Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Miss Ruth Waters, featured in BBC2 documentary, Surgeons: At the Edge of Life
The three-part series, which airs on 15 January 2018, follows a variety of consultants at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, performing life-changing procedures and innovative surgical techniques as part of their daily routine.
The first episode featured Miss Ruth Waters performing a breast reconstruction procedure called the DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) flap on a patient who had previously suffered from breast cancer. The 8-10 hour ‘DIEP flap’ procedure involved performing a double mastectomy, then removing excess skin and fat from the lower abdomen and using it to shape and rebuild the breasts.
Miss Waters said: “I was intrigued when the production team came to speak to me about my work. It occurred to me that what I see as routine and ordinary is, for the greater part, unknown to most people. As our conversation started I began to tell them of the work I do and why I felt so inspired by my patients.”
As well as other plastic and reconstructive surgery procedures, Miss Waters also performs the DIEP flap at BMI The Priory Hospital in Edgbaston - a procedure she has a particular specialist interest in. For any woman, the thought of having a double mastectomy is extremely daunting, but to know they can have breasts removed and rebuilt in the same procedure gives patients some comfort from a difficult and distressing situation.
She said: “The great thing about the DIEP flap is that you are able to actually improve the site the tissue it is taken from whilst also restoring the breast shape. In other words, it is like having a ‘tummy tuck’ as well as a breast reconstruction. It is one of the more technically challenging and longer surgical operations that we do but it is also the one I find most rewarding.”
12th January 2018