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State of the art Laparoscopic operating theatre opens at University Hospital of North Durham

Ribbon cutting

A successful bid for national funding means that patients requiring laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery, will now benefit from a new state of the art surgical theatre at University Hospital of North Durham, which is part of County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust.  The operating theatre features some of the latest technology and surgical equipment, and will be used exclusively to perform laparoscopic procedures.


Mr Mishreki in theatre

Mr Andrew Mishreki, Consultant Colorectal and General Surgeon, and Trust Cancer Lead, explains; "Laparoscopic surgery has been well evidenced over many years to improve outcomes for patients, these include decreased post-operative pain, a speedier recovery from surgery, fewer post-operative complications (eg wound infections and the development of hernia's), and a faster return to normal activities.


"The development of laparoscopic techniques, applications towards more surgical procedures, and advancement of surgical technologies, has led to the widespread adoption of the technique."


"The operating theatre will be used predominantly for major colorectal surgery, treating bowel cancers. Here at CDDFT we treat a large number of bowel cancers each year, with 319 operations for this condition alone in the past year. The vast majority of all of these operations are completed laparoscopically.


"The theatre will also be used for other colorectal surgery, including conditions related to inflammatory bowel disease, as well as for complex gynaecological surgery, and general surgery."

The video below is a timelapse of the building of the new theatre.






Malcolm Anderson, 77, retired sales manager from Belmont, Durham, recently underwent laparoscopic surgery under the care of Mr Mishreki, so has experienced its benefits first hand.


He said: "I was diagnosed with colon cancer on Easter Saturday, 16th April, and as with anyone receiving a cancer diagnosis, it was a shock.  But I've been delighted with the care I've received.  In the weeks following the diagnosis, I underwent a number of tests and Mr Mishreki explained that he would be aiming to remove all the cancer during the surgical procedure, which I underwent on 19th May.


"Having arrived at University Hospital of North Durham at 8.30am, I was in recovery by lunchtime and was up and about very quickly.  I only have a tiny scar, around my belly button and I'm sure this and the fact the procedure was keyhole, made it much easier to recover.


"Mr Mishreki was able to remove all the cancer meaning I was cancer free and didn't require any further treatment.  It meant I was able to get on with all the things my wife and I enjoy, particularly days out and planning longer holidays, within weeks of the diagnosis.  It's marvellous that the new laparoscopic theatre means more people like me can benefit and new techniques can be used as they become available.


"We're very lucky to have this opening at our local hospital.  I can't speak highly enough of everyone involved in my care, including the specialist nurses who continue to care for me, offering among other things advice on diet and nutrition."


Mr Mishreki added, "The new operating theatre will house all of the latest innovations and technologies within the field of laparoscopic surgery, and all will be integrated into the working space, allowing us to offer the very latest technological advances to our patients. The equipment is all ceiling mounted, and it will no longer be necessary to move heavy equipment between operating theatres - providing further efficiencies during the course of the day."


"Being able to develop this integrated theatre means that we are able to free up a more traditional operating theatre, helping to clear some of the surgical waiting list that has resulted as an effect of the pandemic."


"The opportunity to work with the latest technology, in an environment tailored exactly to our needs, is also great for recruiting the very best theatre staff and for retaining our existing, much valued teams. We're also delighted that one full wall of the theatre will feature a wonderful image of Durham Cathedral - further improving everyone's working environment."

'I would like to thank all the staff for my treatment and their professionalism.'

Patient, Cardiology Department, Bishop Auckland Hospital