Delivering care through collaboration

NHS Golden Jubilee’s thoracic robot is a Da Vinci X from Intuitive


Specialists at NHS Golden Jubilee have carried out more than 150 robotic lung surgery operations, helping patients get home quicker.

Surgeons at the innovative heart and lung centre have been using their dedicated thoracic (lung) robot over the past 18 months, with patients enjoying less painful recoveries and an earlier return to activity.

The robot is hailed as the next frontier in minimally invasive surgery with patients also benefitting from shorter recovery time, less nerve damage and a reduced hospital stay.

Lung Surgeon Alan Kirk said: “NHS Golden Jubilee has now surpassed the milestone of 150 robotic lung procedures, predominantly for people with lung cancer.

“Using traditional lung surgery, patients would be in hospital for six days and with video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) we reduced this to five days.

"Patients who have had a robotic procedure are generally now going home after four days – one patient was even home and carrying out normal activities in just two days, which is amazing.

“Robotic lung surgery is a natural extension of conventional keyhole surgery and we are delighted to see the improved patient outcomes we anticipated, such as less pain, smaller wounds and quicker recovery times and much less blood loss – all meaning people can get back to their normal lives quicker.

“We think in the long run this will also add value to the service as the less time people are spending in hospital the more cost-effective it is for the NHS as a whole.”

The robot works by inserting rods into the body which are operated by a surgeon on a separate control pod, moving the procedure on from conventional keyhole and traditionally invasive surgery.

The robot’s wristed instruments can bend and rotate better than a human’s, and with more accuracy, allowing the surgeon to operate with a steady natural motion, as colleagues watch on highly magnified 3D HD screens.

The machine also has health benefits for surgeons, allowing them to carry out operations sitting down rather than bent over an operating table, which can prevent injuries such as back problems, potentially prolonging their own working lives.

NHS Golden Jubilee Chief Executive Jann Gardner said: “NHS Golden Jubilee has always been a pioneer of using innovative surgery to deliver person-centred care for patients from across Scotland.

“Using our thoracic robot helps our progression as we advance into the future with an ambition to become a centre of excellence for robotics. This innovation shows our commitment to enhancing patient health and care and will provide better outcomes for everyone involved.”

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