New technology for lung cancer surgery in Malaysia

Last update: 06/08/2019

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 6 (Bernama) -- There is good news for lung cancer patients in Malaysia as a new technology for lung cancer surgery is now available at University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) and University of Malaya Specialist Centre (UMSC), offering them painless, cost-effective and shorter hospital stay.

UMMC and UMSC Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr Sivakumar Krishnasamy said the new technology was known as "Uniportal ‘Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery’ (VATS) ”, a technique that allows lung cancer patients to have a smaller single incision which is less painful than conventional surgery.

“We find this technique (Uniportal VATS) is less painful for the patients, they can recover faster and start the next line of treatment earlier. It is only an incision of a small hole about three centimetres and all instruments can go through it with proper training,” he said.

Dr Sivakumar said this to Bernama after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with world-renowned thoracic surgeon Dr Diego Gonzales Rivas, accrediting UMMC as the Malaysia Uniportal VATS Masterclass training centre here, today.

Also present at the MoU ceremony was UMMC Prof Dr. Tunku Kamarul Zaman Tunku Zainol Abidin.

He added that patients would take only two or three days of stay in hospital compared to one week for conventional lung cancer surgery.

"Usually with conventional surgery, patients struggle with pain for a few days where they may not feel well and have higher tendencies of acquiring lung infections and eventually causing longer hospital stay.

“However, with Uniportal VATS all these complications are further minimalised as there is no rib spreading, no muscle bleeding and the incision is much smaller, hence allowing the patient to breathe better post-surgery so that they are able to be discharged earlier.

Dr Sivakumar said the idea to introduce Uniportal VATS came after he went for three months training under Dr Diego at the Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, the largest lung specialist hospital in the world. 

“Through this MoU, Dr. Diego who is also the creator of the Uniportal VATS technique will share his experience to create awareness of this procedure in our country and at the same time to refine the technique to all other surgeons through a short master class,” he said.