Two surgical teams treat Australian patient in 9-hour tumor removal surgery

March 05, 2024 - 11:59
With the high expertise and professional skill level of the specialists, the surgery was initially successful.
The façade of Hanoi French Hospital. — Photo courtesy of Hanoi French Hospital

HÀ NỘI — Hanoi French Hospital (HFH) has successfully operated on a 63-year-old Australian patient with parotid gland carcinoma.

The patient arrived at HFH with a tumor in the left parotid gland area, which had caused skin infiltration and was about 4-5cm in size.

The patient reported that the tumor had appeared five weeks earlier, gradually increasing in size over time, and had undergone fine-needle aspiration with cytology results in Argentina.

The patient decided to travel from Argentina to Việt Nam for treatment. After a thorough examination and testing, the ENT doctors at HFH convened a consultation board.

They diagnosed that the parotid gland cancer had metastasized to the lymph nodes. Without timely treatment, it could metastasize further, posing risks of nerve, vascular, and lymphatic system damage.

The surgery posed many risks of facial nerve paralysis, affecting the eyes, and mouth, etc. After tumor removal, a skin graft was also necessary due to the large size of the tumor and the wide area of skin excision, which made the grafting challenging.

A team of French and Vietnamese doctors at HFH formed a consultation council with doctors from Hanoi Medical University and the National ENT Hospital, deciding to perform surgery to treat the patient promptly and avoid complex, life-threatening complications.

The surgery team perform the surgery on the patient. — Photo courtesy of Hanoi French Hospital
The surgery lasts 9 hours. — Photo courtesy of Hanoi French Hospital

The surgery lasted from 9 am to 6 pm, involving two surgical teams: one for head and neck surgery to remove the tumor, clean the metastatic nodes, and preserve the facial nerve; another for microsurgery to transplant a free flap of skin from the thigh to replace the skin in the parotid gland area after the tumor excision.

With the high expertise and professional skill level of the specialists, the surgery was initially successful. After 14 days in the hospital, the patient's condition improved significantly.

The patient was able to perform normal activities, was alert, and had good eye and lip movement, preserving all their facial nerves. The free skin flap was well-nourished and recovered well.

Associate Professor Dr. Võ Thanh Quang, an ENT specialist and Deputy General Director of Hanoi French Hospital, said:

“Typically, malignant parotid gland tumors progress quickly, causing swelling, pain, and invasion into the facial nerve, leading to partial or even complete peripheral facial paralysis. In treating malignant parotid gland tumors, the highest surgical goal must be to completely remove the tumor, alongside maximal preservation of the facial nerve.”

“Therefore, doctors need to operate precisely, supported by modern equipment for the surgery to be successful. In this patient's case, due to the large size of the tumor and the extensive area of skin that had to be removed, a group of vascular microsurgery experts performed a free skin flap microsurgery to cover the surgical cavity, which was a challenging part of the surgery.”

At Hanoi French Hospital, an internationally trained team of doctors collaborates across specialties, equipped with modern devices to help screen, early detect diseases, and provide an effective treatment plan. — VNS