The Royal London Hospital has now operated on one hundred patients using an innovative robot, funded by Barts Charity.
Since the first robotic case in November 2017, over a hundred patients have now benefited from surgery using a Da Vinci Xi Robot, resulting in reduced pain, fewer complications and a quicker recovery.
To maximise the number of patients who can benefit, the Da Vinci Xi Robot is being shared by surgeons from across five teams; Gynae-Oncology, Colorectal, Urology, Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) and Hepatobiliary. The renal (kidney) transplant team also plan to join the robotic programme later in the year.
Surgeons operate the robot from a console positioned beside the patient, using their hands and feet to control the camera and small instruments inside the patient. All teams started with simple surgical cases, gradually introducing more complex procedures.
Elly Brockbank, Chair of the hospital's Robotic Users Group and Consultant Gynaecologist Oncologist said: “I am delighted that robotic assisted surgery is proving such a success at Barts Health.
"It is rare to have so many different surgical teams at one hospital using the Da Vinci robot, and the smooth transition from simple to complex surgical procedures is due to the dedication of all staff involved. We are very much looking forward to the next one hundred cases."
Barts Charity Chief Executive Fiona Miller Smith commented: “I’m delighted that Barts Charity has brought a surgical robot to The Royal London, along with one at St Bartholomew’s Hospital. The team are making rapid strides in applying this extraordinary technology to increasingly more cases across more surgical disciplines. It is making a huge difference to patients and staff and is a great example of how the Charity are supporting healthcare innovation.”
Mrs Julie Lister, 62, was one of the first patients to benefit from the Da Vinci robot. Having had a hysterectomy performed by Ms Brockbank on 29th November 2017, Julie was home in Plaistow the next day.
Julie said: "It was great. I would recommend it to anyone having a hysterectomy. It's a small cut, you don't feel any pain at all, and the next day I was walking down the hallway of the hospital to go home.
"I had the option of the usual non-robotic treatment, but when I heard the advantages of the new technology I thought I might as well try it.
"Mrs Brockbank is amazing, I couldn't thank her enough. People might be scared, thinking the robot is actually doing the operation, but that's not the case and the staff are not going to leave you."