New technology at NNUH helps patients with ovarian cancer

Technology that monitors blood pressure during surgery is having a major impact on patients with advanced ovarian cancer at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The device looks at the patient’s blood pressure, providing detailed information about their heart function. It also guides the theatre team in delivering more targeted fluid therapy during surgery.

Standard treatment for advanced ovarian cancer is cytoreductive surgery, a procedure lasting between eight and 14 hours in which blood loss can be extensive.

The introduction of the haemodynamic monitor has seen patient stays in critical care reduced from three days to one and overall hospital stays from 10 days to six.

Consultant anaesthetist Dr Rocio Ochoa-Ferraro tested the MostcareUp device from Vygon and said: “I was not going to buy a £50,000 machine if it was not going to improve care of my patients, but it did. Care was massively improved, and this monitor is key to developing our therapy for ovarian cancer patients.”

One patient to benefit from the equipment is Genene Sheppard. Following her laparoscopy, Sheppard remained in hospital under the care of consultant surgeon Mr Nikos Burbos, who delayed surgery until she was well enough. Her fluid levels needed to be built up, but she also needed surgery quickly. The decision was made to conduct the surgery using the new monitor.

She said: “The anaesthetist said she had never seen levels as low as mine before – but she liked a challenge. She told me that my recovery would be slower than most because I was coming from such a low point. There is light at the end of the tunnel. For women just starting out on this treatment it might seem like there isn’t, but there are always new procedures and equipment coming along.”

Picture: Genene Sheppard

Published on page 24 of the April issue of RAD Magazine.

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