A pioneering operation performed for the first time in Basildon has helped a patient return home in just 24 hours.

Siobhan Kelly, 30, from Hornchurch, was suffering from a swelling of the thyroid gland which caused a lump in the front of her neck.

Surgery to correct this would normally involve opening the chest to remove the gland.

But Dr Tariq Minhas, consultant thoracic surgeon at the Essex Cardiothoracic Centre (CTC), used a method to remove the gland through three five-millimetre incisions in the chest, which are then glued shut.

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The new technique, performed at the CTC at Basildon Hospital, meant Siobhan could return home in just one day instead of spending five days in hospital.

The procedure also sped up her recovery rate by reducing it from twelve weeks at home to just three, helping her to return to work and embracing family life sooner.

Siobhan said: “Before, I couldn’t lay down on my back, I felt like I had to rest all the time and I had no energy.

“It felt like such a relief when I had the surgery and since then I have more energy and I feel like I can breathe again - I’ve even joined a gym now.”

Dr Minhas said: “This was once a complicated procedure but, thanks to my technique, the patient felt much better and her hospital stay was much shorter. I’m really pleased with the results.”