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Health board introduces state-of-the-art surgical robots to treat cancer patients

26 Aug 2023 3 minute read
A surgical robot in use

A third Welsh Health board is introducing state-of-the-art surgical robots to treat colorectal and gynaecological cancer patients.

The new technology being rolled out by Cwm Taf Morgannwg (CMT) health board is being introduced as part of the National Robotic Assisted Surgery Programme.

The scheme has been set up to improve outcomes for cancer patients by increasing the number of patients across Wales able to receive less-invasive, minimal access surgery (MAS).

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

The programme is supported across Wales by £4.6m in Welsh Government funding and has been developed by health boards, Life Sciences Hub Wales and the Moondance Cancer Initiative.

Industry partner CMR Surgical’s Versius robot enables surgeons to perform complex procedures precisely and accurately, with the surgeon operating four robotic arms from an independent, open console.


Consultant surgeon Paul Blake who is the clinical lead for the programme at CTM said: “This is a fantastic and very exciting opportunity to provide the most modern and advanced minimal access surgery to the people living within Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board region.

“Robotic surgery will allow us surgeons to operate on our patients with even greater precision and visual acuity, thereby improving cancer outcomes while reducing post-operative pain and length of hospital stay.

“Having robotic surgery in our Health Board will help us to attract the very best of surgical and nursing colleagues to work here with us, which again will be of enormous benefit to the patients we serve.

“I am proud to be part of this incredible advancement and very much look forward to seeing the benefits this will bring to the people undergoing operations.”

Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB joins Cardiff and Vale and Besti Cadwallder University Health Boards who, as part of the programme, have been using robotics to treat colorectal and gynaecological cancer patients over the last year.

Lead clinician for the national programme Jared Torkington said: “Wales is progressing towards a unified robotic programme across all its hospitals to provide the highest possible standard of surgical care and to attract and retain the best people to work in the NHS in Wales.

“This announcement is great news for the staff and patients of Cwm Taf Morgannwg and further strengthens the All Wales Robotic Assisted Surgery Programme.”

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