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The impact of robot assisted surgery

CMR Surgical (CMR) and Milton Keynes University Hospital (MKUH) have announced results from their Versius Robotic Assisted Surgery (RAS) programme, with major impacts reported on recovery timelines, patient outcomes and surgical staff wellbeing. The robotics team behind the programme spoke to CSJ about their findings.

In the wake of the pandemic, the focus on efficiency in operating theatres has intensified with hospitals facing significant backlogs, so could robot-assisted surgery help provide extra capacity and improve the throughput of patients, as well improving outcomes? Early adopters of the latest robot devices suggest that the technology could make a significant difference in the long term.

Even prior to COVID-19, around 1% of the 8 million yearly elective operations were cancelled at the last minute for nonclinical reasons, including lack of ward or critical care bed availability.1 At MKUH, this translated to around 160 patients per year having their elective operations cancelled for non-clinical reasons. By partnering with CMR on the delivery of a multi-specialty robot-assisted surgery programme, MKUH has saved 450 bed days per year following the first 242 procedures – exceeding the anticipated saving of 175 bed days per year in the original business case.

“We were the first Trust in England to implement the Versius robot and the first hospital in Europe to use it for gynaecology procedures,” explained Jennifer Kearney, associate director of operations, MKUH.

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