‘Next-generation’ surgery-performing robot to be trialled by the NHS

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A “next generation” British-made robot will perform surgeries for the National Health Service (NHS) in a European first. The Daily Telegraph reports that the robot, called Versius, is hailed as a huge “leap forward” and is designed to make surgery less painful for patients. Built by Cambridge-based start-up CMR Surgical, it will also allow surgeons to perform for longer periods due to reduced fatigue, as it can be operated sitting down.

Versius is designed to perform keyhole surgery, also known as minimal invasive surgery or laparoscopy – a complicated procedure that involves surgeons operating on patients through a small incision made on the body. The robot has three arms that move in a similar manner to human’s arms. They are controlled by surgeons using a remote-control device connected to a screen in the operating theatre. The screen gives doctors a precise view of their movements by displaying the part of the body they are operating on.

The report says it has been introduced at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh, where surgeons have operated on almost 30 patients at the colo-rectal unit since November, and the Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Trust in Buckinghamshire.

The NHS has previously used robots for surgery as Intuitive Surgical, a US robotics firm, has operated its da Vinci surgical system in more than 70 NHS hospitals since 2001. But, the report says, the rollout by CMR Surgical marks the entry of the first British-made robot to the health service.

Full report in The Daily Telegraph

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