A woman has told how surgeons who used a robot to remove a tumor saved her dream wedding.
Beyza Ucar, 33, was devastated when she discovered a 12cm growth on her liver, after she had previously beaten thyroid cancer.
She suffered from nausea, sickness and reflux after eating meals, which she blamed for years on an overly sensitive stomach.
But tests showed she had growth. Fortunately, it was benign and surgeons at the Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust were able to remove it – enabling her to walk up the aisle just eight weeks later.
In comments made exclusively to the PA news agency, the University of Surrey PhD student said: “I didn’t know how I would be after surgery, but I knew I wanted to be able to dress to wear a wedding, which was incredibly heavy, and walk down the aisle without assistance.
“I was worried about having surgery because I was scared of major operations, but my surgeon and the amazing staff were so positive.
“They were so confident in the robotic procedure and how quickly I would recover that they promised I would walk in my wedding dress and they weren’t wrong.”
Ms Ucar met university computing lecturer Edward, 36, in March 2020 when he agreed to proofread a journalist article she was writing.
Their online romance blossomed when they realized they enjoyed talking to each other and shared some common interests.
Due to the Covid pandemic, they were forced to continue their romance on the internet before meeting in person in August 2021.
Just six months later, in February 2022, Edward proposed on top of Glastonbury Tor with his grandmother’s ring.
“It was a very romantic proposal,” said Ms Ucar.
“It was a cold and windy day and I was very nervous climbing to the top.
“I didn’t know the surprise that awaited me, but Edward supported me all the way.
“When we got to the top he knelt down and took my hand and told me he loved me.”
It was just a few months later that Ms Ucar, who lives in Bath with her husband, learned that a mass was growing rapidly on her liver.
The doctors said they believed the tumor had been growing for years and the discomfort after eating was caused by pressure from the tumor on Ms Ucar’s stomach.
She said: “Ed and I were so sure of our love that we didn’t want to wait to get married.
“We knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.
“I was feeling quite ill because of the tumor but thanks to the help of Edward’s wonderful mum we managed to organize everything from the dress to the venue very quickly.
“I just had to get the surgery out of the way and I feel very lucky that my team had access to these amazing robots.”
Royal Surrey has four state-of-the-art robots, with three dedicated to performing surgery and one to assist with training.
The machines allow surgeons to use a control console to maneuver the robot’s arms.
As a result of the minimally invasive keyhole surgery, patients benefit from a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery and less blood loss and discomfort.
Mr Ucar is one of 200 patients who have successfully undergone robot-assisted hepatobiliary surgery at Royal Surrey since the service was introduced.
Consultant surgeon Tim Pencavel said: “The feedback from our patients after they have gone home after a robotic procedure has been overwhelmingly positive.
“The robots allow us to perform complex operations through very small incisions with greater precision and control.
“This means that patients are days ahead in their recovery compared to those who have had traditional surgery as they do not have the trauma associated with a major push on their abdomen.
“Our patients have told us that they are able to walk, eat and get pain relief in three to four days.”