First robotic liver resection in the UK

3rd January, 2012 8:00
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Charles ImberCharles Imber

Mr Charles Imber started 2012 with a surgery first. In January he successfully performed the first liver resection in the UK using the da Vinci® robotic surgery system.

“The patient had secondary liver cancer due to spread of the disease from their bowel. Normally, removing liver tumours and a good margin of healthy liver tissue means major open surgery and a long recovery. With the da Vinci® robot, we were able to do the surgery much less invasively – it’s a big breakthrough,” said Mr Imber.

Robotic surgery is not the same as laparoscopic surgery, often called keyhole surgery. The liver is a tricky organ to manage during surgery and although it is possible to perform some procedures with laparoscopic resection, the added dexterity and improved images make robotic surgery attractive.

Mr Imber worked in a team with Professor Massimo Malago to complete the four-hour robotic surgery.

“Using the robot allows smaller incisions and also a greater degree of accuracy for the surgeon because of the added dexterity provided by the da Vinci® system,” added Mr Imber.

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