A WOMAN has revealed why she agreed to let her cancer operation be filmed for a revolutionary 360-degree video.

Professor Tim Underwood is filmed performing the gruelling eight hour operation in which cancer tumours are successfully removed from female patient Janet Jenkins.

Janet's diseased windpipe is carefully excised and then examined by medics before being sent to a laboratory for further tests.

Thanks to the pioneering filming process - produced in partnership with Cancer Research UK - the video of the procedure can be watched in unparalleled detail, with viewers able to take in every facet of the operating theatre and medical staff as they take part in the gruelling op.

The surgery was filmed at University Hospital Southampton in March 2019.

Viewers are able to turn the camera around the operating room and see Professor Underwood and others removing the tumour.

Grandmother Mrs Jenkins, a 66-year-old from Alton, had the operation in March and became the first patient to have her surgery recorded using 360 degree cameras.

The retired HR director said: "A week before my surgery I was asked if it would be okay for my operation to be recorded.

"I said yes if it is going to help somebody and put it in the forefront of people's minds - so I went for it.

"It was not emotional to watch back, I felt very detached from it actually.

"It was a strange feeling, it was not what I expected at all.

"When I watched it I didn't have any anxiety whatsoever.

"I was fascinated by it and was impressed by the quality.

"If it's going to help somebody after me and take the fear away from surgeries then I'm happy.

"People get very anxious about surgeries but if you can see for yourself there are normal people working in there and a normal person is being operated on, it takes the fear away.

"They removed the tumour and it was taken straight to labs for testing, and I was told it was the best outcome they could have expected.

"It's not an easy cancer to treat so it went very well.

"I don't have a stomach now so I have to eat five or six times a day, but things could have been so much worse."

Professor Underwood, who can be seen in the video performing the operation, said: "The purpose of the video was to de-mystify an operating theatre.

"Operating rooms have become a bit mystic and a bit scary - and they are not.

"They are inhabited by a team of people who are dedicated to the person having the operation at that particular time.

"They are slightly more pleasant places than you might think."

Explaining the procedure, he said: "The oesophagus is a tube that connects your mouth to your stomach and it traverses the chest to get into the abdomen.

"So we have to operate in two body cavities.

"The first half of the operation is in the abdomen, the belly, I did that with keyhole surgery.

"That was to remove the tumour and its lymph glands, its drainage, but also to make the stomach into a tube which in the second half is then pulled into the chest.

"We then flipped Janet onto her side and that was to remove the oesophagus up to the top of the chest and to bring the stomach tube we previously made in the abdomen up into the chest."

"We've now got 360 degree camera technology and it's not been done before.

"Two cameras were set up. One was static next to me and the other was roving on a pole.

"Some of the footage you see looks straight into the wound.

"Janet's reaction was interesting watching it back, she was slightly detached from it, a slightly unreal feeling.

"When you're operating on someone that's kind of the feeling you get too.

"You know there's a patient there who you are absolutely responsible for, but you have to be slightly detached from that because you have a job to do and there is a process to perform."

Professor Underwood has been given a £1.4m grant by the charity for some ground-breaking research into oesophageal cancer, one of the most difficult to detect and therefore difficult to treat cancers there are.

Cancer Research UK spent over £6 million in Southampton last year on scientific and clinical research.

Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said: “This 360 video gives us a unique insight into life-saving cancer surgery, enabling us to explore the operating theatre with its state-of-the-art equipment as if we are present in the room.

“The work we are funding in Southampton – led by Professor Tim Underwood – enables oesophageal cancer tumours to be removed from patients and instantly transported to on-site laboratories where they can be examined in incredible detail in a bid to understand their complete genetic make-up and discover what causes them to grow.

"Right now, this is helping our researchers to explore new ways to treat the disease.

“We are extremely grateful to Janet for agreeing to her operation being filmed in this way and we’re delighted that she is recovering well from her procedure.”