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Robotic surgery comes to Derby thanks to £1.2 million gift

Published 18/12/2014

A state of the art surgical robot has been installed in an operating theatre at the Royal Derby Hospital, thanks to the generosity of local entrepreneur Mel Morris. 

Mr Morris has given £1.2 million to Derby Hospitals Charity to purchase a robotic surgery device which is enabling Derby surgeons to use one of the world’s most advanced surgical robots to improve the outcomes for patients undergoing complex cancer operations.

“It is fantastic to see the enthusiasm and passion of the surgeons at the Royal Derby Hospital who will able to achieve a great deal with the new robot. For me it is great to be involved in a project involving technology which has such an impact on people’s lives, it is tremendous” says Mr Morris.

The Trust’s Chief Executive Sue James says his gift has been warmly welcomed: “Mel Morris’s generosity has been overwhelming, what he has done in giving such a generous gift will improve the surgical outcomes for patients here in Derby for many years to come. On behalf of our patients and our staff, I want to thank him for his continuing interest in our work.” 

Consultant urologist Stephen Thomas is the first Derby surgeon to use the new robot and he is impressed by what he has seen: "This is a major and hugely significant operative advance. It allows us to carry out highly complex operations with 3D vision and greater surgical accuracy. This will translate to better care for our cancer patients and it will reinforce our position as a leading Cancer Centre within the East Midlands region.”  

Mick Barton, from Barton under Needwood, is the first patient to undergo robotic surgery at the Royal Derby Hospital and he has made a speedy recovery: “It was a great experience and the care I received from Mr Thomas and everyone at the hospital was fantastic. My recovery after the operation has been unbelievable, I’m doing everything I was doing before my surgery, I’m even back at work. I have nothing but praise for everyone involved in my care.” 

The robot is already being used for urology and colorectal patients and in the New Year it will be rolled out to other specialities including gynaecology and head and neck malignancies. 

What is robotic surgery?        

Miniaturized surgical instruments and a magnified camera, mounted on robotic arms, allow the surgeon greater precision. The surgeon controls the instruments and the camera from a console in the operating theatre. 

He operates the robot arms simultaneously while looking through a monitor that literally places him inside the patient, giving him a better, more detailed 3-D view of the operating site than the human eye can provide. This advanced technology allows surgeons to perform complex procedures with real benefits for patients who recovery more quickly. 

Last Modified 18/12/2014