BMI The Priory & Edgbaston Hospitals in Birmingham
Based at BMI The Priory and Edgbaston Hospitals in Birmingham, all of the consultants have substantive NHS practices and offer a comprehensive private breast service in the UK. From preliminary investigation, to surgery, they deliver a caring and uncomplicated service throughout all stages of treatment and because they understand the sensitivities of female health and that some female patients may have a particular preference for female consultants, they have put together a team of female clinicians. We find out more about the service…
You’re an all female team, was that the basis for coming together?
Yes, surgery is very much a man’s world and yet most of our patients are relieved to have a female surgeon as they feel more comfortable and at ease with another woman. It seemed like such a natural progression, as we have been colleagues and friends for a long time. It is unusual to have two consultant surgeons who have a similar ethos in both surgery and patient care and therefore most surgeons find it difficult to operate together. For Ruth and I this has never been a problem and we introduced combined lists for complicated bilateral breast reconstructions in the NHS.
We have shown that it improves patient care and outcomes with fewer complications. It therefore seemed logical that we should bring this concept to BMI The Priory Hospital.
How does the clinic differ from others?
To my knowledge we are the only all female team in the UK and can provide all types of reconstructive and aesthetic breast surgery ranging from breast implants to free flap breast reconstructions. We also have unique expertise in surgery for lymphoedema of upper andlower limbs, supported by a clinical nurse specialist in breast reconstruction who can perform areola tattooing and a specialist
What type of feedback have you received from patients?
Many of our patients travel across the country, as they feel more confident with a female team.
I think this is because they find it easier to relate to another woman and also more confident in explaining what they want and how they feel. Many men also prefer to have a female surgeon as they feel we pay more attention to detail and are more patient and empathetic.
There appears to be great synergy and energy between the team…
I think the secret is that we are all good friends. We work together for the benefit of patients and there are no egos to contend with. Sharing knowledge and skills can only be beneficial to patient care and outcome. It also means that you have constant consultant care without any gaps in cover, even if someone is away on holiday. We all love the job that we do and feel privileged to work with our patients, as they are a constant source of inspiration for us.