A SKIPTON man is rebuilding his life following successful surgery to reconstruct his abdomen.

When Adrian York's wife Isabel was diagnosed with multiple cancers in December 2010, the engineer who worked on oil rigs around the world, took early retirement to look after her.

But 12 months later he started to experience health problems and their roles were reversed - Isabel became his carer.

The 66 year-old was later diagnosed with with bladder cancer and after immunotherapy treatment had failed, he had surgery to remove his bladder and prostate in January 2014.

Ten days later the incision opened up. He developed a deep seated infection in the wound which went undetected for a year.

Aware in January 2015 that something was very wrong Adrian went for a check up which revealed he had an incisional hernia.

“Several doctors I saw said there was nothing they could do for me. It was very frustrating and I did not know where to turn for help,” said Adrian.

During most of 2014 he spent up to 16 hours a day in bed due to the unhealed wound and dropped abdomen. He had difficulty walking and was unable to drive.

His own research on the condition led him to Spire Leeds Hospital and consultant colorectal surgeon Ian Botterill, who specialises in abdominal wall construction and complex hernia surgery.

“I asked him just three questions,” said Adrian. “What is it? Can it be fixed? And if so, can you do it?”

In November 2016 Mr Botterill performed a bilateral abdominal wall reconstruction and parastomal hernia repair. Surgery took around four hours and Adrian was able to return home eight days later.

Mr Botterill has performed around 200 cases of abdominal wall reconstruction over the last seven to eight years, one of the highest number in the UK and he also trains other surgeons and gives lectures on this procedure.

He said: “Without surgery Adrian would have been unable to bend, move or function as much as he needed to as principal carer for his wife. His posture, abdomen shape and function have improved significantly since the operation.”

Adrian said: “I needed to have the operation to be able to take care of Isabel. I could have had the surgery done under the NHS but I wanted to get it done as soon as possible.

"The day I left hospital was the first time I’d been able to walk properly in almost three years."