The Gynaecological Oncology team celebrated treating its 2000th robotic surgery patient last week.
This is the highest number of Gynae-Oncology robotic cases treated by any Trust in the UK, and has been achieved in a little over a decade.
The Royal Surrey Gynae-Oncology team started its robotic surgery programme in late 2009, and have grown to become leaders in the field. The Trust is one of only four training Epicentres in Europe, and is actively involved in both training and clinical research.
Consultant Surgeon and Director of the Gynae-Oncology Robotic Surgical Centre, Mr. Simon Butler-Manuel, said:
“In the ten years since we first introduced this technology at the Trust, the numbers of Gynae cancer patients treated this way has risen to over 200 per year, which we believe is the most of any UK hospital.”
While the Royal Surrey Gynae-Oncology team led the original appeal for the Trust’s first Da Vinci robot back in 2009, other surgical teams have since adopted the technology. “The Urology team use it to great effect for prostate and bladder cancer surgery,” said Mr. Simon Butler-Manuel. “Other departments have also implemented it more recently, including ENT, Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary (HPB) surgery and Oesophago-Gastric and Colorectal surgery. The Royal Surrey is a true leader in the field.”
The benefits of the Trust’s investment in surgical robots was felt particularly clearly during the pandemic, he explained:
“Robotic surgery was instrumental to keeping our cancer services going through the height of the pandemic. While nationally most medical research was being put on hold, we were able to open the MIRRORS study, investigating the feasibility of using robotic surgery for advanced ovarian cancer.
“As a result, we were able to continue our service largely unaffected. And because this is a minimally-invasive technique, patients’ recovery time was very much shorter, which prevented the blocking of essential ITU beds.”
The team marked the occasion with a after a multi-disciplinary team meeting last week, with homemade cakes spelling out “2000”.