Dedicated robotic theatre unveiled at the RVI

PATIENTS with colorectal and upper gastrointestinal cancers or complex gynaecological disease are to benefit from leading-edge keyhole surgery with the opening of a dedicated robotic theatre at the RVI.

The addition of the latest generation da vinci robot - which will be officially unveiled on Thursday (18 July) - means Newcastle Hospitals’ is the only Trust to have three functional clinical robots across two sites – the Freeman Hospital and now the RVI.

For more than a decade, clinicians have been performing robotically assisted surgical procedures for patients with a variety of tumour types.

With this technology, a surgeon sits at a master control console to manoeuvre the da vinci’s robotic arms, which cut and manipulate tissue in much the same way a surgeon would when carrying out open surgery.

This enhanced dexterity, along with a highly magnified, high resolution 3D camera, makes it possible for surgeons to perform more minimally invasive procedures, leading to speedier recovery and an earlier discharge from hospital for many patients.

Consultant surgeon Peter Coyne said: “We are really excited about having robotic theatre at the RVI as it will help us redefine keyhole surgery for colorectal and upper GI cancer, as well as complex gynaecological disease.

“Robotic surgery allows surgeons to have improved vision and a greater level of precision than the use of conventional surgical techniques and for our patients this means they recover quicker, leave hospital sooner and perhaps return to normal activities earlier.”

It is estimated around 200 patients will be treated at the RVI in the first year, rising to 300.

Mr Coyne added: “Our aim is to improve the diagnosis and management of cancers by using the best available techniques and equipment and this £3.2million investment enhances our specialist cancer centre portfolio.

“We are the only Trust to have three functional clinical robots across both sites and means our patients have access to the most up-to-date technology and improved surgical treatment.”

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