Stomach op surgeon tells of success

op success: Mike Wilkinson
op success: Mike Wilkinson
Share this article
Have your say

The surgeon who treated a teenager who needed an emergency operation to remove her stomach has spoken for the first time about the rare surgery.

Specialist upper gastro-intestinal surgeon Mike Wilkinson carried out reconstruction surgery on Gaby Scanlon, from Heysham, for spontaneous rupture of the stomach.

The four-hour procedure took place at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary after Gaby drank a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen.

Although similar gastro-intestinal procedures are a fairly regular occurrence, the procedure carried out on Gaby was, Mr Wilkinson said, “a rare and historically a potentially fatal condition.”

Up until the 1990s just 70 cases had been recorded worldwide.

And Mr Wilkinson believes there has been only one other incident involving liquid nitrogen.

He said: “It’s an uncommon and very serious condition which has a very high mortality rate.

“However, in this day and age we would hope that a young and fit patient would survive if they are treated quickly.”

Symptoms include vomiting,excruciating abdominal pain, shock and breathlessness and marked abdominal distention and tenderness.

The condition can in some cases lead to septicaemia and multi-organ failure.

Gaby’s case was the first time Mr Wilkinson had seen a spontaneous rupture of the stomach, although the treatment is similar to other gastro-intestinal procedures.