A woman has told how her dream wedding was saved by surgeons who used a robot to remove a tumour.
Beyza Ucar, 33, was devastated to discover she had a 12cm tumour growing on her liver, having previously beaten thyroid cancer.
She had suffered nausea, sickness and reflux after eating meals, something she blamed for years on an overly sensitive stomach.
But tests showed she had a growth. Luckily, 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 for the PA news agency, the Surrey University PhD student said: “I didn’t know how I would be after surgery, but I knew I wanted to be able to wear my wedding dress, which was surprisingly heavy, and walk down the aisle unaided.
“I actually hesitated about having the surgery because I was fearful of a major operation, but my surgeon and the wonderful team were so reassuring.
“They were so confident in the robotic procedure and how quickly I would recover that they promised that I would walk in my wedding dress and they were not wrong.”
Ms Ucar met university computing lecturer Edward, 36, in March 2020 when he agreed to proof read a journal article that she was writing.
Their love blossomed online once they realised that they enjoyed talking to each other and shared several interests.
Due to the Covid pandemic, they were forced to continue their romance over the internet before finally 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,” Ms Ucar said.
“It was a cold and windy day and I was quite grumpy climbing to the top.
“I was unaware of the surprise that was waiting for me, but Edward supported me all the way.
“When we got to the top he knelt down and held my hand and told me how much he loved me.”
It was just a few months later that Ms Ucar, who lives in Bath with her husband, learned she had a mass growing rapidly on her liver.
Medics said they believed the tumour had been growing for years and the discomfort after eating was caused by pressure from the tumour on Ms Ucar’s stomach.
She said: “Ed and I were so sure about our love that we did not want to wait to get married.
“We just knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.
“I was feeling quite ill because of the tumour but thanks to help from Edward’s wonderful mum we managed to organise everything from the dress to the venue very quickly.
“I just needed to get the surgery out of the way and I feel very fortunate that my team had access to these amazing robots.”
Royal Surrey has four cutting-edge robots, with three dedicated to performing surgery and one to help with training.
The machines allow surgeons to use a control console to manoeuvre the robot’s arms.
As a result of the minimally-invasive keyhole surgery, patients benefit from a shorter hospital stay, quicker recovery and less blood loss and discomfort.
Ms Ucar is one of the 200 patients who has successfully had robotic assisted hepatobiliary surgery at the Royal Surrey since the service became available.
Consultant surgeon, Tim Pencavel, said: “Feedback from our patients once they have gone home after a robotic procedure has been really positive.
“The robots make it possible for us to carry out complex operations via very tiny incisions with greater accuracy and control.
“This means patients are days ahead in their recovery compared to those who have had traditional surgery as they do not have the trauma of a large incision to their abdomen.
“Our patients have told us that they are able walk, eat and come off pain relief in three to four days.”