Mar 06, 2023

Surgery robots at Bedfordshire hospitals look to help patient recovery

Robots that assist doctors with surgical procedures have been installed at two hospitals in Bedfordshire.

Bedford Hospital and the Luton and Dunstable have received a "da Vinci Xi" robot each to aid a range of surgeries, including for cancer treatment.

It is hoped their precision will lead to a faster recovery for patients - and a shorter stay in hospital.

Clinical lead for Bedfordshire Hospitals trust, Katherine Bevan, said: "This is the beginning of a new era."

She said 19 patients had already benefitted from robotic-assisted surgery since they were installed.

The robots have four mechanical arms, with a surgical instrument attached to each arm. They are controlled by a surgeon seated at a computer console near the operating table.

The console gives the surgeon a magnified high-definition, 3D view of the area, so they can perform complex procedures with more precision, flexibility and control than conventional techniques.

The tiny wristed instruments move like a human hand, but with a greater range of motion, allowing surgeons to perform a variety of procedures while only making a few small incisions.

The robots will be used for bowel and renal cancer surgery, neck and head procedures, endometriosis surgery, euro-gynaecology and bariatric and biliary surgery.

Ms Bevan said: "This is the beginning of a new era of surgery at Bedfordshire Hospitals and we are tremendously excited to have introduced this new technology and improve the care of our patients."

The robots were funded in part by Bedford Hospital Charity and Friends, and Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Charity.

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Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust