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News In Brief From The Royal Surrey County Hospital

Published on: 5 Feb, 2020
Updated on: 5 Feb, 2020

Latest news from Guildford’s Royal Surrey County Hospital

Leading the way on robotic surgery

By taking delivery of two advanced Xi surgical robots, the Royal Surrey County Hospital has scored a national first, the only UK hospital to have four state-of-the-art machines, three dedicated to operations, the fourth for staff training.

The NHS Trust hospital began using robots in 2009 to assist with gynaecology and urology surgery, and is now a leader, with some of the best clinical outcomes and the high number of annual operations.

The surgery team at the Royal Surrey County Hospital with their new robots.

The machines allow surgeons to perform complex procedures with increased precision, using a minimally invasive approach, meaning the patient is not left with large scars.

That also allows a shorter hospital stay, faster recovery, reduced blood loss and less discomfort post-surgery, smaller scars and much more.

Consultant surgeon Simon Butler-Manuel said: “The Xi robots allow use of special instruments which mimic human wrist, hand, and finger movements, allowing a much superior range of motion during surgery.

“They also give a high-resolution, magnified 3D view of the area being operated on which grants greater surgical precision, meaning complex cancer surgery is now less invasive.”

The new machines will also allow surgeons to robotically remove tumours from the tongue, liver, pancreas and oesophagus.

Hospital chief made professor

The Royal Surrey’s chief executive, Louise Stead, has been appointed visiting professor at the University of Surrey’s School of Health Sciences after a 15-year relationship.

Ms Stead completed her master’s degree at the University of Surrey, qualifying as a registered nurse in 1988.

The Royal Surrey’s chief executive, Louise Stead.

She worked in London teaching hospitals, specialising in cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, hepatobiliary and pancreatic medicine and surgery, haematology and coronary care.

Ms Stead was appointed Royal Surrey’s chief executive in 2018 after seven years as the Trust’s chief nurse.

She will continue to teach undergraduate and postgraduate students and advise on updates to the curriculum for the School of Health Sciences.

Research that could change the way we treat bowel cancer is given financial boost

Guildford scientist Dr Tony Dhillon has been given a £500,000 grant to work on bowel cancer clinical trials in Australia.

The study by Dr Dhillon, a medical oncologist at Royal Surrey, examines whether combining immunotherapy with chemotherapy can improve survival rates, and is already operative at more than 20 centres across the UK.

Immunotherapy has been hailed as the new era of cancer treatment, teaching the body’s own immune system to hunt and attack tumours.

Guildford scientist Dr Tony Dhillon.

Dr Dhillon hopes the findings could change the way patients with colorectal cancer are treated and ultimately increase the chance of being cured to 95%.

He said: “Only 15% of patients with colorectal cancer are suitable for the trial and expanding it to Australia means we should be able to increase recruitment.”

Dr Dhillon needs to recruit patients with a very specific sub-group of stage three colon cancer which has spread to local lymph nodes and is treated with surgery and chemotherapy. For about 25% of patients the cancer will return.

Thanks to the grant, Dr Dhillon’s study will now open in six centres across Australia, in collaboration with the University of Sydney.

The grant came from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), which aids health and medical research and innovation, with the objective of improving the health and wellbeing of Australians.

story based on press releases from the Royal Surrey County Hospital.

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