Episode 1 - Open Heart Surgery

Francis Wells performs heart surgery on a patient with a leaky mitral valve, which could cause his heart to fail.

Episode 2 - Awake Brain Surgery

Paul Grundy removes a tumour from Peter Chaisit-Charles' left temporal lobe. Peter is awake throughout the operation.

Episode 3 - Keyhole Stomach Repair

Richard Hardwick repairs a hernia on Susan Hyde's stomach through just five small incisions in her abdomen.

Episode 4 - Pituitary Tumour Removal

Nick Thomas removes a tumour from a patient's pituitary. It has been secreting growth hormones that have caused her lips to swell and could lead to serious heart problems.

Episode 2 - Awake Brain Surgery

Peter Chaisit-Charles has a tumour in his brain. For four years he has suffered from epilepsy, caused by the abnormal electrical activity of the tumour. Recently it has started to affect his short-term memory. The cancer is growing in the left temporal lobe – the area of the brain that controls language. If the tumour continues to grow, Peter’s speech could be affected.

Neurosurgeon Paul Grundy removes a section of Peter's skull to gain access to his brain. He then 'maps' Peter's brain, to make sure he cuts out only the tumour and nothing else.  He applies small electric currents  to the exposed area of Peter's brain. At the same time, he asks Peter to count aloud. Whenever Peter’s counting is off, the surgeon knows he is zapping vital brain tissue involved in language. If Peter's speech remains unaffected, the surgeon knows those areas of tissue are safe to remove. 

He then carefully cuts out as much of the suspected tumour as he can. Any remaining tumourous tissue will have to be treated using chemo or radiotherapy.

for Channel 4
Distributed by Zodiac Entertainment Distribution