Father-of-two is now celebrating being cancer free after surgeon carried out world-first operation 

A father of two who was once given only month left to live is now celebrating being cancer free after a surgeon carried out a ‘world’s first’ operation.

Ivan Dagg, 53, began losing weight and feeling constantly exhausted back in 2013. 

He was then diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer and his health gradually got worse when the cancer spread to his liver.

Mr Dagg began a five-year journey of therapy and at one point he was given a six per cent chance of survival with chemotherapy treatment.

Ivan Dagg, 53, was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer after he began losing weight and feeling constantly exhausted back in 2013

Ivan Dagg, 53, was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer after he began losing weight and feeling constantly exhausted back in 2013

Ivan Dagg, 53, was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer after he began losing weight and feeling constantly exhausted back in 2013

The father-of-two, an inspection engineer from Hull, East Yorkshire, underwent several tumour removals and resections, but his health did not get better until last year.

In January 2018, Mr Dagg underwent a high-risk surgery at Spire Leeds Hospital which was defined a ‘world-first’ by doctors. 

Now back at work, the father-of-two said he is looking forward to the future with his family – but admits there are no guarantees for what could happen next.

He said: ‘Nobody knows what’s going to happen in the future but I feel very lucky. 

‘There could have been a very different outcome.’ 

Mr Dagg’s operation was possible after surgeons discovered he had grown a new vein in his liver.

His surgery was carried out by Professor Peter Lodge, who described it as ‘very high risk’.

Professor Lodge said: ‘This is a brand-new liver surgery operation, truly a world-first.

‘During Ivan’s three previous operations I had to remove major blood vessels called hepatic veins.

‘The new tumour was involving all of the remaining hepatic veins. These major veins drain blood out of the liver and are essential for survival.

Mr Dagg, pictured with his wife Kate and their daughters Steph and Georgie, is now back at work and says he feels positive about his future with his family

Mr Dagg, pictured with his wife Kate and their daughters Steph and Georgie, is now back at work and says he feels positive about his future with his family

Mr Dagg, pictured with his wife Kate and their daughters Steph and Georgie, is now back at work and says he feels positive about his future with his family

‘I did not think that the situation was operable initially, but I saw that Ivan had grown a new vein in the part of the liver that had regenerated following the previous liver resection operations.

‘Things went well so we were able to remove the tumour successfully along with the major hepatic veins, leaving Ivan’s liver surviving on only the new vein.

‘If he had not grown a new vein then I would not have been able to do the surgery. This is a new avenue for developing new liver operations.

‘There is still a lot we don’t know about how the liver regenerates after liver surgery; Ivan’s case demonstrates how we must be more imaginative and strive to improve outcomes as much as we can.’

‘Without surgery, Ivan would have been faced with having only a few months to live.

‘I think that chemotherapy may have given him a few extra months but that’s all. It’s still early days but I’m very pleased with Ivan’s progress.’

Speaking of his experience, Mr Dagg said: ‘The last few years have been a roller-coaster. I’m finally feeling positive about my future.

‘I woke up after surgery and Professor Lodge told me he had been able to remove the tumour. That was fantastic to hear.

‘Now I’m back at work and looking forward to the future with my family.’ 

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