The city will be home to an “advanced microsurgical lymphatic reconstruction program” that involves B.C.’s first vascularized lymph node transfer procedure, done in only a few medical centres in the world.
Monday’s announcement (Oct. 4) was timed with Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
At Surrey’s Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre, the new program will allow lead microsurgeons Imran Ratanshi and Jennifer Prince to conduct two “life-changing” microsurgeries, “which are crucial for those with or have high-risk of developing lymphedema,” according to a news release.
Lymphedema is a chronic disease that develops due to the accumulation of lymphatic fluid in the tissues when there is interference in the flow of fluid through lymphatic channels. This can result in fluid retention and lifelong swelling.
In Canada, the foundation says, lymphedema is primarily caused by cancer treatment for breast, melanoma, head and neck, and sarcomas, including removal of lymph nodes and radiation, or direct traumatic injury to lymphatic channels.
Ratanshi talks about the lymphatic reconstruction program in a video posted to Surrey Hospitals Foundation’s YouTube channel.
“Surrey will be well-positioned to offer immediate and early reconstruction for patients at uniquely high risk for developing lymphedema, which is commonly caused by cancer or cancer treatment,” Ratanshi explained.
“The Surrey Hospitals Foundation’s investment will allow us develop a new lymphatic reconstruction program to perform these breakthrough microsurgeries to offer the next evolution of care for patients with breast and other aggressive cancers.”
Ratanshi is among only a few plastic surgeons in Canada with dual-subspecialty training in both microvascular reconstruction and craniofacial surgery, while Prince is a plastic surgeon with subspecialty training in microvascular reconstruction.
The foundation’s investment includes a ultra-high magnification microscope for such procedures, along with a “Spy Phi” camera system.
Surrey Hospitals Foundation is fundraising to upgrade the 10-year-old Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre with a goal of $8 million by end of 2021. Canadian business leader Jim Pattison is matching donations up to $4 million to help invest in “critical” diagnostic medical equipment for the facility. Details are posted on surreyhospitalsfoundation.com.