Mr Drostan Cheetham
25th February 2020
Mr Cheetham is an outstanding surgeon. We first met him three weeks before my scheduled surgery. I was diagnosed with bowel cancer (found from the bowel screening programme offered to everyone aged 55) and Mr Cheetham explained that the 5cm tumour was 12cm inside me and I'd need keyhole surgery to remove it. He gave me a quick inspection. His warm, friendly, cheerful manner along with the straightforward explanation he gave of the procedure inspired a lot of confidence. And this confidence was well placed. Mr Cheetham is a seasoned expert. He answered all our questions patiently and thoroughly. He explained the operation with a diagram in simple terms that we could understand. He gave me the possible scenarios of outcome (50/50 on having a stoma, possible chemotherapy if the cancer had spread). He outlined the risks (which I believe all doctors and surgeons have to do these days) but still I left feeling very happy to be in his hands. He left me in no doubt that he is thorough, careful, skilful and runs his team extremely well in theatre. He didn't have to explicitly state this - I could tell. He inspires trust - he clearly knows what he is doing!
We met Mr Cheetham again, briefly, an hour or so before my operation. This was to sign my consent. Again, he made me and my husband feel very relaxed and happy. His cheerful confidence made me realise here was a man who had done this lots of time before, very successfully.
A student asked my permission to watch the operation, which I gladly gave. Later in hospital, this student told me the operation lasted three hours and Mr Cheetham 'was amazing!'. Prior to the operation, the care from the nurses and the anaesthesia team was absolutely superb. Their kindness and good humour was so helpful. I felt completely peaceful going into surgery.
Mr Cheetham phoned my husband immediately after my surgery - my family all felt that they were kept very well informed.
I spent four nights in hospital and received incredible care and encouragement from the nurses there.
Mr Cheetham visited me along with Laura Payne, the bowel nurse. Both were happy with my recovery and gave me good advice.
I saw Mr Cheetham again two weeks after my surgery. I have been so impressed with my stomach - the keyhole surgery he performed was so neat and is healing very well. The resection join has held and I needed no stoma. He removed 28 lymph nodes (when only 12 are required) to thoroughly check to see if the cancer had spread. I am very fortunate that it hasn't, so I don't need chemotherapy.
What an incredible surgeon. I count myself extremely lucky to have been placed into his care.