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article imageScottish hospital pioneers robotics for keyhole surgery

By Tim Sandle     Feb 29, 2020 in Health
Edinburgh - A hospital based in Scotland has become the first in Europe to use a robot to perform keyhole surgery. The first trial using a machine for surgery is reportedly a success and may lead to further use of surgical robots.
The robot was made by CMR Surgical and it is called the Versius minimal access surgery (MAS) robot. The device has, as PharmaPhorum reports, been used for several colorectal surgeries, such as performing procedures on patients who have serious bowel diseases and cancer.
To date some thirty patients have undergone such procedures, each conducted in the U.K. National Health Service’s (NHS) Western General Hospital, which is located in the city of Edinburgh.
Further procedures have been performed at Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Trust, located in Buckinghamshire, England. Based on these successes this year will see further NHS hospitals adopt the technology.
Keyhole or minimally invasive surgery refers to the surgical method of carrying out an operation without having to make a large incision.
At the two NHS sites, the robot has the potential to perform around 700 procedures per year. Each operation performed avoids the necessity to perform an open surgical procedure. Open surgical procedures carry bigger risks of infection.
A further advantage with keyhole surgery over open surgery is patient recovery, reducing the length of time that a patient will need to stay in hospital for.
The machine can be transferred between sites within a hospital or hospitals. The robot is controlled by a surgeon via a joystick, which helps to manoeuvre three robot arms. The surgeon views the process via computer-augmented display screens.
The surgeon is given access to 3D HD vision, together with natural instrument control and a choice of ergonomic working positions, each designed to make the operation of the robotics easier.
Commenting on the application of the robot, CMR’s chief medical officer Mark Slack said: “We set out to design a system that was versatile, portable and cost-effective, and it is immensely rewarding to see it now being used in the NHS.”
He adds that in relation to the expansion of medical technology: “Our focus now will be on working with the surgical community across the UK to provide the option of minimal access surgery to everyone who may benefit.”
More about Robots, Robotics, keyhole surgery, Surgery, medtech
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