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Pioneering procedure at UHCW helps to save mother’s sight

A mother has had her sight saved after skilled surgeons at University Hospital, Coventry, performed a pioneering procedure to remove a brain tumour through her nose.


Jackie Llewellyn-Robinson says she is eternally grateful for the ‘fantastic care and compassion’ she received from University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust to help get her life back on track.


The 48-year-old first became aware that something might be wrong when she felt dizzy and lightheaded after standing up.


A couple of days later, the vision in her left eye became blurred, something Jackie describes as being ‘like looking through a dirty window’.


After visiting the Accident and Emergency Department at University Hospital, it was found Jackie had a lesion compressing her left optic nerve.


Treatment options included a Craniotomy, involving surgical removal of part of the bone from the skull to expose the brain, followed by radiotherapy.


To minimise potential side effects, surgeons instead decided on a two pronged approach that included a Craniotomy to remove part of the tumour and a delicate operation to remove the remainder in pieces through her nostril. 


Surgeon Professor Amjad Shad worked with a tiny endoscope camera and light to access the tumour from underneath the brain with long instruments.


The tumour was completely removed, with no radiotherapy required. Jackie was able to return to her family home in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, just five days later.


Jackie, who lives with her husband Ian, said: “I am so grateful for the fantastic treatment I have received at UHCW.


I was worried about the operation, but the team took the time to explain the benefits and make sure I was comfortable


“The care, reassurance and compassion I received has been second to none.


“To have the surgery on the Sunday and be discharged by the Friday is amazing. I would like to thank everyone at the Trust for giving me my life back.”


It is the first time that a combined procedure of this nature has been undertaken in Coventry – and won’t be the last.


“This life changing procedure is at the cutting edge of neurosurgery,” Mr Shad said.


“We are able to reach the tumour with minor disturbance to the surrounding parts of the brain. This is less traumatic and allows patients to make a quicker recovery.


“It is amazing to see the difference it has made to Jackie and her outlook on life.”

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