Betsi Cadwaladr treats early patients with robotic technology

Betsi Cadwaladr treats early patients with robotic technology

The first patients underwent robot-assisted surgery in Betsi Cadwaladr and across Wales under an innovative national programme.

Modern surgical robots are now helping to treat colorectal and gynecological cancer patients in Wales as part of the new national robotic-assisted surgery programme.

The National Robot-assisted Surgery Program was introduced by the Welsh Government to improve outcomes for cancer patients by increasing the number of patients across Wales with access to minimally invasive, minimally accessible surgery (MAS).

MAS offers well-recognized benefits to patients, when compared to open surgery, including reduced pain, scarring, and recovery time.

In March of 2022, it was announced that Betsy Cadwallader would be the first district to offer this surgery with the first patients expected to receive treatment in June.

This means that patients will no longer be required to travel to England for this surgery.

READ MORE: Betsi Cadwaladr: Robot-assisted surgery to be offered in North Wales

The Versius robot from CMR Surgical enables surgeons to perform complex procedures with precision and accuracy, as the surgeon operates four robotic arms from an independent, open console.

After delays due to staff training, earlier this month the first intra-gynecological robotic cases were performed at the University of Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board.

Members of the gynecological and theater team along with representatives of CMR surgeons in theaters at Ysbyty Gwynedd on the day of the first robotic cases.

Before the first cases occurred, the operating room team, which includes surgeons, nurses, and nurses in the operating department, participated in extensive training to develop the basic robotic skills needed to use the system.

Consultant gynecological oncologist Richard Beevor and Miss Ross Jones were the first surgeons to use the robot.

Mr Beevor said: “We are proud to become the first surgical specialty to use robotics to treat our patients in North Wales.

“We will offer this type of surgery to women who need a hysterectomy for gynecological cancer.

Robotic surgery has many advantages over open surgery; Benefits include less blood loss, shorter hospital stay, and faster recovery.

“Here at Ysbyty Gwynedd, we are the center of women’s cancer surgery in North Wales, so having the robot available to us will really enhance the service we already provide to our patients.”

Carys Hughes, of Mynytho on the Llŷn Peninsula, was one of the first patients to have had both ovaries removed using a robot.

She said: “It was very exciting to be one of the first patients to be involved in a groundbreaking new service in North Wales!

Read more: Ongoing cancer battle won’t stop marathon runners at Trail Wales fundraising campaign

“I felt very comfortable as the procedure was explained to me very well. I felt comfortable with the procedure as there are many benefits of using the robot as it is minimally invasive and promises a faster recovery.

“I would like to thank the Ysbyty Gwynedd team for the care they provided me, and I am very pleased to see that we now have this technology available to patients in our area.”

Towards the end of 2022, robotic surgery will be offered to selected urological cancer patients at the Betsi Cadwalad University Health Board and the Cardiff and Vale Health Board will roll out the service within gynecology.

CMR has supported program implementation through extensive on-site support and training, and will continue to support the program through a collaborative partnership with NHS Wales, Welsh Government, Life Sciences Hub Wales and the Moondance Cancer Initiative.

Leading: Surgeon Mr. Richard Beevor performs robotic surgery using the CMR Surgical Versius Robot under the supervision of Ms. Nahid Jules, Consultant Gynecologist, Robotic Pelvic and Laparoscopic Surgeon.Surgeon Mr. Richard Beevor performs robotic surgery using a CMR surgical robot under the supervision of Ms. Nahid Gul, Consultant Gynecologist in Robotic and Laparoscopic Surgery.

Anna Ruddock, General Manager, UK and Ireland at CMR Surgical said: “At CMR we are very excited to be part of this ground-breaking strategy, and welcome the leadership shown by Wells in adopting an innovative approach that will deliver real benefits for the benefit of the NHS, surgeons and most importantly. That, sick all over Wales, by harnessing the power of Versius.

“We hope that this program will demonstrate the advantages of the RAS public health program nationwide as health systems around the world face increasing pressures and a growing backlog of elective care. Wales has led the way, and we encourage further discussion and sharing of best practices about the advantages of the National Surgical Robotics Program with countries other in the United Kingdom.

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