A 40-year-old woman from Stevenage who is one of the first patients at Lister Hospital to have an operation using a new robot has hailed her surgery as “pain-free”.
Sanaz attended the Stevenage hospital earlier this month to have a full hysterectomy and her ovaries removed due to endometriosis – a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
A clinical decision was made to use CMR Surgical’s Versius for Sanaz’s operation – one of the first times this has happened at Lister since the robotic system has been ready for use.
Consultant Gynaecology and Obstetrics Surgeon Mr Rami Atalla was behind the controls, which Sanaz said she found reassuring.
“I was feeling a bit worried before as it was a major operation, but Mr Atalla is very experienced and was very reassuring – on the day I was more worried about having an anaesthetic than the actual surgery,” she said.
“Before I had an idea that the robot would do everything, but Mr Atalla operates it. I read that the top surgeons and hospitals in the world recommend this surgery as the recovery is a lot faster, and 10 times more accurate.
“Considering it’s very complicated surgery which took five to six hours, my recovery has been amazing. I was told I could be home in three to five days, but I was home in two. The surgery was pain-free and I haven’t been in much pain afterwards – I thought it was going to be a lot worse.
“I feel very lucky and thankful to the NHS and Lister Hospital for acting so quickly. Within three weeks of my situation becoming more urgent I was given an appointment, and the care – from the pre-operative team to the neatness of the stitching – has been amazing.”
East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust – which runs Lister Hospital – was an early adopter of robotic surgery, beginning with the urology department in 2008.
The Trust now has three robots across four specialties, with the lightweight and modular design of Versius complementing its existing Da Vinci surgical systems.
On using Versius, surgeon Mr Atalla said: “It is easy to use, with the surgical instruments wristed at the tip – mimicking the movements of my own hands. This allows for greater precision and better outcomes.
“The surgery is also less invasive for our patients which, as Sanaz’s case demonstrates, means quicker recovery times.”
Ana Raduc, CMR Surgical’s General Manager for the UK and Ireland, said: “It’s fantastic to see the progress East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust has made with its Versius surgical robotics programme.
“It’s a pleasure to be partnering with them and we look forward to continuing to see improved patient outcomes through enhanced access to minimal access surgery enabled by surgical robotics, and a more comfortable quality of working life for their surgical teams.”