Rare cancer operation at Norwich hospital is a success

Linda Tregidon, 62, of Hadleigh, immediately after her operation at the N&N.

Linda Tregidon, 62, of Hadleigh, immediately after her operation at the N&N. - Credit: Archant

A woman with a rare cancer has had a unique operation to repair a hole in her face.

Linda Tregidon, 62, of Hadleigh, a few weeks after her operation at the N&N with her stitches remove

Linda Tregidon, 62, of Hadleigh, a few weeks after her operation at the N&N with her stitches removed. - Credit: Archant

Linda Tregidon was diagnosed with cancer of the tear duct and underwent an operation to remove two tumours in early December at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, followed by 30 sessions of radiotherapy over six weeks at Ipswich Hospital.

However Mrs Tregidon, 62, from Hadleigh, in Essex, suffered a recognised side-effect and the hole – about the size of a £2 coin – appeared at the side of her nose.

She feared she would lose her eye – but her N&N hospital plastic surgeon Bijan Beigi teamed up with Matthew Yung, an ear, nose and throat surgeon at Ipswich Hospital, to come up with the unique operation to repair the hole – believed the be the first of its kind to be successful.

In the operation two flaps of skin were taken from Mrs Tregidon's face to cover the hole – the first time both flaps have been used together.


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Mr Beigi and Mr Yung have run courses together over the past 15 years for tear duct surgeons.

Mrs Tregidon, who had her stitches out shortly before Christmas, said: 'Mr Beigi and Mr Yung have been amazing.

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'There have been very few downsides – it has been a very positive experience.'

The skin grafted on will

be smoothed out at a later date.

Mrs Tregidon, who only needed nine days off work, has also been told there is no evidence of the disease returning, and so she and her husband, Dave, are planning a big holiday.

The first flap, constructed by Mr Yung from the nasal lining, was attached to the holes in the bone on the side of Mrs Tregidon's face.

Then Mr Beigi took the forehead flap that was attached to the base of the skull and joined it to

the other one 'like a sandwich'.

Mr Beigi said the nasal flap had rarely been used to cover a hole, and added he was very pleased with the result and could not find any other occasion the two flaps have worked like this.

Both he and Mr Yung

now plan to write the procedure up for medical journals.

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