Advanced robotic surgery

New robot technology improving cancer care

Cancer patients at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) are benefitting from the installation of a new state-of-the-art surgical robot.

The £2m robot has been funded by the Denise Coates Foundation as part of the charity’s support for the Trust’s cancer care via an £8.4m grant.

Over the past five years more than 340 major colorectal cancer resections have been carried out, with training for a sixth surgeon underway in that unit, as UHNM look to become more nationally established.

Philip Varghese, consultant surgeon and lead for colorectal robotic surgery at UHNM, said: This new robotic ecosystem is state-of-the-art and will help us take patient care to the next level at UHNM. Our aspiration is to become a leading robotic colorectal unit nationally with all surgeons trained.

"By year end we will have eight colorectal surgeons trained and the rest by the end of 2023."

The integrated robotic simulation system provides staff access to 47 skill exercises, 19 3DHD clinical videos and 30 procedure simulations, ultimately facilitating the training of surgeons and higher surgical trainees, which enables more joint operations for more complex procedures.

The technology also includes advanced ultrasound probes, which when used intraoperatively enable surgeons to perform more targeted advanced cancer surgery, as well as digital hub connectivity subsequently giving the Trust the ability to capture and record procedures for training and review.

The robot ecosystem also includes integrated table motion to dynamically control patient position during surgery.

Achilleas Tsiamis, clinical director for surgery, said: "At UHNM our aim is to deliver outstanding cancer care for the population of Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent and beyond. Our excellent reputation attracts the best and brightest clinical staff and the generosity of the Denise Coates Foundation will help us to continue to develop our training programme and services.

This will benefit patients and staff for generations to come."

The robot will soon be available for colorectal trainees under Health Education England West Midlands too.

More information about the new technology is available here.

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