Celebrating the success of our Robotic Surgery team

In December we launched our Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) and our Head and Neck robotic surgery service offering robot-controlled surgery for Oropharyngeal (tonsil and base of tongue) cancer patients.

Ramez Nassif completed the first two robotic procedures making him the first surgeon in East Anglia to do so and has since gone on to complete three more trans-oral robotic surgical (TORS) procedures.

Asit Arora, Visiting Proctor (someone who oversees the procedure as an expert in that field) from Guy’s and St Thomas’ in London, and Vin Paleri, Consultant Surgeon from Royal Marsden Hospital were there for the procedure too.

Ramez was assisted by Omar Burgan, ENT Registrar and the Anaesthetic team led by Kavitha Kuntumalla, Consultant Anaesthetist.

“This was a team effort and I want to mention Alex Allen, Deputy Team Leader for ENT and Head and Neck, Karen De-ath, Deputy Team Leader of Urology, who joined to share her robotic experience, the Operating Department Practitioners: Jhan Salvdaor, Sharon Devlin and Tom Maynard and, last but not least, Sara Rundle, Staff Nurse. Without the whole team’s efforts, these procedures wouldn’t be possible,” said Ramez.

“TORS procedures provide a unique, world-class surgical service for our Head and Neck patients in Norfolk and for Suffolk, with patients from our sister hospitals, the James Paget, Ipswich (ESNEFT) and The QEH in King’s Lynn. This should provide alternative options to cancer patients and allow us to make tailored decisions for each individual patient with the focus being on improved patient outcomes both therapeutically and functionally as well.”

“It’s a great development opportunity for a lot of our colleagues and is taking us into the next generation of technology at the hospital,” added Ramez.

“In November, the general robotic team completed its 200th case, which is a great achievement considering the pressures the hospital has been under with the pandemic,” said Nadine Barford, Robotic Clinical Lead.

“We aim to keep developing the service, for example our resident Proctor, General Surgeon Irshad Shaikh, will be one of the first in the country to support Telepresence. This is a remote case observation platform which will allow him to offer learning opportunities to other surgeons not only throughout the UK but also Europe,” added Nadine.

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