Child who had back surgery with a straw for cancer

A 12-year-old boy who was successfully operated on at Sainte-Justine hospital for a recurrence of brain cancer was surprisingly able to return home the day after his surgery, carried out through a straw, on his back, to the first time in Quebec.

“I’m very satisfied, it couldn’t have been better! »Reacted the Dr Alexander Weil, neurosurgeon at Sainte-Justine hospital.

On July 22, comedian Jonathan Roberge’s son Xavier underwent surgery for a recurrence of brain cancer.

The boy had undergone a first operation in Sainte-Justine last year to remove a mass the size of a lawyer.

But recently, an exam confirmed what everyone feared: the cancer had returned, but in the lower back this time. This cancer can spread anywhere in the nervous system.

“Even if we had everything removed, invisible tiny cells can fall out, and they cannot be detected by radiology. They therefore escaped treatment and they grew [dans le dos] », Says Dr Because.

Inevitable operation

Because no chemotherapy is effective against this cancer, surgery was inevitable and urgent. The child had two one-centimeter lesions.

Rather than making a large eight-centimeter incision in the back to remove tumors, the Dr Weil used a less invasive technique, through two tubes 18 millimeters in diameter.

“This child is fighting for his life, but we want to minimize the suffering […] and the hospital stay so that he can return to his activities, ”says Dr.r Because.

It was the first intervention of its kind in Quebec in this part of the body, notes the Dr Weil, specialized in this technique. The tumors were extracted through the tubes.

“It’s more difficult, because you’re working through a straw,” he says.

At home … the next day

The five-hour operation went well and Xavier was able to go home the next evening. With the traditional technique, he would have been hospitalized for a week.

“He’s an athlete who likes to play hockey. […] We give him a chance to return to normal life, ”he adds.

However, Xavier Roberge will have to redo radiotherapy treatments and will have a close follow-up in the weeks to come.

“We put the odds on our side with what has been done. We’ll have to see how it evolves, ”says Dr Weil, careful about the chances of survival.

His parents did not want to comment on their son’s surgery at Journal.

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