NHS medics have become the first in the world to remove a cancer patient’s lung using special keyhole surgery.
Raymond Page, 74, was diagnosed with the most advanced form of the disease, stage 4, after a scan found two tumours.
Surgeons at Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge were able to reach the affected right lung via a small cut between his stomach muscles, rather than causing damage to the chest.
A camera and probe were inserted and the lung was detached and tightly compressed into a netted bag.
It was then removed through the incision.
Shortly after the 2½-hour op, he was free of pain — and walking and chatting to his wife Jo about how expensive it was to use the hospital’s car park.
The retired milkman, of Peterborough, told the Sunday Times he was “a touch apprehensive” to be the first patient in the world to undergo the procedure.
He is still having chemotherapy as a precaution but says he now feels “great”.
Jo, 69, revealed: “The nurse said, ‘I’ve never had anyone in intensive care chatting before.’”
For decades, surgeons have treated lung cancer patients by opening up the side of their chest with a cut up to 8in long.
But the new procedure left a scar of just 2in.
Rather than a long and painful recovery, he was ready to be discharged after four days.
The op is hailed as revolutionary, with experts predicting it could pave the way for a new era in minimally invasive surgery.