Surgical teams at Southmead Hospital carry out 24 robotic-assisted gynaecology procedures in two days

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Surgical teams from the gynaecology high-intensity robotic-assisted surgery weekend. There are approximately 20 staff members all in clinical uniform grouped together in a theatre, smiling at the camera.

The gynaecology surgical programme at Southmead Hospital in Bristol has carried out 24 robotic-assisted procedures in a single weekend, South West 

Over the weekend of 25 – 26 November, two surgical teams operated in two theatres side by side, using two Da Vinci Xi surgical robots to complete the 24 procedures, showcasing the capacity that is possible with robotic surgical equipment. 

As well as a shorter operating time, using a robot provides surgeons with better precision and accuracy during procedures. 

When compared with standard keyhole or open surgery approaches, robotic-assisted surgery offers patients procedures that are less invasive with a shorter recovery time. 

Of the 24 patients treated during the weekend, 17 were discharged the same day.

The teams undertook a high intensity theatre (HIT) list, an efficient and safe programme used to maximise the number of patients being treated and reduce waiting lists. 

The careful planning of a HIT list and utilising robotic surgical equipment meant 50% more patients than usual were able to be treated in a day in each theatre.

The surgeries carried out included hysterectomies, endometriosis procedures and some more complex cases. 

This year, 100 additional hysterectomy procedures have taken place at Southmead Hospital, which is run by North Bristol NHS Trust, because of the capacity that robotic surgical equipment has provided.

Julie Stollery, a sonographer from Chepstow, underwent a robotic-assisted hysterectomy at Southmead Hospital in July and was surprised at how well she felt after the procedure: “The wounds were really small and not troublesome at all, I almost felt like I hadn’t had anything done.

“I’m back at work, fighting fit and I feel better than I did before the procedure as I don’t have the symptoms I had previously.” 

Julie is wearing a black and white dress with a black cardigan and wears glasses. She is sat on a blue sofa smiling.

Gynaecology consultant, Jessica Preshaw, who operated during the weekend, said: “Robotic technology is allowing our gynaecology team to achieve great things for our patients and the Trust. With this cutting-edge equipment, our patients often recover more quickly and have a shorter stay in hospital, as well as potentially improving their quality of life with life-changing procedures.” 

Islam Gamaleldin, a gynaecology consultant who also operated over the weekend said: “It took an incredible collaborative effort to carry out this number of procedures and it wouldn’t have been possible without our fantastic teams who made the weekend such a success.”

Chief Medical Officer, Tim Whittlestone, said: “We’re proud to be continuing to expand our robotic-assisted surgery programme and utilising this innovation for the benefit of our patients.” 

North Bristol NHS Trust has been expanding its robotic-assisted surgery programme into complex subspecialty surgeries in colorectal and gynaecology, helping to improve patient experience and outcomes. The trust’s robotic-assisted surgery programme in urology has now completed over 3,000 procedures since 2014.

Jess and Islam are stood in a theatre at Southmead Hospital. They are wearing dark pink scrubs and smiling at the camera.

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