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Advanced surgical robot performs its 1000th procedure at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals

Lancashire’s most advanced surgical robotic system has performed its 1000th procedure in its third year in place at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals.

The DaVinci Xi robotic system, which conducted its first operation at the Trust on 3rd May 2017, means Lancashire Teaching Hospitals has one of the country’s biggest robotic surgery case lists and is able to improve outcomes for patients with cancer.

Some notable surgeries over the last three years include the first upper gastrointestinal robotic tract surgery in the North West, a combined robotic procedure to treat both bowel and womb cancer in the same patient and the first robotic patient recruited onto an international clinical trial into rectal cancer.

The system was funded in the most part by Rosemere Cancer Foundation, who have been helping to improve quality of life and outcomes for patients with cancer throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria for many years. The charity contributed a staggering £1.25m to get the DaVinci Xi in place at Royal Preston Hospital.

Dan Hill, Chief Officer at Rosemere Cancer Foundation, said:

“We are so proud to have helped fund this incredible, cutting-edge piece of equipment and without our fantastic supporters, this simply wouldn’t have been possible. We are ahead of the curve in being able to provide surgery to groups of patients who would not otherwise have been suitable for this type of surgery, with significant reductions in patient recovery times and complications, reduced blood loss and shorter inpatient stays. This helps us to increase capacity and attract the best surgeons out there to our hospitals – as well as helping us to retain the outstanding talent we already have!

“The robot was only the 3rd in existence in the UK when we were lucky enough to receive it, and it was the first in the North of England. As the Cancer Centre for the region, we have made some life-changing progress using this robot and we hope this continues long into the future.”

The robot provides a three dimensional view and the ‘wristed’ instruments allow much greater control and care of tissues, making it much easier for surgeons to access parts of the body that are difficult to reach, and undertake complex procedures using keyhole incisions rather than open surgery, reducing the risk of complications and enabling a speedier recovery.

Dr Bachar Zelhof, Consultant in Urology at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“Last week, we celebrated our 1000th robotic case, and this success could only have been achieved through the fantastic collaboration of various surgical teams including urology, colorectal, gynaecology, upper GI and the theatre nursing and management staff. What we are really celebrating are the surgical advantages that 1000 of our patients have benefitted from; the quick recovery, the minimal complication rates, and the fast return to normal activities. Robotic surgery has transformed major open surgery into minimally invasive, most accurate, highly sophisticated operations.

“After observing the outcome of our 1000 cases, it is clear that there are plenty more opportunities for us to build on this work. From the expansion of our services to include other specialities such as maxillofacial, to the training of more surgeons and increasing capacity so patients can be treated quickly, we are now ready to become a centre of excellence for robotic mentoring.

“Our 1000th case was a robotic partial nephrectomy (removal of part of kidney) for a patient with kidney cancer. The operation went very well, with full excision of the cancer while preserving the remainder of normal kidney. That patient was discharged the following day with a normal kidney function. Prior to robotic surgery, this operation was extremely challenging with a high risk of conversion to open surgery or the need to remove the whole kidney, which has a detrimental effect on recovery and long term kidney function.”

Karen Partington, Chief Executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“I am so delighted to hear that we have completed our 1000th procedure using this amazing piece of equipment! As the Cancer Centre for the region, we are so lucky to be able to offer such a service to our patients, as well as having incredible colleagues who can operate the robot and carry out some very challenging procedures more easily as a result. I’d like to thank Rosemere Cancer Foundation and their wonderful supporters for making the robot a reality in our hospitals – you have made such a difference to our patients and we are proud to lead the way in the development of new treatment techniques.”

Over the past three years, surgeons at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals have travelled around Europe to learn the techniques and uses of the robotic system to make these surgeries happen, as they are not currently widely available within the UK.

Get in touch

Chorley and South Ribble Hospital

Preston Road



01257 261222

Royal Preston Hospital

Sharoe Green Lane




01772 716565

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