Gdańsk medical team make a world’s first with operation on baby

The medical team that carried out the operation in Gdańsk. Medical University of Gdańsk/Facebook

A Gdańsk medical team has carried out a rare medical procedure for the first time in the world on a child under the age of two.

Professor Piotr Czauderna, head of the Department of Surgery and Urology for Children and Adolescents, and Professor Tomasz Jastrzębski, from the Department of Oncologic Surgery, led a team from the Medical University of Gdańsk as they carried out a procedure known as a cytoreduction and intraperitoneal chemotherapy on a seven-month old baby from Kraków.

Until now the cancer-treating procedure had only been carried out on children over the age of two.

Professor Piotr Czauderna, one of the leaders of the medical team.Rafał Guz/PAP

The child had been diagnosed with non-RMS soft tissue sarcomas, a form of cancer. Soft tissue sarcomas can develop in any part of the body including in muscle, nerves, fibrous tissues, fat and blood vessels. While this is a rare type of cancer it is more common in children than in adults.

In order to remove cancerous lesions from such a young patient the team had to modify the standard HIPEC (intraperitoneal hyperthermic chemo perfusion).

“The procedure consisted of the removal of cancerous lesions, known as cytoreduction and the use of intraperitoneal chemotherapy, known as HIPEC,” said Professor Piotr Czauderna. “Usually it is given in hyperthermia with heating but due to the child's age we did not do this. The standard HIPEC procedure was modified by Professor Tomasz Jastrzębski who is a specialist in this area.

The Medical University in Gdańsk.Medical University of Gdańsk/Facebook

“I feel good after the operation and the good news is that the patient is doing well.  She has started drinking milk and tea,” he added. “We hope that we will be able to discharge her soon,”

So far there have only been seven such procedures in Poland, all of which have been carried out at the Clinic of Surgery and Urology of Children and Youth of the Medical University of Gdańsk, the only hospital in Poland performing the operation.