large part of Surrey (notably the catchment areas of the hospitals in Epsom, Guildford and Redhill) by a team of six Consultant Vascular and Endovascular Surgeons and four Interventional Radiologists.

 

First to speak was Mr Neil Browning who introduced the Complex Endovascular Aortic Aneurysm Programme, a partnership in association with a London hospital. He explained exactly what an aneurysm was, where it happened in the body and then how it could be treated with a stent graft. Passing round different types of stent, so that the audience could see exactly what was inserted, made this insight even more interesting.

 

Mr Magdy Moawad followed on and spoke about Carotid Artery Disease (including a stroke, which is the third most common cause of death), the symptoms which lead to it and the investigations undertaken to help guide treatment. The surgical removal of the disease in the carotid artery was illustrated by pictures and showed an endarterectomy technique inserting a shunt through the neck, sometimes under a local anaesthetic.

 

Next to speak was Mr Barun Majumder, who has recently joined the hospital bringing new techniques to the vascular team. With a YouTube illustration he explained the role of Intravascular Ultrasound (IVUS) in this type of investigation and surgery. He explained how fortunate the Trust was in having a fully functional Hybrid Theatre in which to undertake this work. Published data is already showing that IVUS may improve upon the high success rate in many vascular treatments.

 

Taking the audience back into history for a little while was Mr Abdullah Jibawi, also new to the Trust. He explained that it was not really until the 1970s – 80s that open aortic surgery was common place, he said, and the death rate in the early years was one in five patients. It is now between one and 5 in 100. Mr Jibawi made the link between art and science explaining that in the innovative design of what is used in grafts etc there needs to be an artistic eye.

 

Mr Tahir Ali was the concluding speaker and gave anonymous details of a recent patient who was successfully treated with a human cadqueril aortic replacement, following an aortic aneurysm repair which had been performed at another trust. The graft had become infected and needed to be explanted. This is a rare operation and only a handful of units have used this technique in the UK. He also explained how vascular surgeons were called upon by colleagues in many other specialties in this Trust and other hospitals to give advice and treatment. The first speaker, Mr Browning, summed up the event and asked Members for their support to ensure that vascular services continued to flourish at Ashford & St Peter’s so that the expert level of care would continue to be a great benefit to patients in a wide area in Surrey.

 

There are at least two ways to measure how interesting for an audience an event like this actually is, and how much it is appreciated. These are the number of questions asked and their ‘quality’, and even when the session overruns virtually everyone remains in their seats. This is what happened on 25th February, and blood was only seen in pictures!

 

Keith Bradley, Public Governor for Woking and Guildford

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