Empty surgery room

Robotic surgery supporting faster recoveries and better outcomes

NHS patients in the North East of England are set to benefit from better health outcomes thanks to the expanded use of surgical robots.

The £2.5m investment comes from County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, which has said the incoming Da Vinci robot will be primarily used by the trust’s colorectal, upper gastro-intestinal, gynaecology, bariatric, and ear, nose and throat surgeons.

“The very small robotic tools give us a very high level of precision which means we are able to perform manoeuvres that have not been possible previously,” explained trust consultant colorectal surgeon, Khalid Osman.

“This will potentially enable us to help some patients for whom traditional laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery was not previously possible.”

                            Video credit: County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust

The added precision means that patients have a quicker recovery period which, in turn, leads to shorter stays in hospitals. There is also a reduced risk of postoperative complications such as infection, blood loss, scarring and pain.

The robot will be stationed at the trust’s Darlington Memorial Hospital, although any NHS County Durham and Darlington patient who would benefit from the innovation will be offered it.

The trust has indicated it is working on acquiring another robot for the University Hospital of North Durham in the future.

Felicity White, who is the associate director of operations for the trust’s surgical care group, added: "I am very proud that the whole surgical team including surgeons, anaesthetists, theatre staff and other clinical and non-clinical colleagues play a part in bringing the very latest surgical advancements to the Trust."

Image credit: iStock

NHE March/April 2024

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