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Glasgow mum claims bowel cancer surgery carried out by robot saved her life

by Ozva Admin
Glasgow mum claims bowel cancer surgery carried out by robot saved her life

A Glasgow mother has claimed surgery performed by a robot saved her life after she was given the all-clear following a cancer diagnosis.

Deborah Speirs was first diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer in March 2021 and presented with the option of undergoing robotic surgery instead of having the procedure done using a conventional method.

She said: “When you’re told you’re diagnosed with cancer, it takes a while for it to really sink in as you never think it’s going to happen to you.

“I had never heard of this type of procedure before. An operation is a scary word in itself and I never thought of a robot run by a surgeon.”

He met with Professor Campbell Roxburgh, a surgeon at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, where he explained the procedure.

The robotic systems, called da Vinci surgical systems, have four arms that hold a camera and surgical tools, and a surgeon controls the robotic system from the surgeon’s console, which is located in the operating room.

The systems allow doctors to use small, wrist-worn instruments that move like a human hand, but with a greater range of motion.

The precision of the surgery can reduce the amount of time patients must stay in the hospital after surgery.

After groundbreaking surgery and a dose of chemotherapy, the mum who is from the Tollcross area of ​​the city was given the go-ahead.

Deborah added: “The technology is amazing and I was up and walking in a matter of days after my surgery. I wanted to start vacuuming when I got home from the hospital, but my daughter made sure I rested. She just shows you how good this is for recovery.

“In what was a very traumatic and difficult time for me and my family, I truly believe that robotic surgery has saved my life.”

Professor Roxburgh said: “Robotic surgery has already shown great improvements in patient care and recovery times.

“It’s not a full return of surgery to a robot and the surgeon is still in full control of everything that’s going on. What we’re adding is that we’re using a console that controls the instruments and they come in through robotic ports.

“We have seen a halving in the time patients need to stay in hospital compared to conventional minimally invasive surgery, as it is less invasive.

“In addition to this, it helps reduce complications, imaging evaluations, blood transfusions, readmission rates, and infections.

“Deborah is just one example of several successful surgeries using this type of equipment.”

More than 60 doctors are trained in the use of robotic surgery systems at NHS Scotland, with 15 machines in operation.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde offers robotic surgery in multiple specialties, including colorectal surgery, urology, gynecology and head and neck surgery, at both GRI and Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

David Marante, Regional Director of Intuitive, the maker of the da Vinci Surgical Systems used by surgeons and their teams at NHSGGC, said: “The progress that has been made at NHSGGC over the past 18 months is a tremendous achievement and testament to the team’s commitment to expanding robot-assisted surgery so more patients have access to minimally invasive care with our technology.

“Our continued focus is to provide technology training to more surgeons, trainees and care teams across Scotland as they scale up their da Vinci robotics programs with the aim of further reducing open surgery rates to improve patient outcomes and reduce the full cost of care.

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