Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI), part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, has initiated its first-ever surgical robotics programme.
The Versius surgical robotic system, developed by CMR Surgical, has been used to perform minimal access surgery (otherwise known as MAS or keyhole surgery) at MRI for cancer resection, including colorectal cancer surgery.
Nicholas Stylianides, consultant colorectal and general surgeon at MRI, said: “The introduction of Versius at Manchester Royal Infirmary is an exciting step forward and one that will help our team continue to deliver world-leading surgical training and care.
“Today, more than ever, it is vital that we are able to minimise complications from surgery and help patients recover quickly – keeping them well and out of hospital. Using robotic minimal access surgery more frequently will play an important role in this and Versius will therefore be a critical tool for our surgical teams moving forward.”
Biomimicking the human arm, Versius is an open surgeon console designed to give surgeons a choice of optimised port placement alongside the dexterity and accuracy of small fully-wristed instruments via 3D HD vision, instrument control and a choice of ergonomic working positions.
It is designed to be portable, modular and easily moved between operating theatres, where it reportedly takes an average of 15 minutes to set up the system. According to CMR, this allows it to be used frequently, with one Versius robot said to be capable of performing hundreds of operations each year.
Mark Slack, chief medical officer at CMR Surgical, said: “The fact that this leading teaching hospital has never had a surgical robot highlights the need for a new approach to surgical robotics and reinforces the value of the defining features of Versius – its portability, versatility and its cost-effectiveness.
“These are attributes that we believe will open the door to more minimal access surgery across the world improving outcomes for patients, surgeons and hospitals.”
In February 2020, Versius was launched in the UK at NHS Lothian’s Western General Hospital in Edinburgh and Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Trust. Further global launches are expected to be announced shortly.