The first robotic surgical procedure to ever be performed at East Surrey Hospital has been successfully completed, meaning patients can now benefit from reduced recovery times and less pain.

The surgical team at the Redhill hospital, which is run by Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (SASH), successfully removed a patient’s kidney in a procedure called a nephrectomy, using CMR Surgical’s next-generation surgical robotic system, Versius®. 

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The surgical team

Christopher Lovett, aged 66 from Sussex, has praised the care he has received following the procedure. He said: “It’s absolutely phenomenal that my surgery used a robot!  I feel very lucky to have had the treatment and if it wasn’t for SASH, I wouldn’t be here.  The doctors, anaesthetists and nurses who looked after me have been fantastic. I live with my three wonderful grandchildren who are also helping to take care of their grandad. I love fishing and am looking forward to being more mobile and going fishing again soon. The post-operative and aftercare support has been great and I want to say thank you to the NHS.”

To perform the procedure, a surgeon uses the Versius console to control the robotic equipment, which holds and moves the surgical instruments. The equipment mimics the movement of the surgeon’s arm, with fully-articulated wrists and 3D vision giving surgeons greater accuracy and dexterity.

Professor Abhay Rane OBE, consultant urological surgeon at SASH said:  “This represents a very positive milestone for the Trust and our patients. Versius’ clear 3D visualisation gives surgeons greater precision and control, thereby allowing for safer surgery with improved outcomes in the long run. It will be used in due course by all of our surgical specialties here at our Trust thereby benefiting a significant number of patients.”

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Prof Rane OBE

Mr James Henderson and Mr Shahid Khan, consultant urological surgeons at SASH said: “Not only is this excellent news for patients like Mr Lovett, it is also fantastic for SASH as it means we can provide the latest training and development opportunities for surgeons of the future.”

Michael Wilson CBE, chief executive, said: “It’s fantastic that with the introduction of this equipment, robotic surgery has become more accessible than ever before, allowing many more patients to benefit from the latest technology locally here at SASH.”

SASH will begin training staff so that the equipment can be used in various procedures in different specialties, including complex cancer cases.