The PlasmaJet in action during surgery

The PlasmaJet in action during surgery

I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in October 2015 and came to The Royal Marsden for surgery. My symptoms started in September last year, when I began to experience bloating and indigestion. I was scanned at my local hospital in Jersey, and further tests confirmed I had advanced ovarian cancer.

Gynaecologists at my local hospital had a multidisciplinary team meeting with The Royal Marsden via video link, and Mr John Butler, from The Royal Marsden, decided that I should start chemotherapy first to reduce the size of the tumour. I was advised that surgery could leave me with a colostomy as there was a risk that some of my bowel needed to be removed.

Being left with a stoma was a worry. I knew I could live with it if necessary, but it wasn’t something I wanted. Mr Butler mentioned the possibility of being treated with the PlasmaJet – a groundbreaking piece of technology that uses hot plasma energy to cut through tissue, stop bleeding and destroy cancer cells safely. As it causes very little damage to surrounding healthy tissue, it reduces the likelihood of needing a stoma.

Because of this wonderful technology, they managed to do the operation without me needing a colostomy. As far as I’m concerned, my quality of life is now 100%. It was a big operation, but my care was fantastic and I was home after 12 days. My recovery rate has been so much quicker than I expected and I’m doing really well. We’re very lucky to have The Royal Marsden; it’s the best place you could possibly go to.

I’m grateful to Mr Butler for giving me the option to be treated with the PlasmaJet. Now I can continue to walk my dog Laverne – he keeps me active. My aim is to get back to work as a district nurse as soon as I can, so a shorter, less complicated recovery following surgery has certainly helped.

Mr John Butler, Consultant Gynaecological Surgeon, says: “During PlasmaJet surgery, cancer cells are removed or vaporised without causing damage to the surrounding tissue. Removal of bowel tissue can mean that a stoma is required, which has a serious impact on a patient’s quality of life.

"Fortunately for Julie, the PlasmaJet ensured that she didn’t require a stoma, we could remove all of her tumour and she could get back to doing her usual activities.

“There’s no other surgical device that is as safe and effective in removing or destroying tumours on structures such as the bowel and its blood supply. We are tremendously grateful to the generous supporters of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, who funded the PlasmaJet for The Royal Marsden.”