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).



April 16, 2019| Health and Wellbeing/

Massage During Pregnancy - Qi Rhythm

We had a chat with Melanie from Qi Rhythm, who provides pre and post natal massage therapy, to discuss the benefits of massage for mothers and infants.

April 16, 2019| Our Community/

Team Recipes - Tonjiru Miso Soup

Tonjiru is filling and so delicious. It is considered to be a winter dish served at home, festivals and parties in Japan, but I have it all year round. I never met a person who doesn’t like this fabulous soup!

April 10, 2019| Epworth News/

Epworth Nurses Lead Positive Change

Richmond Emergency Department Nurse Unit Manager Sheila Salonga is recognised for her leadership, after being nominated as a finalist in the 2019 HESTA Australian Nursing & Midwifery Awards.

April 8, 2019| Health and Wellbeing/

Endometrios(US) not Endometrios(YOU)

The ever-dreaded menstrual cycle, long known as the beacon of a transition period, literally, between girlhood to womanhood. It’s a customary part of the maturing process of our bodies where us females are taught from a young age that we should expect two things during so: bleeding and discomfort.

April 8, 2019| Epworth News/

New Church for Box Hill

The heart of Box Hill is getting a $10 million blessing.

A church will be built — courtesy of Epworth Eastern — next to the town hall to serve as The Salvation Army’s new place of worship and Box Hill headquarters.