Friday, July 10, 2009

(Adrenal) UHCG surgeons taught rare surgical procedure

Niamh Mullen

A world-renowned specialist in minimally invasive surgery visited Ireland last week to perform a procedure that has never been done here before.

Prof Martin Walz of the University Hospital of Essen in Germany came to University College Hospital Galway (UCHG) to carry out a laparoscopic retroperitoneal adrenalectomy on three Irish patients.

Following the visit, it is hoped the procedure will be performed at UCGH by consultant in general and vascular surgery, Dr Denis Quill. Senior registrar in general and vascular surgery at UCHG, Dr Ilyas Sadiq, said the procedure was so rare it was not done in most countries, but Prof Walz has travelled the world demonstrating it. The laparoscopic procedure is now regarded as the gold standard for resecting most adrenal tumours. It is used to treat pheochromocytoma, Conn’s syndrome and Cushing’s syndrome.

“This is an under-diagnosed problem in the community. It could affect five per cent of people,” said Dr Sadiq.