An operation to reduce the size of a pituitary tumour has been carried out under local anaesthetic in what is believed to be a world-first.

Consultant Rhinologist and Skull Base Surgeon Mr Shahzada Ahmed led the team who performed the procedure on an 86-year- old patient in a bid to restore his sight.

The tumour had been causing a gradual deterioration of vision for Mr Peter Bucknall, who was unable to have a general anaesthetic due to other health problems.

However, the team had discussed the possibility of operating under local anaesthetic to ‘debulk’ the mass and take the pressure off the eye nerves.

When the patient suffered a sudden complete loss of sight, he was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham for the emergency operation.

Mr Bucknall is now recovering and, although it is early days, his clinical team are hopeful he will get some useful vision back.

At this stage Mr Bucknall can’t see anything but his post-op MRI scans are extremely encouraging with 85% of the previous large pituitary tumour having been removed and the pressure taken off the nerves to the eyes.

Mr Shahzada Ahmed, Skull base surgeon

Mr Bucknall, from Wolverhampton, was diagnosed with the large tumour six years ago and, up until now, he had been managed with surveillance,retaining some sight in his right eye whilst going blind in his left eye.

However, recently there was a symptomatic worsening of vision in his right eye, which had severely impacted on his quality of life and independence.The surgery was carried out as an emergency on Saturday 31 July.