A Swindon patient support group has raised more than £14,000 towards new surgical equipment at the Great Western Hospital.
Swindon Ileostomy Association (IA), which supports patients following radical bowel surgery, has helped Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to buy transanal endoscopic equipment, which reduces the need for major abdominal surgery.
Transanal Endoscopic Operation, or TEO, is a technique for performing microsurgery through the back passage, or rectum.
TEO is most commonly used to remove benign or non-cancerous growths, called polyps. Although patients still need to have a general anaesthetic, this less invasive procedure means patients experience less pain and don’t need a colostomy bag, so they can recover more quickly and spend less time in hospital.
Swindon IA were inspired to raise money for the TEO equipment after hearing of its benefits to patients. The £14,000 raised, through a variety of events including table top sales and auctions, was then matched by Trust charity Brighter Futures, to reach the £28,000 needed to fund the project.
Frank Williams, Chairman of Swindon IA, said: “We are very proud of our links with the GWH, and are delighted we could help with this project.
“After 18 months of vigorous fundraising we were still short of the £28,000 target when Brighter Futures stepped in, and immediate purchase of the equipment then became possible.
“Swindon IA wishes to thank everyone who has worked so hard for us to achieve our goal.”
Rod Alexander, Consultant Laparoscopic Colorectal Surgeon at Great Western Hospital, said: “We have the expertise at GWH to provide this service, all we have needed is the equipment. With the very generous support of the Swindon Ileostomy Association and Brighter Futures, we have now purchased two sets of TEO equipment.
“Until recently, Swindon patients suitable for TEO had been referred to Cheltenham or Oxford for the procedure, but can now have the operation without the need to travel and without the need for major surgery.”
Swindon IA have supported a number of projects at the GWH in the past, including providing funding for specialist stoma care nurses and producing a patient information DVD on life after a colostomy or ileostomy, where part or all of your large intestine is removed to treat conditions such as bowel cancer, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
For more information, visit www.swindon-ia.org.uk