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After installing the first surgical robot in Lancashire, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust leads the way once more by being the first in the region to use the equipment to carry out colorectal surgery.
The Trust installed the £1.3 million Da Vinci robot in the theatres at the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital in June 2015 to carry out prostatectomies (removal of the prostate gland) for prostate cancer and have continued to grow the number of procedures they can carry out using the robot.
So far, five patients have had robotic colorectal surgery at the Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital including robotic colorectal resections for cancer.
These procedures are being undertaken by Mr Adnan Sheikh and Mr Colin Harris, both experienced colorectal surgeons within the Trust.
Mr Shahid Islam, Divisional Director for Surgery and Anaesthetics for the Trust said: “This is a milestone achievement – with the Trust, once again, at the forefront of innovative surgery and is one of only a few across the country offering robotic colorectal surgery It is expected that in the first year of service, 25 patients will reap the benefits from Robotic Colorectal surgery which include a shortened hospital stay, reduced post-operative pain and reduced complications of surgery.
“Due to the precision of the robot, deep pelvic tumours can be operated on in a minimally invasive fashion which would have previously needed extensive surgery. At this stage we are focussing on bowel cancer in the pelvis but the use of the robot will continue to develop across the field of colorectal surgery in due course.”
Having the robot has also allowed further development and robotic training of specialist nurses and specialists theatre staff- paving the way to them being mentors and leaders for other hospitals staff in the future.