New era for robotic-assisted surgery at NNUH

More patients are set to benefit from cutting-edge surgery at NNUH following a £1m donation from the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital’s Charity.

Two new robots will help double the number of robotic-assisted surgeries at the NNUH, which offer more precision for surgeons and help to reduce the time spent in hospital for patients, to up to 600 a year.

For the last four years the hospital has been using one robot for urological surgery and 18 months ago we began carrying out robotic colorectal procedures at weekends. This robot is now being replaced by two newer models.

The Urology team were the first to use one of the new robots last week and the second is due to be in use from September for complex urology and colorectal procedures and will in the future also be used for some gynaecology, thoracic and head and neck surgery.

Vivekanandan Kumar, Consultant Urological Surgeon, who carried out the first surgery using the new robot, said: “This new robot is sleeker and more versatile with added features compared to the one we have used and it makes a huge difference to our theatre capacity.

“Robotic surgery also offers far greater accuracy when removing a tumour, which means better outcomes for our patients. A number of surgical procedures require an amount of stitching and plumbing work inside the patient which is quite challenging. With a robot the patient is left with very, very small scars which is a marker of the very good services we are providing.”

The £1m funding from the N&N Hospital’s Charity is one of the biggest single donations in the history of the hospital charity.

John Paul Garside, Head of The NNUH Charity and Trust Board Secretary, said: “Last year’s Norfolk and Norwich Hospitals Charity spending programme was the largest for a decade. These grants help to improve patient and staff experience by funding innovative projects. I would like to thank everyone who has raised funds for the charity to enable us to make these significant contributions. We hugely value the support we receive from our community, near and far.”

The Da Vinci Surgery robots allow surgeons to carry out procedures with pin-point accuracy, via much smaller incisions than were needed traditionally. One of the robots also has dual controls, which will help us to safely train more surgeons to perform operations using this new technology.

Tim Leary, Chief of Surgery at NNUH, added: “This is a great development for the Trust and our patients. This puts us on the map regarding innovative robotic procedures.”

Sam Higginson, NNUH Chief Executive, added: “This is further evidence of the ground-breaking work going on at NNUH to better care for our patients. I would like to thank the hospitals charity for an incredibly generous donation of £1m.”

For more details about the N&N Hospitals Charity and how you can help, visit

Thursday 20th of August 2020 10:22:07 AM