Australian-First Paediatric Robotic Surgery

May 30, 2018| Epworth News /

In an Australian-first paediatric procedure, Head and Neck surgeon Ben Dixon has successfully removed a patient’s rare, parapharyngeal clear-cell sarcoma using robotic surgery at Epworth Richmond.

Robotics2.jpg

Six-year-old Freyja Christiansen, who had a second surgery to remove the remaining tumours in her neck, is recovering well.

Robotics1.jpg

Dr Dixon was contacted by Freyja’s mother Liz Christiansen, after her desperate search for treatments overseas led to a conversation with Boston Children’s Hospital that mentioned the Melbourne specialist and his work.

Robotic surgery was deemed the best option to remove the sarcoma in the first procedure because it was located between the carotid artery and the base of the skull; and therefore not accessible from the lateral neck,
— Dr Ben Dixon

“Freyja had received immunotherapy to shrink the sarcoma under the care of Dr Antoinette Anazodo, Director of Sydney Children’s Hospital Youth Cancer Service. However, no surgeon in Sydney had access to a robot in a hospital with a Paediatric ward; and the Royal Children’s in Melbourne did not have robotic surgical capabilities to perform this complex procedure.

“We knew that if Epworth could not take the case, it would have been difficult for Freyja to have her condition managed surgically in Australia.

Thankfully for the Christiansen family, Epworth and The Royal Children’s committed to a well-managed collaborative plan for standby arrangements, if Freyja needed admittance to a Paediatric ICU, should an emergency arise,” Dr Dixon said.

"The collaboration between doctors and directors at Epworth and the Children’s and the Paediatric Infant Perinatal Emergency Retrieval (PIPER), enabled us to go ahead with very good results for Freyja.”

Watch Freyja's surgery (graphic content).



February 12, 2019| Health and Wellbeing/

Mental Health - The Elephant in the Room

With the rates of mental illness on the rise in Australia, particularly in young people, we decided to open up the can of worms and speak to clinical psychologist, Hannah Hawkes, about the elephant in the room.

February 11, 2019| Epworth News/

EMI at Epworth Geelong to receive Medicare-eligible MRI licence

“A full MRI licence at Epworth Geelong means that patients will no longer compromise on health outcomes based on affordability.”

February 10, 2019| Epworth News/

Record Number of Graduate Nurses to Join Epworth

A record number of graduate nurses and midwives are set to join the Epworth team in February and March this year, for an exciting opportunity to consolidate their theoretical and clinical skills. 

February 10, 2019| Health and Wellbeing/

Tummy Troubles

Tummy aches can be extremely common in young children. Some are mild and non threatening, others need to be taken more seriously. Here we will run through a few different concerns and how best to handle the pain for your little one.

February 9, 2019| Health and Wellbeing/

Does it Need Stitches?

When your child injures themselves and bleeding is involved it can be scary for everyone. Knowing exactly what to do and when you should be seeking medical attention, can help to take some of the stress out of the situation.