Mr Ladas, who regularly operates on multiple secondary tumours in the lung after cancer has spread from other parts of the body, said: ‘When you deal with secondary tumours it is usual for a patient to have ten or more in each lung. The task is to remove them while saving as much of the healthy lung as possible.’
'When the laser light beam is applied to tumour tissue this turns into smoke and gas and disappears completely. It also seals the area so that I don’t have to tie off each vessel and airway as I did before.'
The machine works by transmitting a beam down a flexible glass cylinder covered in a plastic sheath. At the tip of the cylinder is a pen-like device that Mr Ladas holds in his hand enabling him to position the laser exactly where he wants it.
‘It makes the operation much quicker, and recovery is very fast.’
Mr Ladas has already completed 45 procedures, three on primary tumours, with excellent results.
The lung laser theatre opened at Royal Brompton Hospital on 7 June 2010. It is named after Jack Portnoi, one of Mr Ladas’s patients, whose family generously donated the funds to secure the £120,000 instrument.
For more information about the lung laser, read our press release