A LIFE-SAVING operation believed to be a world first has been carried out at Colchester General Hospital.

Pioneer consultant Adam Howard, with fellow surgeon Christopher Backhouse, managed to seal a leaking aneurysm after four previous attempts at other hospitals had failed.

The seven hour keyhole vascular operation was so successful the elderly man from Cornwall was able to leave hospital six days later.

The patient, 83, who has asked not to be named, has written to Mr Howard to “express my extreme gratitude to you and all the staff concerned during my stay at the hospital.”

He wrote: “You really have an exceptionally fine unit and I wish it all the very best in the future. No doubt, many other patients will benefit from it.”