International Award for NNUH Surgeon
Mr Ed Cheong (right) pictured with Professor J D Luketich
A consultant surgeon from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has been honoured with a prestigious international award.
Mr Ed Cheong, Consultant Oesophagogastric and Laparoscopic Surgeon, was awarded the inaugural Dr James D Luketich Chairman’s International Award for Minimally Invasive Oesophagectomy (MIO) from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre (UPMC), USA. Ed is the first British surgeon to be trained under Professor J D Luketich, at UPMC Pittsburgh, an internationally renowned centre for MIO.
The award was presented at an international conference in Pittsburgh where Ed also gave a presentation on developing MIO in the UK, sharing his experience and expertise with peers from across the globe.
Minimally Invasive Oesophagectomy (MIO) is a highly complex keyhole surgery, which is used to remove part of the oesophagus (gullet) and stomach due to cancer. The procedure to remove the gullet, commonly referred to as a keyhole surgery, involves making small cuts or holes in the abdominal and chest wall, and inserting a camera and other instruments to carry out the operation which lasts for around 8 hours.
NNUH is rated as one the top units in the country for treating oesophago-gastric cancer, with excellent patient outcomes, and it is one of the few units in Europe to perform oesophagectomy using the totally minimally invasive technique. To train in MIO, Ed completed a year-long Fellowship in Pittsburgh with Professor J D Luketich, the pioneer in MIO, and is now one of only 5 surgeons in the country trained to perform this highly complex procedure.
Ed is the first individual outside of the United States to receive the award as recognition of being an international leader in MIO and in advancing treatment for oesophageal cancer. The award has always previously been awarded to a surgeon in the USA who was trained by Professor Luketich or a member of staff at UPMC, which receives referrals for this type of surgery from across the world.
Ed said: “I am very humbled, delighted and also very proud to have been honoured with this award. I’ve been very fortunate to train with world-leading surgeons in this technique at UPMC, and I am committed to sharing this expertise with colleagues at NNUH and surgeons across Europe. This is the highest recognition one could wish for, and it is a result of continuous diligence and attention to detail from the whole oesophageal and gastric cancer team at NNUH.”
“These techniques are the future of major cancer surgery. They provide a enormous benefits for patients including less pain and faster recovery than those associated with major open surgery. Having these services available for the people of Norfolk puts us at the forefront of technology and treatments for these patients.”
Mark Davies, NNUH Chief Executive said: “We’re very proud of our excellent performance in treating patients with these complex cancers. I’d like to congratulate Ed on this wonderful achievement.”
Importantly, the incidence of oesophageal cancer due has risen by 500% in the last four decades due to acid reflux, obesity, smoking, poor diet and lifestyle. The incidence is rising faster than any other cancer in the Western world, and UK has the highest incidence of oesophageal cancer in the world.
More specifically, Norfolk has the 5th highest incidence of oesophageal cancer in UK. Around 60 minimally invasive oesophagectomies are carried out each year at NNUH, one of the largest patient groups in the country and numbers requiring the treatment are growing each year.
Ed also leads the ‘Blow Your Whistle on Oesophageal Cancer’ campaign, which seeks to raise awareness of oesophageal cancer. The aim of the campaign is to encourage people to blow whistles at sporting events so that this activity becomes an established way of raising the profile of these types of cancers. The Oesophago-Gastric Cancer department at the hospital have also recently been chosen as Norfolk and Suffolk Youth Football League’s charity of the year.