Research hosted by LGH could make a real difference in breast surgery

LGH Summer research students

David Sciascia, Dearbhla Hillick and Eoghan Shanley with Alison Johnston, Clinical Research Nurse (standing).

Three medical students who are carrying out research through Letterkenny General Hospital have undertaken work to identify new potential techniques to reduce the volume of breast removed during conservative breast cancer surgery.

Under the supervision of Clinical Research Nurse Alison Johnston and Breast Surgeon Michael Sugrue, the students have identified new techniques of breast volume measurement.

Those techniques have now been patented in San Francisco.

This is the third consecutive year that Letterkenny General Hospital's Breast Unit has undertaken a research fellowship programme for the summer.

The three students - Dearbhla Hillick, Eoghan Shanley and David Sciascia – have been funded through donations from members of the public in the North West.

Breast Surgeon Michael Sugrue says Letterkenny Hospital has a low re-excision rate following breast conservative surgery in line with international best practice and this is monitored regularly. He says the findings of the students’ research are significant and he's very happy with the progress the research programme is making. He says Letterkenny General is making a significant contribution to advancing clinical breast research in Ireland.

Mr Sugrue and his team have established one of the first courses in the world for teaching multi disciplinary breast cancer care to health professionals, and as part of that process, the hospital is hosting a one-day programme today organised by the Donegal Clinical Research Academy.