Renowned Harley Street hospital performs pioneering dual breast surgery

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King Edward VII’s Hospital – located within the Harley Street Medical Area (HSMA) – have announced an achievement in breast reconstruction surgery, having performed their first DIEP flap reconstruction with Lymphatic Microsurgical Healing Approach (LYMPHA) for prevention of secondary breast cancer related lymphedema.

Renowned Harley Street hospital performs pioneering dual breast surgery
Mr Paul Thiruchelvam (second right) and Mr Navid Jallali (center) prepare for surgery with their team from King Edward VII’s Hospital, Stryker Endoscopy and Endomag

The innovative dual surgery procedure was performed by leading surgeons Mr Paul Thiruchelvam and Mr Navid Jallali, who recently joined the multi-specialist hospital’s Breast Unit. Together with colleague Miss Judith Hunter, they are the only group to undertake these extremely complex combined procedures in the UK.

A Deep Inferior Epigastric Artery Perforator (DIEP) flap reconstruction – named today's most advanced form of breast reconstruction – is a type of breast reconstructive surgery where fat, skin, and blood vessels are transposed from the lower abdomen and moved up to the chest to rebuild the breast mound.

During the complex procedure, which can take up to eight hours in surgery and requires special surgical training as well as expertise in microsurgery, no muscle mass is removed to recreate the breast. For patients who have undergone a mastectomy it offers a lower risk of losing abdominal muscle strength and a shorter recovery time compared to TRAM flap procedures.

The pioneering operation was performed for the first time at King Edward VII’s Hospital in combination with LYMPHA, a highly technically demanding microsurgical procedure requiring close coordination between the oncologic surgeon and microsurgeon, and highly skilled nursing support pre and post operatively.

Current clinical evidence shows that the innovative technique reduces the risk of secondary breast cancer related lymphedema, which remains a feared complication of breast cancer treatment, affecting about 1 in 5 people. For patients undergoing treatment, it offers a novel way to maintain good quality of life.

Having successfully undertaken these procedures for patients as part of our dedicated support for the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic, we are delighted that a number of the outstanding team at Imperial College NHS Trust have since joined our team to offer the procedure privately. The new team includes Mr Paul Thiruchelvam, Miss Judith Hunter and Mr Navid Jallali, who are the only group to undertake the LYMPHA procedure in the UK and have been building on their experience with the technique for the past 2-years.

It is testament to the quality and dedication of the support team at King Edward VII’s Hospital that this group of leading surgeons has chosen us to facilitate this pioneering and highly complex procedure.”

Kate Farrow, Director of Operations, King Edward VII’s Hospital

Leading Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Mr Navid Jallali and Mr Paul Thiruchelvam – a Consultant Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon at King Edward VII's Hospital – have been building on their experience with the LYMPHA technique for the past two years.

In 2016, Mr Thiruchelvam was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Fellowship and visited the United States and Japan to observe the use of auxillary reverse mapping (ARM) and LYMPHA in primary lymphoedema prevention. He undertook the first lymphoedema primary prevention procedures in the United Kingdom and is actively involved in lymphoedema prevention and surveillance.

Mr Jallali is one of UK’s leading Plastic microsurgeons specializing in complex breast, head and neck and skin reconstruction and performs over 400 procedures annually. He is recognized nationally and internationally for his reconstructive practice and had recently adopted and refined microsurgical lymphatic reconstruction (LYMPHA).

King Edward VII’s specialist Breast Unit offers pioneering treatments, starting with triple assessment breast screening, including biopsies and mammograms, to surgical treatment performed by leading breast surgeons. The renowned hospital is located within the world-famous Harley Street Medical Area. Managed by long-term landlord The Howard de Walden Estate, the area is home to a community of world-renowned medical professionals.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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