Robot SAVES 61-year-old man’s life by removing a 2.3-inch cancerous tumor from his throat using ‘minimal access’ surgery – a first of its kind in the UK

  • A new robot called Versius saved a man’s life by removing a 2.3-inch tumor from his esophagus 
  • A UK hospital used the robot to perform minimal access surgery, which creates smaller incisions and lowers the chance of complications  
  • ‘To have been given a second chance to see my grandchildren, my children and my wife has meant so much to me,’ the patient, Martin Nugent, said 
  • Versius has a suite of fully-wristed instruments and enhanced 3D HD vision that help to give surgeons a high level of accuracy 

A robot saved a 61-year-old man’s life by removing a cancerous tumor from his throat in a first of its kind operation in the U.K.

Surgeons at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital used a next-generation robot called Versius to perform the esophagectomy to remove a 2.3-inch tumor from a patient named Martin Nugent. 

The procedure performed by the robot was a form of minimal access surgery, which creates smaller incisions and reduces the change of complications, scarring and post-operation pain. 

‘To have been given a second chance to see my grandchildren, my children and my wife has meant so much to me. The team at the GRH saved my life and I’ll be forever grateful to them for doing so,’ Nugent said. 

A robot saved a 61-year-old man’s life by removing a cancerous tumor from his throat in a first of its kind operation in the U.K. ABOVE: A picture from a different operation using CMR Surgical’s Versius robot 

Surgeons at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital used a next-generation robot called Versius to perform the esophagectomy to remove a 2.3-inch tumor from a patient named Martin Nugent. ABOVE: A still image of a different operation

‘The suite of fully-wristed instruments, combined with enhanced 3D HD vision, give surgeons a high level of accuracy when performing complicated procedural steps or operating in hard to reach areas,’ CMR Surgical, the company responsible for robot, says on its website

The delicate effort, which involved raising Nugent’s stomach and reconnecting it to his esophagus, is credited with giving him a chance to have experiences he didn’t think would be possible. 

‘I was aware that I was the first patient in the country to receive care in this way. It is astonishing really that this kind of thing is happening here in Gloucester, particularly when you think of big cities like London or Manchester or Oxford,’ Nugent said.

‘Last year I was in so much pain I couldn’t eat any Christmas dinner. I lost three stone in weight quite quickly. I’m thinking we’ll make up for it this year and I’m just so grateful to be given the opportunity to enjoy another Christmas.’ 

CMR Surgical, which produces the robotic surgeon, describes the machine this way on its website: ‘The suite of fully-wristed instruments, combined with enhanced 3D HD vision, give surgeons a high level of accuracy when performing complicated procedural steps or operating in hard to reach areas.’ 

‘With high levels of precision and control, surgeons are able to perform more of their complex procedures laparoscopically,’ the company says. 

Ana Raduc, general manager of CMR Surgical, explained in a statement: ‘It’s great to see the teams from multiple specialties at GRH utilizing Versius for complex cancer procedures like this one.’ 

‘We know that minimal access surgery improves outcomes for patients and can lead to a quicker recovery, and surgical robotics helps to enable a minimal access approach,’ she added. 

The machine has a lightweight and modular design that allows it to be easily moved between departments. It also utilizes ‘v-wrist technology’ that means it can be used virtually in any operating room.

The robot was installed last year and Gloucestershire Royal Hospital became the first NHS hospital in the country to start an upper GI program using the robot. It has also been used colorectal surgeries successfully. 

Ana Raduc, general manager of CMR Surgical, said: ‘It’s great to see the teams from multiple specialties at GRH utilizing Versius for complex cancer procedures like this one’

‘With high levels of precision and control, surgeons are able to perform more of their complex procedures laparoscopically,’ the company says

The machine has a lightweight and modular design that allows it to be easily moved between departments. It also utilizes ‘v-wrist technology’ that means it can be used virtually in any operating room

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