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King's Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital transforms bladder cancer pathways and improves patient experience

Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital has become the first NHS Acute Trust in the region to deliver Transurethral Ablation of Bladder Tumour (TULA) procedures under a local anaesthetic, transforming the bladder cancer pathway and improving patient experience.

The procedure uses a flexible cystoscopy which examinations the bladder using a camera on a thin flexible tube and uses laser treatment to remove any reoccurring tumours or suspicious areas.

Previously at QEH, TULA procedures were only carried out using a general anaesthetic which had to be performed in main theatres and resulted in longer waiting times. Using a local anaesthetic has transformed the standard of care for patients and streamlines the pathway for all.

The QEH urology team (61534705)
The QEH urology team (61534705)

Urology consultant Cristian Ilie said: “I am so happy that we can now offer this alternative option for patients with balder cancer. This new way of working increases capacity, reduces waiting times, and allows us to deliver safer and more effective treatment efficiently, while also optimising cancer diagnostic resources.”

Dr Radu Croitoru added: “We’re now able to treat more patients, including those who were previously unfit for a general anaesthetic due to complexities in their health.”

This transformation will have a lasting and positive impact on the bladder cancer pathway at the Trust and will continue to improve the experience patients receive.

Clare Harvey, sister and cancer nurse specialist, added: "Some of our patients have frequent recurrences of their bladder cancer and having the ability to have the tumour removed at the time of their local anaesthetic cystoscopy will prevent them from having to wait for their operation and also from having multiple general anaesthetics."

Peter Pop, outpatients urology lead nurse, added: “Patients are already so pleased with this improved service and their feedback so far has been incredibly positive, especially around improved waiting times for treatment.”

Last month QEH was also among the first in the UK to purchase a new Karl Storz Power LED Saphira light source, which brings new high-definition and razor-sharp quality image in all visualisation modes, resulting in a higher quality white and blue light image.

This new advanced equipment will elevate the standard of urology procedures and will provide a better white and blue light experience for our urology surgeons, but more importantly, it will improve outcomes for our bladder cancer patients.

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