Rare Double Robotic Surgery Simultaneously Removes Uterus And Colons Of Cancer Patient


A 63-year-old cancer patient from Croydon, south London, is now recovering after being simultaneously operated on two areas by a robot.

Procedure Removes Uterus And Parts Of Colon At The Same Time

Christine Lockton learned that she has colorectal cancer in September after experiencing unexplained weight loss. Tests showed that she had a large tumor in her colon that was already invading her womb.

Following a course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy, Lockton had a double robotic surgery at The Royal Marsden Hospital in London in March.

She had a hysterectomy to remove her uterus. She also had part of her colon removed, and the two procedures were done at the same time using the hospital's da Vinci Xi robotic console. The technology is particularly useful for accessing hard-to-reach tumors.

Operating Patients Using da Vinci Xi

The Royal Marsden Hospital has the biggest program of robotic surgery for cancer in the United Kingdom. Since 2015, the hospital has already performed more than 800 robotic surgical procedures using da Vinci Xi but Lockton's double procedure was a first to the hospital.

During the procedure, surgeons sat on opposite sides of a robotic console, which allowed them to see the affected area in detail using 3D magnified images.The robot's hand is capable of rotating 360 degrees and its arms allowed the medical team to make tiny movements sans natural human tremor.

"The robotic surgeon operates via tiny incisions in the body and controls the machine's movements from the comfort of a seat at the console," said Paris Tekkis, who specializes in robotic colorectal cancer surgery.

"This is a benefit for surgeons, as conducting lengthy conventional surgical procedures can be physically demanding and lead to neck, shoulder or back problems."

Less Invasive Option For Patients

The procedure is a less invasive alternative to open surgery, allowing patients to go home just days after the operation.

Tekkis said that besides improving access to hard-to-reach areas, the system also provides enhanced precision, vision, and control, which result in patients having less postoperative pain, reduced chances of getting an infection, less time spent in the hospital, and earlier return of urinary and sexual functions.

Lockton did not have to wait long before she could go home from the hospital.

"I can't believe how quickly I have been able to come out of hospital and it's lovely to be home," she said. "I think the real healing will happen now."

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