Surgeons: At the Edge of Life

At the Edge of Life

Addenbrooke’s and Royal Papworth hospitals in Cambridge are renowned for carrying out some of the most challenging operations in the country. At both centres, surgeons undertake procedures where their technical skills are crucial because even the smallest slip of the blade could result in disaster.

Addenbrooke’s head and neck surgeon Ekpemi Irune takes on a challenging case where a cancerous tumour in the face and neck is growing so fast, it’s threatening her patient’s life. It’s such an aggressive tumour that Chris, a 60-year-old retired gardener, must have surgery as soon as possible. But removing this large tumour will mean a team of plastic surgeons need to do a complex reconstruction of the face and neck.

Meanwhile, at Royal Papworth, consultant surgeon Ravi De Silva also has a patient with a life-threatening illness. 33-year-old Verity has a genetic condition called Turner syndrome, which has caused her aorta to become enlarged and in danger of fatally rupturing. Ravi needs to replace a diseased section of the aorta with a synthetic one. But he wants to try and save her aortic valve rather than put in a mechanical one that would require Verity to be on blood thinners the rest of her life. But this means a much more complex procedure.

Surgeons: At the Edge of Life – Thursday 9pm on BBC2

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