SURGEONS working at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are pioneering the use of new technology to help them treat cancer of the liver.

New software being trialled at the Trust allows specialists to make better use of MRI scans carried out in advance of liver surgery, giving them a much clearer picture of the overall health of the liver. This enables them to better predict how the liver will react if part of it is removed surgically.

Hampshire Hospitals is the first Trust in the country to trial this new technology, which has been installed at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and is available to suitable patients referred to the hospital from across the south of England.

Mr Myrddin Rees, consultant liver surgeon at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester, and Andover War Memorial Hospital, said: “Until now, the opportunity to extend surgery to more patients with primary and secondary tumours in the liver has been thwarted by our inability to accurately judge how the portion of the liver left in place, the so-called liver remnant, will react.

“This new technology offers an exciting opportunity to fill this gap in our knowledge and could enable more patients to undergo potentially life-saving surgery.

“Having a better idea of how the liver will respond and regenerate gives us the opportunity to take additional precautions and consider a number of different courses of treatment. It can help us decide when to carry out an operation as the liver may need time to recover before surgery, or work out which part of the liver should be left behind.”

The new software, which cost £45,000, was purchased for the Trust by the North Hampshire Medical Fund, which raises funds for advanced equipment, outside of the NHS budget, at Basingstoke hospital.

The money was raised during a wine dinner at Highclere Stud, attended by around 150 people, hosted by John Warren, Lady Carolyn Warren, who is a governor of the North Hampshire Medical Fund and Harry Herbert.

Mr Rees added: “I’d like to say a big thank you to everybody who supports the North Hampshire Medical Fund and attended the event for enabling us to buy this equipment. We are sure that the research we are carrying out will make a real difference to the lives of many patients.”