A new surgical robot is now being used to treat gynaecology patients in Swindon's Great Western Hospital hospital.

Having first been used for colorectal surgery, the expanding use of these machines is part of an ongoing region-wide commitment to invest in the latest technology by local health chiefs

By expanding the use of the robot, GWH can now operate on patients with greater precision and perform complex procedures with minimal access.

Amy Keightley, lead gynaecology consultant at the Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, says: “We’re delighted to have begun using the Great Western Hospital’s new surgical robot within our gynaecology department.

"The robot allows us to utilise 3D vision and improved access to the pelvis with the use of wristed instruments.

"We anticipate that patients will get less postoperative pain, which we hope will help with recovery times.

"This is a significant advancement in the care we can provide to our patients, and ensuring the very best surgeons want to work here in Swindon.”

In a video on the GWH Trust's YouTube page posted three months ago when the hospital first started using the robot, consultant surgeon Anwar Owais explained some of its benefits. 

He said: "Swindon is the first hospital to receive its robot, it will be followed by Salisbury and Bath hospitals.

"Robotic surgery will allow us to do minimally invasive surgery starting off in Swindon with colorectal surgery. We'll be offering it for patients who have been diagnosed with bowel cancer.

"This robotic platform will enable us to do surgery which is minimally invasive on patients we were not able to do minimally invasive surgery before."

The surgery robot is situated next to the patient while the surgeon sits at a desk with a screen and joysticks which are used to control it. 

This will allow the surgeons to perform moves that they would not be able to do with keyhole surgery because their movement is limited to just up, down, left or right, during that type of procedure. 

Consultant surgeon Roderick Alexander also explained how the use of a camera and television screen provided a huge benefit.

"The view that you get is very much superior to the standard laparoscopic keyhole surgery," he said.

"Standard laparoscopic surgery is two-dimensional, so you can't perceive depth, after a period of time your brain generates depth, but it's not quite the same.

"The robot is three-dimensions, so you get depth but you also get a degree of clarity in the vision that you just can't get laparoscopically."