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5 May, 2021 - 14:20 By Tony Quested

Cambridge robot used for first time in gynaecological surgery

Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Trust has become the first in Europe to use the Versius® Surgical Robotic System from Cambridge’s CMR Surgical  for major gynaecological surgery – including cancer cases.

The technology has found a ready market as up to 60,000 women in the UK undergo a hysterectomy every year; however less than half of these are performed laparoscopically.

After an initial use in colorectal surgery, Versius has now been adopted in the UK to offer women needing gynaecological procedures greater access to keyhole surgery. 

Since its introduction, Versius has performed over 100 complex surgeries within the Trust across colorectal, gynaecological, and general surgery.

Nidhi Singh, consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology at the hospital, said: “Versius represents a massive step forward in making MAS accessible to many more patients. A hysterectomy is a major and complex surgical procedure – when performed openly it traditionally requires around five days stay in hospital and many weeks to fully recover. 

“We aim to change this for the hundreds of women who undergo these types of surgeries at our hospital every year. Through Versius we can enable a much wider use of robotic MAS, allowing us to offer benefits such as faster recovery times, less time in hospital and reduced risk of infection to our patients.” 

Versius is now established as an important surgical tool in a number of leading hospitals around the world where it is helping surgeons perform a broad range of MAS procedures. 

Within the MK hospital Versius has been used to conduct a range of gynaecological procedures including hysterectomies, ovarian cystectomies (removal of ovarian cysts) and Bilateral Salpingo-Oophorectomies (removal of fallopian tubes and ovaries). 

These procedures are often used to help treat ovarian, uterine, and cervical disease as well as other gynaecological health issues. 

Mark Slack, chief medical officer at CMR Surgical, said: “We are delighted that the team at Milton Keynes are the first in Europe to be using Versius to perform gynaecological procedures. Where surgical robotics was previously focused on urology, with Versius we are opening up the opportunity for gynaecological cases to be conducted robotically giving patients the benefits of MAS.

“In designing Versius our goal was to provide a versatile and portable surgical robotic system that could transform the field of minimal access surgery – allowing more patients to benefit than currently do.” 

The use of Versius in gynaecology at Milton Keynes University Hospital follows the successful introduction of Versius gynaecology programmes across leading centres in India including HCG Manavata Cancer Centre, Galaxy Care Hospital and Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital.

The portable and modular design of Versius allows the surgeon to only use the number of arms needed for a given procedure. Biomimicking the human arm, Versius gives surgeons the choice of optimised port placement alongside the dexterity and accuracy of small fully-wristed instruments.

With 3D HD vision, easy-to adopt instrument control and a choice of ergonomic working positions, the open surgeon console has the potential to reduce stress and fatigue and allows for clear communication with the surgical team. 

More than just a robot, Versius captures meaningful data with its wider digital ecosystem to support a surgeon’s continuous learning. Through the Versius Connect app, Versius Trainer and CMR clinical registry, Versius unleashes a wealth of insights to ultimately improve surgical care.

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