The Royal Free Hospital provides a full range of breast surgery procedures and the world-class unit has all the facilities on site for the diagnosis and treatment of benign and malignant breast conditions.
Our dedicated breast clinic is staffed by three highly experienced consultant breast surgeons, Mr Tim Davidson and Mr Debashis Ghosh, who are part of a multidisciplinary team which includes medical and clinical oncologists, radiologists, nuclear medicine, breast pathologists and clinical nurse specialists. The breast surgeons, who work both privately and in the NHS, have special interests in breast reconstruction, breast imaging and diagnosis, risk-reducing breast surgery and multidisciplinary treatment for early stage and locally-advanced breast cancer.
The breast surgeons are all members of the Association of Breast Surgery (ABS) and regularly attend and present work at national and international meetings. The breast unit is acclaimed as a specialist training centre for surgeons from the UK and abroad and is highly rated for teaching and research in addition to its clinical excellence.
All appropriate NHS and private patients are discussed with regard to the optimal treatment recommendations at our regular breast multidisciplinary team meetings at the Royal Free Hospital, and can benefit from the input of a cohort of leading specialists.
The Royal Free Hospital has been pioneering in the use of new breast cancer treatments and diagnostic procedures. In 2013 we became the first hospital in the UK and the third in the world to introduce a new imaging technology for breast cancer called breast PET (positron emission tomography).
We were among the first hospitals to offer electrochemotherapy, which uses electrical pulses to make cells more receptive to cancer-killing drugs.
Together with University College London (UCL), we have conducted research into keyhole mastectomy, nipple endoscopy, photodynamic therapy and new computer software to aid clinicians in decision making. The Royal Free Hospital has been a leading centre in the use of sentinel lymph node biopsy, a minimally-invasive procedure used to identify whether cancer has spread to the lymph node and rapid intra-operative testing of the node during surgery to avoid the need for a second anaesthetic.
The Royal Free Hospital is part of an international clinical trial (TARGIT) into intra-operative radiotherapy, which involves giving selected breast cancer patients a single dose of radiation at the time of surgery rather than needing multiple post-operative visits, so saving time and reducing side effects. In 2011, the TARGIT academy was founded at the Royal Free Hospital to train new users of the equipment from around the world.
What our consultants say about the breast unit
“We are very pleased that a number of cutting edge technologies in management of breast cancer are pioneered at the Royal Free. Some of these projects are translated into clinical practice and others are in various stages of clinical trials. We have become the first centre in the world to trial the use of photodynamic therapy in primary breast cancer and I am grateful to all our patients that have assisted us in conducting this research. We will soon commence our clinical trial on Breast PET, so there are exciting times ahead…”
Mr Tim Davidson, ChM, MRCP, FRCS , Consultant Oncoplastic Surgeon and Clinical Lead for Breast Surgery
“I feel proud that I am associated with the Royal Free Breast unit, we are fortunate that we are able to deliver all possible treatments for breast cancer currently available to patients worldwide. We as a team pride ourselves in delivering treatment that is evidence based and we are able to provide this with compassion and care.”
Mr Debashis. B. Ghosh, M.S, FRCS(Edin), FRCS(Intercollegiate), FEBS(Breast), FEBS(Surgical Oncology), Consultant Breast and Oncoplastic Surgeon