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HRH The Duke of Cambridge joins robotic surgeons at The Royal Marsden

HRH The Duke of Cambridge today visited two pioneering robotic surgeries at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, where His Royal Highness joined surgeons performing minimally invasive robotic surgery on patients

10 January 2018

The Duke, who is President of The Royal Marsden, met Professor Vinidh Paleri, Consultant Head and Neck Surgeon, and his team as they performed the robotic surgery on a patient with adenoid cystic carcinoma. He also joined Mr Asif Chaudry, Consultant Upper GI/Oesophagogastric Surgeon, as he performed a robotic oesophagectomy, a procedure only available at The Royal Marsden, which has a leading role in developing the use of robotic surgery for a range of cancer operations.

The da Vinci robot’s dual console allows a robotic surgical fellow to operate from one set of controls while the lead surgeon is able to observe and follow the procedure from a second set. This feature has allowed The Royal Marsden to create the UK’s first and only robotic surgery fellowship which will train up to 30 multi-disciplinary surgeons of the future in robotic surgery over the next 10 years.

With Professor Paleri in control, The Duke got the chance to move the markers for the robot arms and make ‘virtual’ incisions on screen, as well as finding out about the benefits of this minimally invasive technique.

Professor Paleri said:

“Performing head and neck surgery with the da Vinci robot reduces what would be a 12 hour open surgery operation into a two hour operation. Patients can be home in three days rather than two weeks, and they are saved from having visible scars.”

The Royal Marsden also uses surgical robots to treat urological, gynaecological, gastrointestinal and colorectal cancer patients.

Cally Palmer CBE, Chief Executive of The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“As a specialist cancer centre, it is our responsibility to innovate and ensure that we pioneer new treatments, prove their efficacy through research, and shape best practice throughout the UK and beyond.”

The Duke also visited Burdett Coutts ward where he met patients including one who is recovering from robotic surgery and another who is a former member of Royal Marsden staff.