Patients receiving ‘gold standard’ robotic cancer treatment at NHS Golden Jubilee
By Lucy Ashton
The robotic programme for colorectal procedures at NHS Golden Jubilee has now treated over 200 patients since it began during the COVID-19 pandemic, giving patients more precise procedures and less time in hospital.
The Colo-rectal Service started in April 2021 while services at regional boards across Scotland were suspended. During this time the Golden Jubilee University National Hospital in Clydebank supported NHS Boards by carrying out urgent and critical to life treatment for cancer patients.
The service takes referrals from regional health boards all over the country to treat cancer and a range of other colon and bowel problems, and since robotics were introduced in the service in early 2022, there have been 232 cases carried out by a Da Vinci robot.
Traditionally, with an open procedure, patients would expect to be in hospital for 7 to 10 days, but with robotic surgery, patients can be back home in just 3 or 4 days.
Andrew Renwick, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon, said: “Performing robotic procedures compared with traditional open surgery, means that patients are benefiting from more precise procedures, which translates to better outcomes, lower risk of complications and a significantly faster discharge time following the procedure.
“This is now the gold standard in treatment and we are doing more and more of them here at NHS Golden Jubilee, offering the highest possible quality of care for our patients.”
Former Police Chief Superintendent, Max Wallace, was the 200th patient.
He said: “I did the routine bi-annual check and was feeling fine, but it came back saying there was a trace of blood. I got an appointment very quickly for a colonoscopy in February and a growth was found. Within 2 weeks I had a scan which showed it was cancerous and I was then offered the opportunity to come to the Golden Jubilee because I could get treatment quicker, which was great.
“The care I received from the staff and surgeons has been just brilliant, and I didn’t really feel any discomfort at all.
“It was a very worrying time after being diagnosed as you are concerned it might have spread, you just don’t know these things.
“But then I was amazed that the day after the operation a physiotherapist came to see me and got me doing some exercises, then a walk down the corridor, then further, so everything went very well.
“The main thing for me was not having to get a stoma bag; I didn’t like that idea, so I’m very pleased how this has worked out for me.”
Using robotics for this type of surgery at the Golden Jubilee University National Hospital is helping national waiting times and it is hoped that due to quicker recoveries, the service will increase the number of procedures in the near future as it grows.
Dr Renwick added: “We’ve appointed a Lead Nurse and a Stoma Nurse, who are all part of a team helping to liaise with the other boards to make the service as seamless as possible.
“We also have an Enhanced Recovery Nurse and a pre-habilitation service in place which is helping to improve the care that patients are receiving.
“This is a large scale, collaborative effort, with amazing work from everyone involved as we continue to help pave the way forward for the future of colorectal surgery.”
Robotic surgery programme
NHS Golden Jubilee’s robotics programme continues to grow since carrying out its first robotic lung (thoracic) robotic procedure in May 2018.
Since then, the Da Vinci lung robots have done more than 1,100 surgeries – 318 last year – placing NHS Golden Jubilee as one of the top 2 robotic thoracic centres in the UK.
In orthopaedics from April 2021 to September 2023, a total of 1,498 hip and knee surgeries were carried out with Mako and Rosa robots, and all 3 services expect numbers to grow in the coming years as robotic surgery expands at NHS Golden Jubilee.